" To hear many U.S.-based analysts tell it, Erdogan is tearing down Turkey's democracy, not building it up. These critics -- out of either willful disregard or sheer ignorance -- misrepresent what Erdogan has accomplished and why voters continue to support him. They depict Erdogan's government as an ominous departure from Turkey's past -- ignoring the abuses that occurred under the country's previous governments. The constitutional reforms are only one of many ways that Erdogan's government, now in its eighth year of power, has worked to strengthen respect for human rights and the rule of law. The prime minister has successfully implemented legal and economic reforms needed to join the European Union. He has approved changes, however limited, giving Turkey's Kurdish population greater cultural rights. He has also done away with state security courts, whose mix of civilian and military judges ruled on alleged offenses against the state."
Aliza Marcus, former Reuters correspondent in Turkey who was tried (and acquited) in 1995 for writing articles critical of the Turkish military, writes in Foreign Policy that the moderately Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a vast improvement toward individual freedom and movement toward democracy than previous Turkish governments.