Sustainable democratization has to be foremost a domestic transformation based on domestic consensus. In regard to political Islam and Kurdish nationalism, which involve complex questions of identity, democratization in Turkey requires time and domestic debate. The EU and the U.S. have significant long-term interests in assisting this process by acting as firm but judicious anchors: They should avoid promoting culturally or historically essentialist values and be non-intrusive in areas with weak domestic consensus. Domestic actors should pursue domestic consensus, formulate versions of nationalism that are more compatible with liberal democracy, and design policies to gradually improve state-society relations.
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