I had a long conversation with a good friend of mine about the parallels between the formation of modern Turkey with what is going on in Iraq. He points out his skepticism and brings up the following observation: In the first years of the Turkey, auditors banned religious headgear (i.e. the Fez). This symbollic move, though pointless to a westerner with a classical liberal outlook, was a tipping point in turning Turkey from a sectarian to a secular civic society. He wishes to see some sort of action by the new Iraqi federal government, which would emphasize the secular authority of the state over the sectarian traditions that linger in that society. Such a move, in his opinion, would undermine the rule of the secular government over the religious factions that have traditionally dominated the country.
I am starting to understand his observation of the parallels between the founding of modern Turkey and the efforts to form a federalist Iraq. Though I'm much more sanguine than my friend on this. It has led me to seek out histories of the formation of Turkey and see what lies in store in Mesopotamia.