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 With helmeted police using tear gas and batons to disperse the protesters who have gathered on Taksim Square for nearly two weeks, a spectre from the past has been raised.

Is the democratically elected government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, returning to the Ottoman past?

Has he become a reactionary bloodthirsty Sultan instead of a forward-thinking sharp-suited moderniser?

At least one influential newspaper has posed this question.

And Erdogan’s behaviour prior to the protests described by some as very arrogant, as well as his statement that the protests were no ‘Turkish spring’, and now the deployment of armed riot police have not helped his case.

Of course, the Turkish republic has little in common with her Ottoman past, and the current Islamically-orientated Erdogan is no exception.

Erdogan has continued Turkey’s policy of co-operating with an outside power when it comes to foreign policy in the hope that his country will one day be accepted as a European nation.

His backing of rebels in Syria was not popular in his own country, as are the conservative reforms that he is hoping to install into the secular republic.

The Sultans were not Islamic fundamentalists and the state they ruled was an independent power in its own right.

They were men of their word – they would never have turned on a close friend the way in which Erdogan has on President Basher al-Assad.

And as for the violence they used, it was as a measure of last resort, when they believed the sultanate was under threat.

So Erdogan is not a Sultan.

Rather, in its conduct, his government resembles one from the Middle East, a sheikdom like say Saudi Arabia.