Turkish Delight

Other than expressing my love of kebabs, it is not often I have favourable things to say about Turkey. As it is, I don’t have anything favourable to say about the goverment of Turkey, but rather about the opposition to it.

On Saturday, 300,000 protesters (and that’s the conservative estimate) converged on Ankara. They were trying to persuade Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to not run for President. They were also hoping to convince the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) to avoid nominating him.

The Turkish president is elected to a seven-year term by the Grand National Assembly. The AKP hold the majority in the Assembly with 354 of the 550 seats, so it is very likely that, protest or not, the AKP will choose someone form their party to be president.

The AKP consider themselves to be a moderate Islamist party. Erdogan claims that he has no religious agenda, though recent efforts have been made to introduce pro-Islamic reforms. This has upset those who value the secular roots of the republic founded by Ataturk.

I don’t normally support secularism. However in this case, secularism can serve as a counterbalance against militant Islam. Turkey will always have a Muslim majority and favour Islam over Christianity. As it is, it is very difficult for the Church to survive in Asia Minor and the Phanar is under constant pressure and surveillance. If Turkey is going to be admitted to the EU it needs to have as secularist a government as possible.


2 Responses to Turkish Delight

  1. Michael says:

    Alas, to play upon your title, I fear that Turkey is just playing Jadis to the EU’s Edmund.

  2. Pingback: Avoiding a Coup « David’s Daily Diversions

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