Monday, May 21, 2007

Turkey, Basting And Hell-Fire

(Photo - AFP)

Tens of thousands of Turks have rallied in the northern city of Samsun in the latest of a series of weekly pro-secular demonstrations against the government ahead of elections. The choice of Samsun as the venue for the latest protest was symbolic. It was in the Black Sea port city 88 years ago that Ataturk launched a liberation movement...after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the first world war.

Despite its Islamist roots, the [ruling AKP] party has pledged commitment to secularism and carried out reforms that secured the opening of membership talks with the EU and stabilised the economy.

Opponents say the party still harbours Islamist ambitions, pointing at AKP policies such as opposition to a ban on the headscarf in universities and public offices, encouragement of religious schools and a failed attempt to restrict alcohol sales.


Post a Comment

<< Home