May 01 2007

Watch Turkey For The Future Direction Of Islam

Published by at 7:35 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT

Al Qaeda’s brutality has not gone unnoticed in one other democratically governed nation with a heavy Muslim population. Turkey, right on Iraq’s northern border, is seeing the methods used by al Qaeda to try and bend one democracy to its will. And what is sees is disturbing the nation, shaking it to its core:

Turkey’s highest court met Tuesday to try to decide on an appeal by the main opposition party to cancel the disputed presidential vote amid reports that a legal expert has advised the court to reject it.

The Constitutional Court’s decision is crucial for the future of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government, which is at odds with the country’s secular establishment over fears it might be trying raise the profile of Islam in public life.

The candidacy of Gul, a close ally of Erdogan, has triggered an outcry from secular groups who think he would use the office – a post with veto power over legislation – to chip away at the separation of state and religion.

This is more than a judicial process. In the past few days the Turkish Army made an amazing statement regarding the Presidential election process:

Turkey’s government has fired back at the military, saying an army statement expressing concern over presidential elections was not acceptable in a democracy.

The powerful pro-secular military said late on Friday that it was monitoring the elections with concern and indicated it was willing to become more openly involved in the process.

In a statement posted on its website, the military said: ” … this is a test case if the Turkish armed forces respect democratic secularism and the democratic arrangement of civil-military relations.”

While the Army cannot and should not get involved (especially since it is an arm of NATO), I can understand their position. In a radical Islamic state the army is asked to perform much of the brutality and killing. They turn from proud defenders to hated murderers. As long as things remain under control, it is not a bad thing the Army has let it be known what they defend.

But one thing is clear. The Iraq situation has caused a major pause in Turkey regarding what had been their path towards a more Islamic driven government. If there is a silver lining in Iraq, this would be one part of it.

One response so far

One Response to “Watch Turkey For The Future Direction Of Islam”

  1. ama055131 says:

    Turkeys army has overthrown it’s political leaders on 4 or 5 occasions with the same threat they are using now. The only difference is that the military does not want to be in control of the political process. I find this to be refreshing considering that most militaries would try and take over the country, but Turkey is a secular nation. The one million people demonstration this weekend
    against the Pres. of Turkey and his wife should give a true indication of how the people of Turkey are secular and do not want to go back to the 15th century.