Separation of Mosque and State, and Secularism, Under Threat in Turkey

August 31, 2006

Source: BBC News

On August 31, 2006 BBC News reported, "Turkey's government strongly denies that it wants to undermine secularism. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an eager proponent of Turkey joining the European Union, recently stressed the need to 'strengthen democracy, secularism... and the rule of law.' But there is an increasing number of people in Turkey who doubt his secular credentials. His government has its roots in a party banned several years ago for allegedly trying to Islamise the country. His so far unsuccessful efforts to ease the headscarf ban, to promote religious vocational schools, to criminalise adultery and discourage alcohol consumption have outraged the secularists who are prominent in Turkey's judiciary, academia and above all in its military."