Sunday, November 05, 2006

Secularist Turks stage anti-government march

Reuters About 12,000 Turkish secularists marched in the capital on Saturday to protest against what they see as a rising Islamist influence under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government, Anatolian news agency said. The demonstrators, who represented 112 non-governmental organisations, shouted "Turkey is secular, will remain secular" and "Independent Turkey" and protested against Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has roots in political Islam. Overwhelmingly Muslim, Turkey is governed by secular laws that separate religion and state.

And if that changes, their desire to join the EU will definitely be hurt.
Since winning 2002 elections, Erdogan's government has alarmed secularists by promoting an increase of religious schools, seeking to lift a ban on wearing Islamic headscarves in universities and government offices and filling senior government posts with Islamists.

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