29 April 2007

Turkey's Resurgent Islamism

Istanbul Rally [Screenshot from BBC News]This blog has raised various concerns about events in Turkey and the apparent threat to the country's modern, secular foundations. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the voices of the 1,000,000 people who took part in today's rally in Istanbul plus the 300,000 in Ankara a fortnight ago will prevail.

The protesters are calling for the government's resignation over the Islamist roots of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its presidential candidate, the present Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Crucially, the protesters enjoy the support of the military, which is one of Turkey's most respected institutions and has led three direct coups against elected governments in the last half-century (in 1960, 1971 and 1980, also helping to engineer the "post-modern coup" of 1997 against the then Islamic-oriented government).

If any of our readers in Turkey could provide additional insight or a personal perspective, please do leave a comment or else email me.