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Don't confuse Turks with Islamists living in Turkey

Reader comment on item: Islamist Turkey Overreaches

Submitted by Lazman (United States), Jun 8, 2010 at 14:00

Until recently Turkey had different minorities, with those who regarded themselves as Turks being the majority. Some years back, following elections of PM Erdogan and his AKP government, a fascinating survey revealed that almost all of those who voted for the opposition secularist party considered themselves as Turk first Muslim second. And those who voted for AKP considered themselves Muslim first and Turk second.

Another example emerging from the flotilla event. To my knowledge, during the last 90 years, following the formation of the Republic of Turkey, the word sehit (martyr) was used exclusively for those who died during their service to the state of Turkey, mainly soldiers or policemen. However, now the 9 Turks who died on the Mavi Marmara are treated as martyrs and in this case the term sehit is used to imply a Muslim who died for lslam. Result: the 6 Turkish soldiers who were truly martyrs (sehit) killed by RPG ambush on the same day by PKK terrorists were buried with their coffins wrapped the red Turkish flag; these 9 who were killed on the boat by Israeli soldiers were treated as martyrs but with coffins wrapped in green Islamic flags.

What you are seeing today is a country that Erdogan and AKP managed and continue to severely divide. Therefore, do not confuse the secularist Turks or the Turks (period) who feel like a minority living with the Islamists in Turkey.


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