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Mr Pipes, you misread Turkey

Reader comment on item: A Critical Moment For Turkey

Submitted by Atilla Yayla (Turkey), May 16, 2007 at 05:47

Mr Pipes,

I am sorry to say that you are completely misreading Turkey. I sincerly hope that this is not due to your prejudges against Islam and Muslims. Let me summarize my views about our political system. Turkey is not a secular country in the universal sense. It has a state religion that consists of two parts: Light sunniism and Kemalism. No doubt that there are some Islamist groups who want to see an Islamic regime established in Turkey. But they are a tiny minority in the society. And they have nothing to do with the ruling Justice and Development Party. I see that you share the rethoric of radical Kemalists by mentioning "the hidden agenda" of AKP. If it is hidden how do you know it exists? The party has been in power for almost five years. Can you show me the laws it passed, or attempted to pass, to establish an Islamic regime?

Mr Pipes,

I suppose you are a democrat and have some knowledge of democracy. Therefore you must know trhat If Turkey is really to be a democratic county every segment of society should have a right to participate and share political power. The system wanted to keep large religious masses away from doing this for decades. It does not work anymore. Turkey is rapidly cahanging socilogically. The only way to preserve the so called secular system from influences conservative masses have over the system is to establish an open and brute dictatorship. Is this what you want to see in Turkey? I believe people like you should promote democracy not dictatorship in Turkey be it in the name of secularism, modernity, religion or anything else.

May I recommend you to renew your information sources about Turkey.

Sincerely

Atilla Yayla

Professor of Politics and Political Economy
Turkey

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