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Islam In Turkey

Reader comment on item: A Million Moderate Muslims on the March

Submitted by Batur Gurbuzer (Turkey), May 23, 2007 at 09:26

As a turkish university student who lives in Ankara (the capital city), and a participant of the mentioned mass rallies, I can assure you that there are millions of people in Turkey who one can call moderates. Our ideals of secularism and modernism are deeply rooted in the urban society and military.

I won't deny that we still have much way to go, to achieve Kemal's goal to be among most modern societies, but as an agricultural country which suffered for so many years in the shadow of cold war and in a region so volatile and underdeveloped, our first priority sometimes becomes defense rather than education.

Still, fundamentalist ıslamists are a small portion of our population, which one should not confuse with traditional islamic beliefs of rural turks. However from the posts I have read I can see that there are those who won't even consider peaceful coexistence with muslims (or any foreign culture maybe) moderate or not. I hope this does not reflect the mainstream point of view of the western world.


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