Thursday 2nd Oct 2014
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TURKEY'S ULTRA SECULARISTS AT THE RECEIVING END

Muslim World

The ultra secularists of Turkey are up in arms despite Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision not to stand for the Republic's presidency.  Abdullah Gul, deputy prime minister and foreign minister, will be a candidate for the presidency of the ruling Justice and Development party.  Abdullah Gul is a popular person as he led Turkey's efforts to join the E.U.

 

The main opposition, the Republican People's party has to bank not on popular votes but on the support of the army that has assumed the role of the guardian of the secular state. Secularism of the Turkish type cannot afford to bank upon public support as much water has flown since the days of Ataturk. The only bastion of these people that may come to their rescue is the army.

Abdullah Gul's wife Hayrunisa shall be the focus of opposition as her headscarf is an eyesore for them. She has been an activist in support of the headscarf. She had struggled for Turkish women's rights to wear the headscarf at government offices and campuses.  A ban on wearing the headscarf on campuses and in public office is still in force. Thus the sight of Turkey's first lady in a scarf would be abhorrence to the ultra secularists. Abdullah Gul is certain of victory, an outcome that could make Ms. Hayrunisa the only first lady in the Turkish modern history to wear the Islamic attire at the presidential palace.

 



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