Posted by: becketfund | May 17, 2009

Turkey: Thousands March in Anti-Government Protest Over Religious Proposals

ANKARA – Thousands of anti-government protesters marched in Turkey’s capital on Sunday, calling on Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to resign for what they say are violations of the country’s secular principles, Reuters reported on May 17.  Erdogan’s opponents have said that he wants to make Turkey more overtly Islamic through incremental steps, like failed attempts to end a ban on the Islamic-style headscarf at universities.  The ruling AK Party narrowly escaped a ban in 2008 on charges it was undermining Turkey’s secular constitution.  Critics of the government’s proposed changes say they would threaten the nation’s founding principle of secularism. Turkey’s population of 71 million people is 99 percent Muslim, but the state strictly controls religion.

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