LATEST REGARDING TURKEY!
by FARZANA HASSAN [The Calgary Sun - Friday June 29 - 2018]
The results of Turkey's Sunday election were hardly surprising. Turkey was once defined by its secular past, but Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist leader of an increasingly Islamist country, has won a majority and arrogated powers that no former Turkish president has claimed. As the first executive president, Erdogan has the chance to remain in control for another 10 years. Expanded presidential powers were approved in a referendum last year, and a new constitution is now in place.
Yet the re-elected president insists that what happened on Sunday is a victory for democracy. He may be partly correct. After all, a whopping 86% of Turks-voted in the election. The parliament is diverse, with the Kurdish party gaining ground in this election and Erdogan winning only by a simple majority.
This is little consolation, because the president's specific new powers include some disturbing signs of autocracy.
He can simply decree a new law into existence. He can also appoint the cabinet and vice-presidents, because the post of the prime minister has been abolished.
The executive president can even appoint judges, with the approval of parliament. This undermines the independence of the judiciary, which is crucial to the effective functioning of a democracy.
The drafting of the budget is now also in the hands of the executive president, and he can dissolve parliament to allow for new elections. Despite these ominous developments, the Turks have voted him in. No doubt Erdogan’s economic policies have contributed to his success in the elections, but his popularity seems based more on identity politics, in this case of the Islamist variety.
Muslim sentiment has become quite palpable in Turkey. The opposition had tried to take some of the vote from this lobby by approving the Islamic headscarf. Erdogan's new-found sweeping powers will guarantee an even more visible presence of the Islamist symbols that were once outlawed by modern Turkey's secular founder, Kernel Ataturk, who fervently separated religion and state.
New mosques have been built. More women now wear headscafves, and new laws allow serving female army officers and cadets to wear hijabs. Secularism does not mean the absence of religion. Rather, it means people are free to practice their faith as long as they recognize others people’s rights not to, or to practice a different faith.
This new Turkish official piety is not an issue if the clear separation of religion and state is maintained.
Erdogan has said he will preserve Turkey’s secular character and that the state will maintain a measured detachment on matters of faith.
This is now, but will such commendable even-handed treatment continue after Erdogan's expanded powers come into play?
There are already calls from within his own party to draft an Islamic rather than a secular constitution. In order to stay in power and appease his conservative religious party members, will Erdogan inch toward Islamizing the constitution?
He may cower under religious pressure — perhaps even happily — in those 10 more long years he has in office.
Much remains to be seen. Historically what has happened in Islamic countries is that if the public becomes more religiously grounded, demands for a religious constitution also increase. It has happened in Pakistan and Iran. Can Turkey's proud secular history save it from being next.
TURKEY IS TO PLAY A KEY IN END TIME PROPHECY; AND IT IS NOT A GOOD ONE!!!
YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT THAT NATION WILL DO, AND WHAT PUNISHMENT IT WILL FINALLY BE GIVEN, IN MY EXPOUNDING OF ALL THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETIC BOOKS OF THE BIBLE, UNDER “PROPHECY” ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt