Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [Atatürk](1881-1938) the founder of the Turkish Republic and its first President
Huge rally for Turkish secularism Hat tip: desert rat
The rally is being described as a huge show of forceBBC, full story here.
Tens of thousands of people are rallying in Istanbul in support of secularism in Turkey, amid a row over a vote for the country's next president.
The protesters are concerned that the ruling party's candidate for the post remains loyal to his Islamic roots.
The candidate, Abdullah Gul, earlier said he would not quit despite growing criticism from opponents and the army.
Mr Gul failed to win election in a first round vote in parliament as opposition MPs boycotted the vote.
They are also challenging its validity in the Constitutional Court.
An army statement on Friday accused the government of tolerating radical Islam and vowed to defend secularism.
1950: Born in Kayseri
1991: Elected to parliament for pro-Islamist Welfare Party
2001: One of founders of AK
2002-03: Prime minister
2003: Foreign minister, leading EU accession talks
Profile: Abdullah Gul
Mr Gul has steered Turkey's European Union accession talks as foreign minister and is seen as less confrontational than Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development (AK) party.
"The president must be loyal to secular principles. If I am elected, I will act accordingly," he said after his nomination for the presidency.
But some analysts say he is closer to his religious roots, and his wife would be the first First Lady to wear a headscarf, a deeply divisive statement in Turkey.
Atatürk is the founder of the concept of a modern reformed Islamic state. He undertook a series of reforms to "raise Turkey to the level of modern civilization" which can be grouped under five titles. Compare that to the damage done to modernism by our dear friends the Saudis.
1. Political Reforms
- Abolishment of the office of the Sultan (November 1922)
- Proclamation of the Republic (29 October 1923)
- Abolishment of the caliph (3 March 1924)
- Recognition of equal rights to men and women (1926 - 1934)
- Reform of Headgear and Dress (25 November 1925)
- Closure of mausoleums and dervish lodges (30 November 1925)
- Law on family names (21 June 1934)
- Abolishment of titles and by-names (26 November 1934)
- Adoption of international calendar, hours and measurements (1925 - 1931)
- Abolishment of the Canon Law (1924 - 1937)
- Transfer to a secular law structure by adoption of Turkish Civil Code and other laws (1924 - 1937)
- Unification of education (3 March 1924)
- Adoption of new Turkish alphabet (1 November 1928)
- Establishment of Turkish Language and History Institutions (1931 - 1932)
- Regulation of the university education (31 May 1933)
- Innovations in fine arts
- Abolution of tithe
- Encouragement of the farmers
- Establishment of model farms
- Establishment of industrial facilities, and putting into effect a law for Incentives for the Industry
whit's two cents:
(I was preparing a post on the same subject so I'll piggyback on Duece's post.)
I was struck this week by two related news stories which if nothing else, document the spread of the cancer that is fundamentalist Islam. The first story, the big one getting all the attention, is the Presidential race in Turkey where there is great concern in the military as well as the general public about Abdullah Gul's loyalties and priorities; If elected, will he support and promote a secular Turkey or will his Islamic beliefs cause him to take the country in a more fundamentalist direction? Two weeks ago more than than 300,000 people gathered in support of a secular Turkey. This week, the military shook things up with their announcement that they are bound to support a secular Turkey. Gul and his party, sought to assure the public that they do not seek an Islamic government. I believe that Gul's party has been moving Turkey in a more fundamentalist direction and the Turkish public has serious misgivings about his loyalty to a secular Turkey. I do too. The question is whether Gul's party can be trusted but based on recent history the answer would appear to be no. Not because their intentions are not good but because there are too many fundamentalists who have shown no compunction in reasserting control in the name of Allah. How many suicide bombings and beheadings must we witness before we decide that these people are serious about their "mission for God." In this climate, the moderates will be overcome with violence and the despotism of the zealots. Unchecked, the Islamists will reign.
BBC is reporting on the Crackdown in Iran over Dress Codes.
Thousands of Iranian women have been cautioned over their poor Islamic dress this week and several hundred arrested in the capital Tehran in the most fierce crackdown on what's known as "bad hijab" for more than a decade.
It is the talk of the town. The latest police crackdown on Islamic dress has angered many Iranians - male, female, young and old.
But Iranian TV has reported that an opinion poll conducted in Tehran found 86% of people were in favour of the crackdown - a statistic that is surprising given the strength of feeling against this move.
Police cars are stationed outside major shopping centres in Tehran.
They are stopping pedestrians and even cars - warning female drivers not to show any hair - and impounding the vehicles and arresting the women if they argue back.
Middle-aged women, foreign tourists and journalists have all been harassed, not just the young and fashionably dressed.
Overnight the standard of what is acceptable dress has slipped back.
The story went on to quote a very plucky 15-year old girl who wanted the world to know that she and her friends were being oppressed. I hate to think about all the spirit of that girl being beaten out of her as she is eventually forced to conform to the misogyny of religious thugs.
In Turkey and Iran, real, everyday people are on the front lines struggling against militant Islam and it is paramount for the west to find ways to support the people who will resist the fundamentalists. It is up to us to figure out how to best help those who are "in the trenches."