T Nation

Turkish Ppl Reject Islamic Gvt

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/04/30/Worldandnation/Islam___secular_colli.shtml

From the article above, nearly a million turks are protesting the Islamic government of Turkey and demanding are return to a more secular government.

Although Turkey is a long way from the Arabian Penninsula, it is an influential muslim nation. Ataturk founded modern Turkey as a secular nation with a strong seperation between church and state, a tradition that the Arabian Penninsula doesn’t have.

Could this be sign of things to come in other muslim nations?

I think your analysis of this is completely off. A moderate Islamic party governing Turkey is exactly what we want to see, because it shows Muslims that faith and democratic politics can intersect, as in America (but not Europe, for the most part).

The Islamic Welfare Party’s moves toward Muslim tradition have been tentative and rare, for example briefly trying to criminalize adultery.

Turkey’s history of secularism is a good thing, but the military takes its role as guardian of Ataturk’s legacy so seriously that it has often intervened in politics in the past.

Islamic democracy is far better than military dictatorship.

You have some good points. I think even a moderate Islamic government is bad news if they can strive for a better seperation of church and state.

I think a seperation of church and state is necessary for a democracy, but very hard to achieve. The U.S. isn’t good at it, neither is Turkey.

I think as long as they are trying, they are moving in the right direction. Turkey could be a model of an islamic society whose government is not driven by the religion at all.

I think in that country, the military is a necessary sanity check on the government. Perhaps Turkey could be a model for the Iraqi government, including the occasional military coup.

Perhaps more militaries should step in when the governments of thier countries get out of hand.

Islamic democracy is an oxymoron as far as I’m concerned.

In fact, it’s not only Islam, but any religion. The problem with mixing religion and politics is that when the rules “are from God,” you can’t change them, even when they’re wrong.

Governments should be secular. A religious constituency can vote for laws that agree with their religious views; that’s what democracy is all about. But when you enshrine those laws and try to make them last forever and force them on others who share neither your views nor your beliefs, problems - serious ones - arise.

So vote your religion-friendly laws, but allow for your descendants and future generations to be able to see it otherwise and for them to be able to change the laws according to their time and values.

Separation of Church and State has to be one of the best political ideas ever.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Separation of Church and State has to be one of the best political ideas ever.
[/quote]
Can I get a Ramen?!

Let me also add that Turkey is way ahead of the curve in regard to secularity. The fact that I can walk into a pub in Istanbul and order a Raki speaks volumes to their culture.

[quote]BH6 wrote:
Could this be sign of things to come in other muslim nations? [/quote]

No. Turkey’s history is quite unique in the middle east. In Turkey the secular nationalist Kemalists managed to build a functional and prosperous society out of significantly different conditions than typically seen in the middle east- it was much more cosmopolitan where it counted. Secular nationalism has been a complete failure throughout the rest of the middle east though and is now considered a bankrupt philosophy, which is why the moved on to islamism as the proposed engine of reform.

Egypt, Syria, Iraqi (and all) baathism, Mushariffs regime- these are all amongst the examples of attempts at secular nationalism which have failed so miserably.

Political philosophy in the middle east has been somewhat cyclical since the mid-19th century and it stands to reason that once all the current regimes are gone and somewhat forgotten, with instead islamist government or something else fresh in mind, they might come around to secular nationalism again, with possibly- or not- better results. But for the time being, it probably will remain infeasible throughout the region due to the political realities.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
pookie wrote:
Separation of Church and State has to be one of the best political ideas ever.

Can I get a Ramen?!

Let me also add that Turkey is way ahead of the curve in regard to secularity. The fact that I can walk into a pub in Istanbul and order a Raki speaks volumes to their culture.[/quote]

Ataturk was an alcoholic with a particular fondness for raki. As great leaders tend to do, he died of cirrhosis. The military would stage a coup if anyone tried to fuck with the nation’s raki.

[quote]etaco wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
pookie wrote:
Separation of Church and State has to be one of the best political ideas ever.

Can I get a Ramen?!

Let me also add that Turkey is way ahead of the curve in regard to secularity. The fact that I can walk into a pub in Istanbul and order a Raki speaks volumes to their culture.

Ataturk was an alcoholic with a particular fondness for raki. As great leaders tend to do, he died of cirrhosis. The military would stage a coup if anyone tried to fuck with the nation’s raki. [/quote]

Off topic but…
Raki almost ended my career as an Officer one evening in Turkey back in 2000.

That is some good stuff. I though a cabbie was going to kill me after I booted on his back seat. He kicked us out of the cab and we had to walk 2 miles back to our ship. Good times.

BH6,

[quote]BH6 wrote:
You have some good points. I think even a moderate Islamic government is bad news if they can strive for a better seperation of church and state.

I think a seperation of church and state is necessary for a democracy, but very hard to achieve. The U.S. isn’t good at it, neither is Turkey.[/quote]

So far I agree with you.

Hm, but it seems they are not:

Turkey abuse claims ‘on the rise’

An EU delegation on a fact-finding mission to Turkey has reported a “worrying” increase in allegations of torture and abuse in the country.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5371044.stm

One of the main reasons why Turkey’s application for the EU membership has been dragging along so slowly is its problematic human rights record. And the Turkish military has played a very bad role over decades on this part.

[quote]I think in that country, the military is a necessary sanity check on the government. Perhaps Turkey could be a model for the Iraqi government, including the occasional military coup.

Perhaps more militaries should step in when the governments of thier countries get out of hand.[/quote]

I find that a very problematic statement - essentially it turns democracy on its head, by making governments report to the military, not the military report to the government. History is full of examples how fucked up these ‘benevolent attempts’ of restoring order have usually ended.

Makkun

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Let me also add that Turkey is way ahead of the curve in regard to secularity. The fact that I can walk into a pub in Istanbul and order a Raki speaks volumes to their culture.[/quote]

Err…what other independent Muslim countries refused to serve you alcohol? The only ones I can think of are Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iran. Libya is passing a law allowing it as we speak, and the ban has never been harshly enforced in the first place. There are over 50 Muslim countries around the world, so the proportion is something like 5%. Yet, the stereotype persists.

On a side note, Hash is tolerated in many Islamic countries.

[quote]lixy wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Let me also add that Turkey is way ahead of the curve in regard to secularity. The fact that I can walk into a pub in Istanbul and order a Raki speaks volumes to their culture.

Err…what other independent Muslim countries refused to serve you alcohol? The only ones I can think of are Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iran. Libya is passing a law allowing it as we speak, and the ban has never been harshly enforced in the first place. There are over 50 Muslim countries around the world, so the proportion is something like 5%. Yet, the stereotype persists.

On a side note, Hash is tolerated in many Islamic countries.

[/quote]
Ohhh sweet hash…how you mock me.

Though, the European/Moroccan way of mixing with tobacco is a waste to me. I hate tobacco.

Yeah, I realize it is a stereotype and seeing as I’ve only ever been to Morocco and Turkey, as far as “Muslim” countries go, I make the assumption that Alcohol is a no-no. I had a friend who was in Iraq who told me that he could get good Whiskey…but it was very taboo. I don’t have any personal experience to back this up.

I use Turkey as an example because it is the only country that in my mind has a national drink that I was told I absolutely must try while I was there. Other than hash I could not say the same for Morocco.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
lixy wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Let me also add that Turkey is way ahead of the curve in regard to secularity. The fact that I can walk into a pub in Istanbul and order a Raki speaks volumes to their culture.

Err…what other independent Muslim countries refused to serve you alcohol? The only ones I can think of are Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iran. Libya is passing a law allowing it as we speak, and the ban has never been harshly enforced in the first place. There are over 50 Muslim countries around the world, so the proportion is something like 5%. Yet, the stereotype persists.

On a side note, Hash is tolerated in many Islamic countries.

Ohhh sweet hash…how you mock me.

Though, the European/Moroccan way of mixing with tobacco is a waste to me. I hate tobacco.

Yeah, I realize it is a stereotype and seeing as I’ve only ever been to Morocco and Turkey, as far as “Muslim” countries go, I make the assumption that Alcohol is a no-no. I had a friend who was in Iraq who told me that he could get good Whiskey…but it was very taboo. I don’t have any personal experience to back this up.

I use Turkey as an example because it is the only country that in my mind has a national drink that I was told I absolutely must try while I was there. Other than hash I could not say the same for Morocco.[/quote]

Morocco is known for it’s fig eau-de-vie called “ma hya”.

http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgresults.cfm?destination=marrakesh@183&cur_section=din&property_id=143827

[quote]k.elkouhen wrote:
Morocco is known for it’s fig eau-de-vie called “ma hya”.

http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgresults.cfm?destination=marrakesh@183&cur_section=din&property_id=143827
[/quote]

Darn! You beat me to it.

[quote]lixy wrote:
k.elkouhen wrote:
Morocco is known for it’s fig eau-de-vie called “ma hya”.

http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgresults.cfm?destination=marrakesh@183&cur_section=din&property_id=143827

Darn! You beat me to it.
[/quote]

Now I have a reason to go back; plus I would like to see something other than a port city.