Recep Erdogan is the president of Turkey after spending many years as its prime minister. He began his rise to power with the desire to transform his nation into a modern symbol of what a Muslim society could become in the Middle East. Initially, he worked with Israel and displayed sympathy and understanding of that nation. In fairness to Erdogan, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went out of its way to antagonize Turkey and even murder some of its citizens who were on a ship heading for Gaza with humanitarian supplies. Gradually, Erdogan has gathered all power in the nation. He has crushed efforts by Turkish students who dare to demand rights to participate in a democratic society. At the same time, Erdogan seeks membership in the European Union. However, his policies of increasing Muslim domination of a society in which at least forty percent are secular Muslims or those of other religions has led him to impose laws that contradict European values.
The latest Erdogan push is to impose increasing Muslim education in public schools. One family in which dad is a Christian and his wife is a Muslim now confronts a problem. Christians and Jews are excused from compulsory religious education, but Turks carry identify cards. They left blank, “religion” on the ground their son should decide at age 18 what to fill in. Now, he must take compulsory Muslim education lectures. Such is the power of Recep Erdogan.