The case brought by the Turkish Public Prosecutor against the Justice and Development Party(AKP)for seeking to install a Muslim based government that would end the nation’s secular institutions and beliefs is rapidly coming to a conclusion The AKP responded to the Prosecutor’s charges with a 90 page document that, in effect, claims he was derelict in his responsibilities to present a legal document rather than one which is characterized by assumptions and future speculations. He completely rejected the charge of being a “focal point of anti-secularist activity” arguing that was an assumption unsupported by any actual evidence. The AKP also emphasized the very concept of closing down a political party which has the support of most people in a nation is in violation of the European Court of Human Rights.
Inherent in the case brought by the Public Prosecutor are several assumptions concerning what will occur in the future if the AK party is allowed to continue functioning as an arm of the government. It did support allowing females to wear a headscarf in the university, but that does not constitute overthrowing Turkey’s secular traditions. The real issue is not whether females can wear a headscarf in the university but whether that practice will filter down through Turkish secondary schools and compel all girls to wear a headscarf.
The Justice and Development Party stated clearly: “In fact, the AK Party has not become the focal point of deeds against the law but is serving the nation, human rights, democracy, brotherhood, tolerance and the love of Turkey.”
Secular sections of Turkey have justifiable fears that must be addressed by the AKP. Perhaps, its greatest failure as a political organization is an inability to reach out to secular groups and leaders.