Turkey’s police detained twenty people who are suspected of organizing a coup which would overthrow the existing moderate Muslim led government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and replace it with a staunchly secularist government. Among the twenty arrested were three retired generals including Genereal Sener Eruygar, who is a member of Ergenekon which is behind the coup, and the secularist Atatukist thought Association(ADD) which was planning demonstrations to create chaos in the nation. The plan entailed holding rallies in 40 counties on July 7 which would demand an end to the AKP and support for a secular government. yesterday, there were rallies in Gaziantes and Istanbul which called for “Respect for the State of Law” and “Respect for an Independent Judiciary.” The rallies were intended to show support for the Public Prosecutor who is trying to close down the AKP and the Constitutional Court which soon will render a decision.
There is genuine fear and concern among many secularists about the long term goals of the AKP. Even the head of the Chamber of Commerce was part of the planned coup since it was his task to tell the public Turkey’s economy was collapsing. It is necessary for secularists who believe in democracy and those in the AKP who intend to respect secular rights, to come together and work out compromises on issues such as the right to wear a headscarf in college.