European Union Skeptical of Closure Case In Turkey

There is growing concern in many European nations over efforts by defenders of secularism in Turkey to use the court system in an effort to destroy the ruling Justice and Development Party(AKP) whose leaders are accused of seeking to impose a strict Muslim code of behavior on the nation. Guther Krichbaum, chair of an EU committee, said the closure case “will be a litmus test to prove how strong the democracy in Turkey is. We are convinced that Turkey will finally choose the responsbile way to get out of this crisis.” The Constitutional Court on March 31 agreed to hear a case brought by the chief prosecutor which would result in driving from power the AKP on grounds it violates Turkey’s secular constitution.

Most European leaders are concerned that a political party which was freely elected could be forced from power by a non-elected court even though no evidence has ever been presented that AKP leaders are advocating any form of volence. The political arena should be the scene of discussion, not a court which will rely on statements made through the years by AKP leaders. The central issue is the presence of any evidence AKP leaders are threatening the rights of opposition parties.

The only example of “Islamisation” brought by opponents is the decision to allow female students at the university to wear a headscarf on collge grounds. There undoubtedly are examples at the local level where city authorities banned the sale of alcohol, but no such effort has ever been made in the Turkish parliament.