Is Someone Dividing Turkey?

The “moderate” Muslim Justice and Development Party of Turkey has been praised for its willingness to not impose Sharia law upon its population. But, under the regime of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan there is an increasing tendency to arrest those who oppose his government. Erdogan banned celebrations of Republic Day which commemorated the establishment of modern Turkey since Ataturk was anti-rule of clerics. However, President Abdullah Gul, once again, disagreed with the hard line tactics of Erdogan and urged the governor of Ankara to support people who wanted to celebrate.

Erdogan complained that Gul had exceeded his authority and that “double-headed rule” was not appropriate for the country. Gul politely responded: “there is nothing more normal than, me, as the president, urging authorities’ attention to decent celebration of Republic Day.”

A conflict is emerging in their political party between Erdogan who wants to push for more Muslim religion in life and Gul who seeks to maintain the current balance of secular and religious life.