The ruling Justice and Development Party of Turkey breathed a sigh of relief after its nation’s Constitutional Court decided not to close down the AKP on grounds it has been fostering creation of a Muslim oriented government which threatens the rights of those who believe in secular values. The Constitutional Court warned that the AKP had become a gathering ground of those who wish to impose Sharia law which would violate the traditions of the Turkish nation. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan pledged to acknowledge the gravity of the situation and to be cognizant of his party’s need to ensure those who believe in secular values would have their rights protected. “The AKP, which has never been a focal point of anti-secular activities, will continue to defend the basic principles of the Republic.”
Erdogan and other AKP leaders promised to reach out to secular leaders in an attempt to ensure their views are respected an work to avoid having the nation become split on religious grounds. Erdogan is expected to establish a constitutional reconciliation commission to reach consensus and guarantee the secular values of Turkey continue.
The Constitutional Court of Turkey is to be commended for not closing down a major party and by urging the AKP to be more mindful of the rights of those who support secularism. There is hope Turkey will address human rights issues in preparation for submitting its request to enter the European Union.