The Turkish government is endeavoring to deal with the problem of Kurdish rebels who are in Kurdistan without antagnizing the government of Iraq or that of the United States. At the same time, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is being challenged internally by both nationalist and moderate groups. Moderates fear the government of President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan is trying to end the secular tradition of the nation by emphasizing Muslim attitudes such as ending the ban on headscarfs in universities. Moderates regard it as the opening salvo in a campaign to transform the nation into a fundamentalist center. Nationalists are angry at failure to continue the campaign in Kurdistan and blame American interference with ending the Turkish strike into northern Iraq.
The situation has been further complicated by a public prosecutor who has brought charges the AKP has become the center of anti-secular activities and thus is in violation of the Turkish constitution. Hasim Kilic, the Constitutional Court President is urging everyone to step back for a moment and consider what is best for the nation. He emphasized, “as long as the institutions are functioning in Turkey, no one should be worried.”
There is no question the Erdogan government is determined to push through an end to the ban on wearing the headscarf in universities. Hopefully, all sides can find a compromise that assures secularists their rights will not be compromised while allowing some leewayto Muslim women in universities.