The Constitutional Court of Turkey scolded Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for undermining the nation’s secular principles although it stopped short of demanding his resignation. The court in July fined the Islamist -rooted Justice and Development Party(AKP) for fostering an anti-secular attitude in government. However, the Court ruled: “It was found that the head of the party(AKP)Recep Tayyip Erdogan, member of the party and former parliament speaker Bulent Arinc, Education Minister Huseyin Celik–were involved in determined and intense activities which were against Aricle 68 of the constitution.”
The Court decision focused on how Erdogan and other members of the AKP attempted to lift the ban on women being able to wear a headscarf in universities. It also mentioned statements made by Erdogan in which he said, “religion is the cement of Turkish society.” Erdogan argued he was simply trying to make clear there was freedom of speech in a religious society. The Court is sending a message to the AKP to be careful regarding which aspects of Turkish society they wish to change.