Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The rise of Turkish Islamism

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Following on from yesterday's post about Turkish creationist Harun Yahya, it's well worth listening to this episode of Radio 4's Crossing Continents. With a view to the upcoming Turkish elections on July 22, presenter Tim Whewell travels to Kayseri in eastern Turkey, the stronghold of the ruling Islamist AKP Party and home to a growing Islamist elite. He finds that Kayseri is a world apart from the largely secular cities of Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara, and hears how life in the city has changed since the AKP came to power. Worryingly, towards the end of the episode Whewell discovers that Kayseri's schools are becoming slowly Islamicised, with the local AKP Party, including its deputy chairman, advocating the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in science lessons.

With the Turkish elections just days away, it is worth referring to Ahmet Altan's piece in the current New Humanist, where he warns that the outcome could have fateful consequences for us all.

(thanks Frank)

2 comments:

HughCaldwell said...

You have to read the New Humanist article carefully. It says that the Islamic party is actually more 'Western' than the secularists.

'It is at this point that there emerges a historical paradox: because the more western,second group knows that it will never come to power again if it observes western political ideas, it is becoming antagonistic to western democratic values.
But those in the first group, whose values are inimical to the West, know they will only take power by accepting western criteria. The result is that they are trying to appropriate democratic values and enhance their relations with the west.'

Paul Sims said...

That's true Hugh. I was just pointing out that we had an article about the Turkish situation, rather than suggesting the view on Crossing Continents was similar to that in Altan's article. It's an intriguing situation - definitely worth monitoring over the next few weeks.