Bekir Coskun: Turbaned secularity

Friday, October 05 2007 @ 09:46 am UTC

By Bekir Coskun

Just take a look at our current lot in life:

Teravih (special Ramazan evening prayers) hour: "Reception"
The title of the turban-wearing president's wife: The "first lady"
The emblem: A light-bulb, which was invented by the Catholic Edison.... The target: EU, but the direction taken: Middle Ages


And thus "turbaned secularity" emerges before us, amongst these interesting combinations.

Don't ask "can there really be such a thing as 'turbaned secularity'?"

Because there is....

This was the most striking aspect of Abdullah Gul's EU trip; while he spent time there giving all sorts of guarantees about secularity, what he was really doing was trying to open the path to "turbans" (headscarves) within the structure of the EU.

Yes, the supposedly objective President, whose oath has been to protect the secular Republic, brought his example with him to Strasbourg: The turban-wearing First Lady.


"You can forget about the EU..."

This was the title of one of my column's last week. And this week, on Tuesday, this was the headline of the daily Sabah newspaper: "If secularity is watered down, you can forget about the EU..."

But the headline did not come from me; it was spoken by the President of the Europe Council Parliamentary Assembly, Dutch politician Rene van der Linden. In an interview with Turkish reporter Nur Batur, this "Gul embracing" head of the Europe Council repeats over and over: "If Turkey wants to be a part of Europe, religion and the state must be separate."


We all know that both the objective (!) President and the AKP administration are absolutely determined to first allow the turban into Turkish universities, and then into all the various ranks of state offices.

But at the same time, they are supposedly going to be "protecting secularity."

Let's see how that goes.

Will a secularity decked out in turbans and cloaks really carry us all the way to EU-inspired civilization?

Yes, I think the AKP has done Turkey a great dis-service. Too bad...

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