Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Islamic Ruling Party in Turkey may be Banned

The political conflict between the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the secular nationalist Republican People's Party (CHP) and its allies is entering a new stage. Secular (Kemalist: named after the founder of the modern Turkish Republic) prosecutors are asking the Constitutional Court to outlaw the AKP and ban the prime minister and president from holding office because of “antisecular activity” like allowing once banned head scarves on university campuses.

The banishment movement has the backing of the Kemalist elite and military. In the past, any effort to impose a greater Islamic identity on Turkey was viewed as an attack against Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s reforms. Turkey has basically been a functioning democracy with the military as the enforcers of democracy in the mold of the cult-like figure of Kemal. The military has done coups in the past against perceived threats.

The court has also outlawed parties before including parties in the mold of the AKP such as the National Order Party, Welfare Party, and the Virtue Party. Plus, most of the judges on the bench (more than needed to outlaw the AKP) were appointed by the Kemalist former president.

The court could very well outlaw the AKP, ban the leaders from politics, and perform a “soft coup.” The military would then make sure a CHP Kemalist administration takes over. This will subside any rising Islamism in Turkey for now but as history has shown it will come back.

4 comments:

turkish man said...

first of all, correct name is JUSTICE and DEVELOPMENT PARTY. Turkish peoples are trusting this party. Because of the 22 july elctions result. its about % 47, if this may be banned turkey's take a damage economicaly, politicaly etc.

Catholicgauze said...

Turkish Man,
the Islamic word is an adjective to describe the AKP so I was rigt on the name.
You are correct that they did when the election as hyperlinked.

Goethe said...

If I interpret your earlier election map correctly, the AKP appears to have garnered the largest number of votes. Thus, it would be odd for a democratically elected party to be outlawed. However, if the party that comes to power has as its aim the overthrow of the system that allows a free political process, it would be suicidal to allow it to rule. Maybe the Turkish supreme court could declare unconstitutional some of the practices that the AKP is trying to insinuate, e.g., the wearing of headscarves in public institutions. That's what the French have done, another determinedly secular nation.

Ali said...

The AK Party is trying to bring true democratic reform to Turkey and get rid of the elite army judicary power nexus that has dominated Turkey for the past 80 years.
They want to give religious women, Kurds, Laz, Armenians, and Greeks rights that they have been denied by overly nationalistic governments in the past, and bring Turkey closer to European norms of freedom of expression. I think you would be very supportive of their reform package if you took a closer look at it.
As for banning the headscarf, a woman should decide what she wants to wear, just as a Kurd should be able to decide what language his child is taught in, just as an Alevi should be able to call himself an Alevi.
Judicial meddling was not something that I thought this blog would support.