French media is reporting that a leader of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP Party has said that Turkey should have a “religious constitution.” According to the AFP report:
April 25, 2016 (AFP) – Turkey should have a religious constitution, parliament speaker Ismail Kahraman said Monday, in comments that will likely add to concerns of creeping Islamisation under the ruling AKP party.
‘As a Muslim country, why should we be in a situation where we are in retreat from religion?’ state-run news agency Anatolia quoted him as saying.
‘We are a Muslim country. As a consequence, we must have a religious constitution,’ the AKP lawmaker told a conference in Istanbul.
‘Secularism cannot feature in the new constitution.’
Critics accuse President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted AKP of eroding the secular values laid by modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk since it took power in 2002.
Over the past two years, the government has lifted bans on women and girls wearing headscarves in schools and civil service.
It also limited alcohol sales and made efforts to ban mixed-sex dorms at state universities.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of Turkey’s main CHP opposition party, slammed the speaker’s comments.
‘The chaos that reigns in the Middle East is the product of ways of thinking that, like you, make religion an instrument of politics,’ Kilicdaroglu wrote on Twitter.
‘Secularism exists so everyone can practise their religion freely, Mr Kahraman!’
Read the rest here.
None of this should be surprising to readers of the GMBDW as we have frequently reported on the close ties of Erdogan and the Turkish government to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. This reporting is largely based on a report by the GMBDW Editor, centered largely the June 2010 Gaza flotilla but which also provided the following background on Erdogan:
The Turkish political establishment has had ties with the Global Muslim Brotherhood since at least the 1970s when Prime Minister Erdogan was reported to have been associated with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a fundamentalist Saudi religious organization that has been accused of promoting extremism and supporting terrorism all over the world. Erdogan has since maintained his ties to the Global Brotherhood as evidenced by his close relationships to Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as former Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Akef, Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim, and Yassin Abdullah Qadi, a Saudi businessman blacklisted by the United Nations for funding terrorism and who had links with the US Muslim Brotherhood.
A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman has also said that the Brotherhood has maintained ties with the “Islamic movement” in Turkey since the days of Necmettin Erbakan’s early political parties, and the European Muslim Brotherhood has fused with Erbakan’s movement in Europe known as Millî Görü?. German Muslim Brotherhood leader Ibrahim El-Zayat is married to a member of the Erbakan family, and El-Zayat’s business partner is the Secretary-General of Millî Görü? in Germany. El-Zayat, formerly the head of WAMY in Western Europe, also runs Millis Gorus’ extensive portfolio of mosque properties throughout Europe as well as serving as a leader in the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella group representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.