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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Turkish Unrest Over Next President; Military Issues Promise And Threat

From Captain Ed this morning and the BBC:

Hundreds of thousands of people have rallied in Istanbul in support of secularism in Turkey, amid a row over a vote for the country's next president.

The protesters are concerned that the ruling party's candidate for the post remains loyal to his Islamic roots.

The candidate, Abdullah Gul, earlier said he would not quit despite growing criticism from opponents and the army.

Mr Gul failed to win election in a first round parliamentary vote which opponents say was unconstitutional.

Opposition MPs boycotted the vote. They are also challenging its validity in the Constitutional Court.

An army statement on Friday accused the government of tolerating radical Islam and vowed to defend secularism.

Business leaders have also issued a statement calling on the court to annul the vote, paving the way for early elections.

The influential TUSIAD association said a vote was necessary "to preserve the inseparable principles of democracy and secularism".

Mr Gul has steered Turkey's European Union accession talks as foreign minister and is seen as less confrontational than Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development (AK) party.

"The president must be loyal to secular principles. If I am elected, I will act accordingly," he said after his nomination for the presidency.

But some analysts say he is closer to his religious roots, and his wife would be the first First Lady to wear a headscarf, a deeply divisive statement in Turkey.

No one trust Gul, except his backers. The people look at him as a "friend" to radical Islam, and in that he is a threat to their secular way of life. For the people of Turkey, since the end of World War I, the separation between religion and politics is what has made life good for those that live in Turkey. Now, they see it threatened by this man.

Worse, if he were to become the new president, he could ratchet up pressure on the Kurds in Nothern Iraq. The Turks and the Kurds have collided before, and Turkey also has a decent amount of Kurds in the southeast. the Kurds in Turkey, for a long time, have refused to fully assimilate to Turkish life. For the past four years, the Turks have been complaining of cross-border raids done by Iraqi Kurds. The Kurds, of course, deny such a thing.

But getting back to Mr. Gul, he is a potential nightmare waiting to happen. The military is not fooling around when it warns those supporting him that they will defend a secular government, and they will fight an Islamicist one. As Captain Ed reminds us, the military pulled off a coup in 1997 to remove an Islamicist ruler. They can do it again, and seem perfectly willing to execute the plan.



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