Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea

Tension between secularism, democracy roils Turkey
By NewsDude ,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2007 7:53 AM CDT
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(Newser) – If the choice is between somewhat more religion in public life and democracy in Turkey, choose the latter, argues the Economist. The ruling party's choice of an Islamist candidate, Abdullah Gul, for president set off a familiar confrontation between the Turkish military and the political establishment. The Economist asks, "if Turkey cannot reconcile Islam and democracy, who can?"

Gul so displeased military leaders that they threatened their fifth intervention into politics to maintain the strictly secular traditions of Turkey's founder Kemal Ataturk. The Economist argues that the ruling AK party has shown restraint in mixing religion and politics and, more importantly, has an excellent economic and social record.  It concludes, "Turkey's soldiers should stay out of politics."