Turkey is heading for a showdown over the relation of the state and Islam as Abdullah Gul, who has been the subject of bitter protests, was named president of Turkey in a parliamentary election today. The nomination of Gul, the foreign minister and a practicing Muslim whose wife wears a head scarf, led to massive secularist protests across Turkey last spring.
This morning the army's lead spokesman decried the "centers of evil who systematically try to corrode the secular nature of the Turkish Republic." Following July's election, which returned the Islamic ruling party to power, Gul's accession to the presidency became unavoidable. Nobody is yet talking about a coup—but Turkey has seen four governments deposed by the military since the 1960s.