The Church Jesus Built, German version

What Happens After Death?, German version

Is The Bible True?, German version

Heaven or Hell?, German version

Bible Prophecy, German version

Turkish court overturns new head scarf law

June 5, 2008: Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled a new law unconstitutional that permitted female students to wear the traditional Muslim head scarf at Turkish universities. The law was passed earlier this year by the Turkish parliament, which is dominated by Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan's Islamic fundamentalist "Justice and Development Party" (AKP). Erdogan's supporters argued that the head scarf prohibition was preventing many girls from having access to higher education. However, most of Turkey's secular establishment viewed the move as another step towards allowing Islam to figure more prominently in Turkish public life.

Erdogan and the AKP are not expected to accept the high court's ruling without some protests. AKP supporters argue that the Constitutional Court head covering is pushing a minority agenda and interfering in the Turkish democratic process, since the AKP enjoys wide popular support and holds a majority of the seats in Turkey's parliament. Even European Union observers have questioned the democratic validity of recent legal maneuverings against Erdogan and the AKP. In a separate court case, the AKP is charged with anti-secular activities. If the charge is accepted, the AKP would be banned and dozens of party members – including Turkey's prime minister and the president – could also be barred from belonging to a political party for five years.

The clash between Kemalist loyalists and AKP supporters is a real "Catch 22" scenario with interesting implications for the future. The democratic trend of recent years in Turkey clearly favors the AKP with its Islamist tendencies. On the other hand, the separation of church and state in Turkey is a founding principle of the modern Turkish Republic, the Kemalist doctrine. Kemalist loyalists are entrenched in most key positions in the Turkish legal system and in the military's officer corps. Turkey's large cities tend to be more secular as well.

However, the majority of Turkey's populace lives outside the country's large cities, and the rural population supports the AKP. The Turkish military may eventually face the same crisis that the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, encountered in his downfall – a majority of the officer corps could support the Kemalist doctrine, yet be powerless to intervene because the troops they command support the Islamist agenda.

It seems the only way to "control" Islamist tendencies in Turkey is for the country to become a full member of the European Union. Yet the democratic institutions required for EU membership point to greater Islamist influence in Turkish society. If the EU admits Turkey, it will be admitting a country with growing Islamist sentiment – a country destined to have the largest national population in the EU. On the other hand, if the EU rejects Turkey's bid for membership, there will no outside restraint on Islamic fervor in the country. It almost sounds like a "no-win" situation for Europe.


God's Sabbath Rest, German version

Making Life Work, German version

What is Your Destiny?, German version

Gospel of the Kingdom, German version

The Ten Commandments, German version