Ibon's Feed
Oct 18, 2010
via FaithWorld

In quiet revolution, Turkey eases headscarf ban

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Freshman Busra Gungor won’t have to wear a wig to cover her Islamic headscarf, as many pious relatives and friends did to avoid getting kicked off campus.

In a landmark decision, Turkey’s Higher Education Board earlier this month ordered Istanbul University, one of the country’s biggest, to stop teachers from expelling from classrooms female students who do not comply with a ban on the headscarf.

Oct 15, 2010
via FaithWorld

Turkey needs to re-interpret secularism – senior MP

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(Photo: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan watches his wife Emine voting in a constitutional referendum, in Istanbul September 12, 2010/Osman Orsal)

Turkey has to re-interpret its principles of secularism to adapt to a changing society, an AK Party member in charge of drafting a new constitution said, joining a growing debate over the Muslim country’s identity.

Turkey, a rising regional power which aspires to join the European Union, was founded by Kemal Ataturk as a secular republic on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. But a power shift led by a new middle class of observant Muslims which forms the backbone of the AKP government is challenging Turkey’s ability to reconcile Islam and secularism.

Sep 30, 2010
via FaithWorld

Room with a view: Orhan Pamuk explores Istanbul’s double soul

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(Photo: Orhan Pamuk at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, November 28, 2009/Alejandro Acosta)

From his Istanbul window, the Nobel-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk sees a city in flux.

Gleaming steel towers that signify Istanbul’s new economic power rise in the distance, rivalling more familiar views of old mosques and palaces, home to the former Ottoman dynasty. Teeming suburbs spread across hills.

Sep 30, 2010

Room with a view: Pamuk explores Istanbul’s double soul

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – From his Istanbul window, the Nobel-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk sees a city in flux.

Gleaming steel towers that signify Istanbul’s new economic power rise in the distance, rivaling more familiar views of old mosques and palaces, home to the former Ottoman dynasty. Teeming suburbs spread across hills.

Sep 13, 2010

Analysis: Referendum reveals three faces of Turkey

ANKARA (Reuters) – A referendum on constitutional reform in Turkey handed a clear victory to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan — but has underscored the deep ideological and geographical divisions in the European Union candidate.

According to unofficial results, the reforms passed by a margin of 58 percent to 42, on a turnout of 77 percent.

Sep 12, 2010

Snap Analysis: Turkish voters strongly back charter reform

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish voters strongly backed constitutional reforms in a referendum on Sunday, unofficial results showed, in a major boost to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government ahead of a general election in mid-2011.

Erdogan has said the package is needed to strengthen democracy and bring Turkey closer to European norms. But secularist opponents say changes to overhaul the top levels of the judiciary would give the Islamist-rooted AK control over courts.

Sep 12, 2010

Turkey votes on constitutional reform; count begins

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turks voted on Sunday on whether to amend the constitution in a referendum seen as a tussle between a government led by conservative Muslims and its secular opponents for influence over the EU candidate country’s future.

Polling stations closed at 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) and the election board has barred broadcast of any results until 9.00 p.m. (1800 GMT), although the ban was expected to be relaxed and preliminary official results could start filtering out earlier.

Sep 12, 2010

Turks vote in plebiscite on constitutional reform

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turks voted on Sunday on whether to amend the constitution in a referendum seen as a tussle between a government led by conservative Muslims and its secular opponents for influence over the EU candidate country’s future.

A late opinion poll showed a majority of Turks backing the government’s package, which includes changes that critics say will give the ruling party control over the judiciary. Other polls have shown the result too close to call.

Sep 12, 2010

Turkey holds referendum on constitutional changes

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turks voted on Sunday on whether to amend the constitution in a referendum that has turned into a fresh battle between the Islamist-rooted government and secular opponents over the future of democracy in the Muslim country.

A late opinion poll showed a clear majority of Turks backing the package, which includes changes to the judiciary. Other polls have shown the result too close to call, reflecting stark divisions ahead of 2011 elections in the EU candidate country.

Sep 6, 2010

Charter referendum new test for Turkey’s PM Erdogan

KONYA, Turkey (Reuters) – Shortly before sweeping to power, Tayyip Erdogan pledged at the tomb of state founder Ataturk to revive a secular democracy he said was losing the nation’s trust. Turkey would now get the leadership it deserved.

Militant secularists saw his sentiments, etched in the ledger of Ataturk’s mausoleum, as high treason coming from a man who had recently served a jail sentence for Islamist agitation.