"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Turkey: Battle for Secularism

Many viewpoints
EXTRACT: Yet it is the barracks scheme, far more than the mall, that has infuriated millions of Turks, because it is symbolic of the creeping Islamisation of society by the AKP - even if it is still formally committed to secularism, albeit within the confines of “conservative democracy”. Hardly surprising, however, given that the core of the party was formed from the ‘reformist’ faction of the Virtue Party, banned in 2001, and dissident members of the highly conservative (but legal) Motherland Party. This salami-style Islamisation has manifested itself in various ways. Most visibly, of course, are the huge number of mosques - which are everywhere, thanks to a decade-long building programme, generously backed by Saudi Arabia. Indeed, Turkey now has 82,693 mosques - 3,113 of which are in Istanbul alone.

Almost inevitably, women have been increasingly lectured about the importance of ‘traditional’ values - how they should have more children, dress in a certain way, not flaunt themselves too much, etc. Perhaps most upsetting of all the very many secularist Turks are the increasing restrictions on alcohol - regarded as Sharia law through the back door. One of the latest edicts bans the sale of alcohol within 100 metres of any mosque or school and on June 11 the president, Abdullah Gül - also an AKP member - finally approved a bill declaring that retailers will no longer be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages between 10pm and 6am. Therefore a very large number of drinking places will have to close down and nightclub life was severely curtailed.
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