In Turkey Islam and democracy coexists

Newspapers in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday hailed Turkish elections as the most important in the country's history, adding that the landslide victory of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed that Islam and democracy can coexist in secular Turk

In Turkey Islam and democracy coexists
Newspapers in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday hailed Turkish elections as the most important in the country's history, adding that the landslide victory of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed that Islam and democracy can coexist in secular Turkey.

"The voters implicitly told the military-backed secular establishment that they do not agree that the ruling AKP party led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was plotting to scrap Turkey's secular traditions despite its openness to the West", wrote, Sharjah-based Gulf Today.

The election clears the air and removes tensions although the question of the role of Islam in the country's governance is likely to linger without being clearly answered, the paper added.

The paper stressed the significance of Erdogan's victory speech in which he pledged to safeguard the country's secular traditions and not to "make concessions over the values of people, the basic principles of our republic." Almost every country, whether in the East or West, has welcomed Erdogan's victory and congratulated him, indicating the fair success of his government's foreign policy.

In its editorial comment, Dubai-based Khaleej Times hailed Erdogan's re-election as a triumph for democracy and perhaps the most important in the country's history.

"Most importantly, the result goes to show that Islam and democracy are not divorced from each other, as increasing sections of the international media, academia and polity have started believing mainly due to the confusion stemming from the so-called war against terrorism. Secondly, it also goes to prove that religious and secular values are not necessarily parallels that never meet, but rather ensure modern-day-specific progress whenever they go hand in hand", said the paper.

The paper went on to say now that Turkey's public has returned from the ballot with numerous valuable precedents, the right way forward for the AKP would be to quickly move for consensus with regard to appointment of the president, and not re-nominate Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

Gul's nomination triggered a constitutional crisis after secular lawmakers refused to attend parliamentary sessions to elect Turkey's president. The said the foreign minister's Islamic rooted politics were a threat to Turkey's secularist tradition.

The failure to resolve the crisis prompted Erdogan to call the early legislative elections.

For its part, Dubai-based Gulf News said Erdogan's landslide victory, securing a second five-year term, was the best answer the people could have given to veiled threats from the armed forces.

"It is the first time in more than half a century that a Turkish governing party has been returned with a bigger share of the vote", the paper said.

Erdogan's decision to call an election, four months early after the military, the opposition and the constitutional court stymied his choice of president in April, was completely vindicated. But now the hard work starts. Democracy is not just about winning and losing elections, it is about putting in place a system of accountable governance, the paper said.

The paper noted that Erdogan's parliamentary majority is overwhelming but not enough to secure legislation completely on its own. He and his party will need to work with allies and the opposition. Erdogan must also reassure his opponents, by action not just by word, that he is not about to dismantle the secular foundations of modern Turkey, the paper said.

AKI

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Temmuz 2007, 16:58
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