ceemac

Shake It Baby...
Is Secularism a Myth?
Some food for thought in this brief article here.

Do those of you living in Turkey believe there is religious equality in the country?

It's probably like most other places in that anyone doing or being something different than the norm is viewed with suspicion but maybe that's far too simplistic a view.


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KKOB

Completely Chillaxed
Is Secularism a Myth?
I think secularism in Turkey is a total myth but on the other-hand the Turkish view on Islam is also very much more relaxed than in other Muslim countries.

Although the Turkish people as a whole are very tolerant, secularism doesn't exactly ooze from the pores of the government and judiciary. It's difficult to see the lines that are drawn between upholding the law, racism and religious persecution.
 

ceemac

Shake It Baby...
Is Secularism a Myth?
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Ministry of Religion was responsible for training all the Immans so that would evidence a strong link between 'Church' and State.


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Saoirse

Moderator
Is Secularism a Myth?
Thats a good point although in many countries which would present themselves as religiously neutral there are State links with certain religions.

Britain for example has a Queen as head of state who is also head of the C of E,as must any Royal head of state, as well as certain Government posts like Lord Chancellor being reserved exlusively for members of that religion
 

geordie_nev

Member
Is Secularism a Myth?
When the republic was formed by Ataturk he set up Diyanet (Directorate General for Religious Affairs). It has always received a large budget from the government, so there’s a direct link between Government and Religion.

What Diyanet did was to privatise religion, or to make religion much more of a private or personal affair. Turks tend to be much more private about their religion than most Muslims.
 

KKOB

Completely Chillaxed
Is Secularism a Myth?
It's not just a case of them being trained by the Ministry. Almost all imans in Turkey are government employees.

It was reported in one of the English language papers last year that they were talking about going on strike for more money and/or a reduction in their hours.
 
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Is Secularism a Myth?
Did you know that there is a Turkish Orthodox Church? It was set up almost exclusively to combat the Greek Orthodox Church, and still does so.
 

geordie_nev

Member
Is Secularism a Myth?
It's not just a case of them being trained by the Ministry. All imans in Turkey are government employees.

Diyanet employs over 70,000 imams they all receive a weekly sermon authorised by Ankara. Although they are many now which work independently of state control.
 
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ceemac

Shake It Baby...
Is Secularism a Myth?
The headscarf affair I think was a big event in and for Turkey. The whole state and religion issue was forced into the spotlight, and shook the military, judiciary, and academia, the main proponents of secularism.

This commentator however, believes that Turkish secularists don't understand the true meaning of secularism (written in February 2008)


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geordie_nev

Member
Is Secularism a Myth?
believes that Turkish secularists don't understand the true meaning of secularism (written in February 2008)


There’s a difference between a system which bans all religions from government (secularists - similar to the France system) and one that allows all religions to be practised separately within the government (similar to the system in the USA).

Like I said in a similar post on the subject, since Erbakan was kicked out of power in 1997 there is little chance of Turkey becoming an Islamist state. Some people see the AK party as “Taliban in sheep’s clothes” because they were part of the Erbakan government at the time.

Interestingly it’s said that many religious groups like the Fethullan Gulen movement were opposed to the Erbakan government then because they were opposed to Turkey becoming an Islamic State, saying they only want people in Turkey to have greater religious freedoms within the secular state and had little interest in Turkey becoming part of some great Islamist state.
 

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