Monday, 30 April 2007

Secular Meeting (Cumhuriyet Yürüyüşü)

Yesterday over a million Turkish people came together in Caglayan Square to protest the current government in rule and to defend the Republic state and secularism. I was one of the million people walking from Sisli to Taxim with the Turkish flags and chanting slogans.

The situation at the moment is that the modern people of Turkey are concerned that the secularism will be jeopardized as the Islamic party member Foreign Minister Gul has put his candidateship for presidency. As a result, people are worried that if he becomes the president and his party as the ruling party, then the key positions in Turkey will be under islamic dominance and Turkey may become a Middle East islamic country.

To express these concerns people held two meetings; one in Ankara, the capital and one in Istanbul. It is said that about 1,2 million people were on the streets coming from all parts of Turkey. One of the good things about it was that it was done in a very organised and peaceful way. Despite the huge crowd, the police did not intervene at all as it wasn't a nasty protest.

We hope and believe that Turkey will remain secular as it was given to us by Ataturk, our founder, as we are a country that seperates religion from politics and is tolerant to religions. Even though Turkey is dominantly Muslim, there is tolerance to other religions, ie in the area that I live there are many churches and some synagogues, as well as many Armenians and Greek originated people living as our neighbours. And I have no problem with them, indeed we live in peace...

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