SEARCH BLOG: EUROPE and ISLAM
From Yahoo News:
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that despite what "the EU" [as stated above] says, the election of an Islamist to the presidency of Turkey is sure to set off alarms around Europe's population, if not governments, for two obvious reasons:
ANKARA, Turkey - A devout Muslim with a background in political Islam won the Turkish presidency on Tuesday, in a major triumph for the Islamic-rooted government after months of confrontation with the secular establishment.
Foreign Minister... received a majority of 339 votes in a parliamentary ballot and took the oath of office, pledging impartiality and loyalty to Turkey's historic separation of religion and politics. Commanders from the fiercely secular military were conspicuously absent — a decision many saw as a symbolic protest against the decision to elect a president to a post traditionally held by a secular figure.
As foreign minister, Gul — who speaks English and Arabic — has cultivated an image as a moderate politician.
In a recent meeting with foreign journalists, Gul said he would make use of his experiences as foreign minister to boost Turkey'sbid and make the Turkish presidency more active on the international scene.
"Turkey will be more active; Turkey will be contributing more to world issues," he said.
The EU said the vote "represents a considerable achievement for Turkey and the Turkish people,"
In a statement,Jose Manuel Barroso said he hoped the government "will be able to resume work ... to give fresh, immediate and positive impetus" to EU entry talks.
- Despite what Mr. Gul says, Europeans are growing increasingly antagonistic toward Islam and Islamists, in particular.
- There is the latent possibility of instability in Turkey if the military, which is "devoutly" secular in its orientation, decides that Mr. Gul's government is a threat to the secular tradition.