Jonathan Head By Jonathan Head BBC News, Istanbul
Troops seal off main road in Ankara (15 Sept 1980) Hundreds of thousands of people were detained after the coup and many were tortured
For 30 years, the officers who led the last military takeover in Turkey have lived secure in the knowledge that they could not be prosecuted for their actions, thanks to an article inserted in the constitution they drafted in 1982.”
from Today’s Zaman, your gateway to Turkish daily news :: Interviews by YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN
French Green Hélène Flautre, who also serves as the co-chairperson of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, has said Turkey’s main opposition leader has missed an opportunity and ignored his role in consensus-building by not attending the Oct. 29 Republic Day reception hosted by President Abdullah Gül.
The absence of the Republican People?s Party (CHP) and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) commanders from the Republic Day reception held by President Abdullah Gül last Friday due to their hostility towards Hayrünnisa Gül?s headscarf and the military?s holding a separate reception at the same hour has brought them severe criticism. Many think they will suffer for their boycott of the festivities at the Çankaya presidential place, taking a stance against the use of the headscarf and failing to make a contribution to the normalization process in Turkey.
At the exactly same time as the reception which President Abdullah Gül narrowed down to just one, an alternative celebration for Turkey?s Republic Day is occurring at the Ankara Military Officer?s Club — a military reception.
A total of 87 years have passed since the establishment of the Turkish Republic but we are still debating the headscarf problem. Will the members of the military attend the Oct. 29 reception at the Çankaya presidential palace?
I want to note that the moment when a CHP leader says, ?We will not be obsessed with secularism,? will be a turning point. It is as important as the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader?s asking: ?Are covered women not secular??
One of the most beautiful aspects of the Republic Day for me is that the CHP administration has left the party staff free to make its own decision about participating in a reception given by President Abdullah Gül.
from open Democracy News Analysis – by Daphne McCurdy
This month, members of Turkey?s opposition Republican People?s Party (CHP) convened at a holiday resort to review the party?s policies and future strategy after their stinging defeat in the September 12th referendum. Most media accounts of the referendum have focused on the ruling Justice and Development Party?s bid for greater governmental control through constitutional amendments. Indeed, the government?s domestic opponents have claimed that by expanding the authority of the President and Parliament in the judicial selection process (both institutions are now controlled by the AKP), it has eviscerated the last bastion of secularism in the country.
On Oct. 29 the Republic of Turkey celebrated the 87th anniversary of its founding. Representatives from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the main opposition Republican People?s Party (CHP) boycotted the traditional reception held by President Abdullah Gül on the occasion. This was perhaps the most conspicuous manifestation of the fact that some thing is terribly wrong (if not rotten) in the state of Turkey.