Tayib Erdogan, a Muslim leader, not ‘Islamist’

Tayib Erdogan at the Great Mosque of Granada

Turkey is a country with a Muslim majority. Ninety-nine percent of the population, according to the International Religious Freedom study compiled by the US government. However, since 1923 and under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk, it is a secular republic and a rule of law. What is not publicized so much, is that this secularism has not been passive, but has been implemented with various laws that have forbidden Muslims to express many of their cultural forms, such as wearing the hijab in public buildings, make the call to the prayer in Arabic, Friday being a holiday, among many others, and this was reinforced by the authority of the army.

When the West accuses Erdogan of ‘Islamist’ for allowing women to go to college or work with the hijab, he is actually contradicting Western values. Erdogan has responded to a desire of his people, which is a democratic attitude.

When we raise the subject of the last referendum within this context we see that once again, Erdogan has responded to a popular desire. What’s more, the referendum after a coup attempt is a clear sign that Erdogan respects the parameters of the system in which he moves.

Tayib Erdogan at the Great Mosque of Granada

If he is accused of concentrating too much power on the figure of the President, in reality he is merely transitioning from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential democracy, the same system that the US uses. And many other countries. And by the way taking power from the army, from the time of Ataturk and until the middle of the ninety has been the authority in Turkey, carrying out numerous coup d’etat against prime ministers, like the one of 1996 against Necmettin Erbakan, when they did not fit their interests; A decidedly undemocratic way of acting.

So, if anything scares the critics of Erdogan and Turkey, it is not the fact that the democratic system is at stake, nor the stability of the country, nor the freedom of the press, but it is frightening to see that a country of Muslim majority can effectively organize, establish a functional society, develop the economy and also follow the Islamic values that share ninety-nine percent of the population.

What you would then have to ask yourself is why you are afraid of this.