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Turkey’s Constitutional Crisis, a cause for concern: FGN PDF Print E-mail

Image10 June 2008, Future Global Network (FGN) views the deepening constitutional crisis in Turkey with grave concern as it affects a great number of the ummah in that part of the world to great extent. The Justice and Development (AK) Party is facing closure in the wake of the Constitutional Amendments the party had endeavoured to draft with the concurrence of other coalition parties and successfully passed into law  to reverse the headscarf ban in universities.
 
The Constitutional Court ’s decision on June 5 to overturn the Act of Parliament on the headscarf issue is unprecedented in the annals of political history. It smacks of the principle of secular democratic systems on separation of powers between the administrative, legislative and judiciary branches of the government, and between the religion and state. The Court’s decision also effectively put the judiciary high above the legislature, instead of being at par with each other.
 

The unpopular court’s decision also further impedes the accession of Turkey into the European Union (EU) which application has been under consideration for over a decade. EU members have criticized the Constitutional Court ’s decision as more of a “political” rather than a “legal” one. 
 
ImageFor all the EU's anti-Islamic stance, many officials are now ganging up on Turkey . Hannes Swoboda, vice-chairman of the Socialist group in the European Parliament has warned that if AK Party is banned, it would mean an anti-democratic coup in Turkey . On the headscarf issue, he said: "Individuals should have the right to wear what they want. Whether on customary, religious or other bases, if people want to wear a headscarf, they should be free to do so. It is not up to politicians to decide. The general attitude in Europe is that there should be no pressure on individuals on such an issue."
Apparently, the secular establishments of Turkey are going to do anything within the purview of the Constitution to frustrate any move to restore whatever religious tenets and practices associated with Islam. There is no limitation or legal impediment for the secular and military authorities to refer anything to the Constitution and to interpret provisions inimical to Islam, even on such issues where the Constitution is silent.
FGN, therefore, hopes that Turkey’s secular establishments allow a breathing space for Islam in Turkey in order for both to move abreastly forward, for the benefit of all concerned.
 
 
AHMAD AZAM ABDUL RAHMAN
Chairman, Future Global Network Foundation
Kuala Lumpur