February 27, 2010
The Turkish military has long served as the guardian of secular rule in Ankara, even when it meant staging a coup to do so. Turkey's elected Islamist-based government, meanwhile, has sought to subordinate the military to civilian rule as befits a democratic country, although perhaps not always by the purest means. Now, that simmering conflict has become a crisis, with police detaining about 50 senior military figures, 20 of whom have been charged in an alleged 2003 plot to overthrow the government.
April 25, 2007 |
The ruling party on Tuesday chose Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as its presidential candidate, heading off a potential political confrontation that had starkly illustrated the split between religious and secular Turks. Turkey's more Islamist-minded prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also had weighed a run for the post, drawing sharp protests from the country's establishment, including the army and the outgoing president.
June 12, 2011 |
Millions of Turkish voters headed to the polls Sunday for critical parliamentary elections that will likely shape the country's constitution, its conflict with a restive Kurdish ethnic minority and its definition of citizenship. But judging from the gigantic billboards looming from highways and buildings throughout the country, the elections are really about whether Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should be crowned Turkey's leader for the next 12 years. "Ready 2023," the billboards say, referring to the year marking the 100th anniversary of the Turkish republic as well as, coincidentally, how long the ambitious and presumptuous Erdogan may stay in power, if he succeeds in changing Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system.
April 4, 2009 |
"They say we are at war with Islam. This is the whispered line of the extremist who has nothing to offer in this battle of ideas but blame. ... We are not at war with Islam. But too often since 9/11, the extremists have defined us. ... When I am president, that will change." -- Barack Obama, August 2007 -- When President Obama addresses the Turkish parliament on Monday, he will have the chance to fulfill a campaign promise.
June 13, 2011 |
No pressing matter of state like the economy or foreign policy compelled Alayrettin Ayyaldiz to head to a polling station in his modest Istanbul neighborhood Sunday and cast his ballot for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party. It was a vote of faith and emotion. "We're totally connected with our hearts to the AKP," said the 38-year-old vegetable and fruit vendor, referring to the party's acronym. "It's not about what they do. It's because we love them.
December 27, 2002 |
Turkey's parliament voted to amend the constitution to clear the way for ruling party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to run in a by-election as a step toward becoming prime minister. Because of a conviction in 1998 for inciting religious hatred, Erdogan was banned from running in a Nov. 3 election, in which his Justice and Development Party won a landslide. A previous constitutional change was vetoed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.