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    » 05/27/2013, 00.00

    TURKEY

    Ankara, Islamists wield knives against public kissing, one protester wounded



    About 200 young people holt a kiss in protest in the Ankara subway. The initiative, launched in protest at the government's morality campaign, unleashes the wrath of the Islamists. A young man stabbed igniting debate between secularism and Islam in Turkey.

    Ankara (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The public kissing of a hundred couples in Ankara, in response to calls by the authorities for more 'moral' behavior, has unleashed the wrath of Islamists. The counter-protest, launched by the fundamentalist fringe groups, led to the stabbing of a demonstrator.

    "Free Kisses" was the slogan on banners Saturday, May 25, for the protest that gathered in front of the Kurtulus station. The police, who prevented young people from accessing the subway then attempted to come between them and about twenty Islamists who had flocked to a counter-protest to the chorus of "Allah Akhbar".

    The episode, which led to the stabbing of a young Turkish man, is the most recent example of the dispute raging in the country between secularism and Islamic conservatism. In recent weeks, authorities in the capital have criticized public expressions of affection, while the speakers of the subway line in recent days, have made repeated announcements against couples kissing or behaving 'immorally' on trains. Such restrictions are part of a campaign 'in favor of moral behavior' stimulated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and Islamic-oriented ruling majority.

    Many citizens are concerned that this kind of political and social initiatives will bring the Islamic religion back to having a central role in the 'new Turkey'. In early April, Turkish Airlines, which had already imposed their own hostess uniform with a new veil and fez, prohibited their female employees from using red lipstick, the measure was lifted a few weeks later. In the night between 23 and 24 May, the Turkish parliament has instead approved a crackdown on alcohol, prohibiting the sale from 10 pm to 6 am, and by banning its sale in the vicinity of mosques or other educational centers. Many secular opposition politicians accuse the Prime Minister Recep Erdogan Tayipp silently and gradually Islamizing the country and following the events of Saturday, May 25, an opposition MP asked the majority party to clarify the legitimacy of the announcements made on the subway a few days ago.

     

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    See also

    04/05/2013 TURKEY
    Lipstick ban for hostesses of increasingly 'Islamic' Turkish Airlines
    The decision is part of the airline’s new aesthetic code. For months, the female flight attendants have been wearing a new uniform with either a veil or fez. Secular parties accuse Prime Minister Erdogan’s ruling party of wanting silently Islamize society.

    28/03/2009 TURKEY
    Elections in Turkey: testing ground for Erdogan and the army
    The AKP is the clear favorite, and seems set to win over the nationalists and Kurds. The electoral campaign has been conducted amid scandal, but freely and openly. The unknown postelection scenario: relations with the EU, or a "neo-Ottoman" program? Even the Vatican has something to say.

    23/05/2007 TURKEY
    Suspected Pkk involvement in yesterday’s Ankara bombing, which left 6 people dead
    No one has so far claimed responsibility for yesterday’s bomb attack on the commercial heart of the Turkish capital, which upon till now had remained untouched by violence. Maximum reserve surrounding investigations: the type of explosive found on the site –A-4 plastic explosive – leading to suspicions of Kurdish rebel involvement. But the possibility of a suicide bomber behind the attack is not excluded.

    27/08/2007 TURKEY
    Tomorrow president Abdullah Gul will be elected, “moderate” and “Islamic”
    After two failed votes, tomorrow he will be elected without doubt. He has succeeded in gathering Kurds and liberals to his candidacy. Fears surround his Islamic past and the virtual state monopoly that Erdogan’s party will have, but the industrialist support him. Gossip on the First Lady’s veil.

    23/03/2011 INDONESIA
    Indonesian Ulema against flag-raising: Muhammad never did it
    For the head of the MUI, the prophet never paid homage to the flag, so the practice is prohibited. He cites the case of Saudi Arabia and calls the gesture of saluting the national flag "heretical". Confusion and anger in society. Politicians - for now – choose to remain silent.



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