Turkey’s Eroding Democracy – Fethullah Gulen
(dailyalert.org, Feb. 6, 2015)
Not long ago, Turkey was the envy of Muslim-majority countries: a viable candidate for the EU on its path to becoming a functioning democracy that upholds universal human rights, gender equality, the rule of law and the rights of Kurdish and non-Muslim citizens. This historic opportunity now appears to have been squandered as Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, clamps down on civil society, media, the judiciary and free enterprise. AKP’s leaders now depict every democratic criticism of them as an attack on the state.
The director of one of the most popular TV channels, arrested in December, is still behind bars. Public officials investigating corruption charges have also been purged and jailed for simply doing their jobs. The core tenets of a functioning democracy – the rule of law, respect for individual freedoms – are also the most basic of Islamic values bestowed upon us by God. No political or religious leader has the authority to take them away. The writer is an Islamic scholar, preacher and founder of the Hizmet movement in Turkey, who lives in exile in the U.S. (New York Times)