Turkey's Erdogan defends secularism after remarks by parl't speaker

The reality is that the state should have an equal distance from all religious faiths, Turkish President said


Reuters April 26, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

ZAGREB: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the state should have an equal distance from all religious faiths following a call by the speaker of Turkey's parliament for a new constitution to drop references to secularism.

Erdogan said in televised comments during a visit to Zagreb that the speaker, Ismail Kahraman, had been expressing his own views when he said Turkey needed a religious constitution.

The proposal contradicts the founding principles of the Turkish republic, which is overwhelmingly Muslim but also secular.

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"My views are known on this ... The reality is that the state should have an equal distance from all religious faiths ... This is laicism," Erdogan said. Kahraman's comments provoked opposition condemnation and a brief street protest on Tuesday.

He later said his comments were "personal views".

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COMMENTS (2)

Pakistani | 5 years ago | Reply Maybe he's not as dumb as I thought...
aruba | 5 years ago | Reply He imitating Pakistan - take both sides of an issue and hope nobody notices.
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