Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Headscarf Politics: Erdogan Too Religious for Turkey? - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to run for the powerful post of president next year in a changing, secular country caught between eastern and western traditions -- and his headscarved wife may be an image problem."

"Erdogan had already been under fire by old-guard secular opponents who said Turkey had no room for a leader whose wife wears a headscarf. Erdogan's devout spouse, Emine, never appears in public unveiled. "Does a religious person not have the right to be in politics?" Erdogan countered. In the last election, he said, citizens voted for his mildly Islamist "Party for Justice and Development" (AKP), "despite the fact that we appeared with our wives who were wearing headscarves."
Headscarf Politics: Erdogan Too Religious for Turkey? - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Digging for history in Turkey

"An archaeological dig tells us more about the Garden of Eden, says sean thomas

I am standing above an archaeological dig, on a hillside in southern Turkey. Beneath me, workmen are unearthing a sculpture of some sort of reptile (right). It is delicate and breathtaking. It is also part of the world's oldest temple."

The First Post : Digging for history in Turkey

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pope, Would B Graham Compromise Truth? by Grant Swank

"As I type, in more geographies than Christians would like, Christians are being persecuted by Islamics. Churches are burnt. Muslim converts to Christ are slain. Christian ministers, missionaries and priests are being threatened, some to the extent of being tortured, then slaughtered.

Yes, Christians pray for " peace and harmony." That is in keeping with Christ's directives for His disciples when telling them to pray for their enemies, do good to their enemies and pray for those who despitefully use them. That much the pope got right.

But when it comes to this "brotherly tie over centuries," he is way off-base once again. If there has been a reaching out to be "brotherly" it has come from biblical Christians who take seriously Christ's way of dealing with enemies. Christ set the real-life example in dealing with His own foes who finally murdered Him.

Today Christians have basically fled from Iraq for fear of their lives. The Christian community that once was is now a has been. Why? Because Muslims have killed some, taunted more and laid the sword close to others very existence if they remain inside Iraq.

The more Christians reach out to Muslims, the more zealot Muslims take advantage of the kindness. Muslims don't reach out to Christians by seeking brotherly love. That can't happen for the Koran forbids it. Allah hates non-Muslims."
Pope, Would B Graham Compromise Truth? by Grant Swank

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nobel winner calls it an honor for Turkish literature

"Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, whose uncommon lyrical gifts and uncompromising politics have brought him acclaim worldwide and prosecution at home, won the Nobel literature prize Thursday.

The selection of Pamuk, whose recent trial for "insulting Turkishness" raised concerns about free speech in Turkey, continues a trend in which Nobel judges pick writers in conflict with their own governments."
Nobel winner calls it an honor for Turkish literature

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Turkish parliament rejects motion to censure education minister - iht,europe,Turkey Censure Motion - Europe - International Herald Tribune

The government gets off the hook for getting rid of secular teachers in favor of Islamic ones:

"Turkey's Education Minister on Tuesday escaped censure over accusations he had promoted thousands of religious teachers and sacked secular employees.

The opposition had proposed a motion censuring the Islamic-rooted government's education minister Huseyin Celik.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, which has a majority in parliament, easily defeated the motion to censure Celik for alleged abuse of power and for allegedly raising Islam's profile in the secular education system.

The opposition parties accused Celik of ousting secularist school principles, teachers and local education officials and replacing them with religious studies teachers.

Celik was also accused of inserting religious references into school text books — such as claims that washing before Islamic prayers would increase the number of red blood cells.

Secularists accuse Erdogan's government of trying to raise Islam's profile in this predominantly Muslim country that is ruled by strict secular laws. Last week, Turkey's new military chief, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, accused the government of nurturing fundamentalism."
Turkish parliament rejects motion to censure education minister - iht,europe,Turkey Censure Motion - Europe - International Herald Tribune

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Seminary stays shut as Turkey bucks EU pressure - washingtonpost.com

"The blackboards are clean, desks dusted and library books neatly ranged. The Greek Orthodox seminary on this idyllic island off Istanbul is ready and waiting to take in new student priests.

But this autumn, as for the past 35 years, Halki seminary remains shut, despite pressure on Turkey to reopen it to qualify for European Union membership. Visitors reaching the hilltop retreat by horse-drawn carriage find the place empty."

"The 162-year-old seminary, a barometer of religious freedom in secular Turkey, which has a Muslim majority, seemed close to revival as Ankara debated changing a law that shut it in 1971.

But the Islamist-rooted government had to pull a proposed change in the law when the secular-minded opposition charged it would change the status of religious minorities in Turkey."
Seminary stays shut as Turkey bucks EU pressure - washingtonpost.com

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Some Turks change religion to seek tickets West

Here's a Muslim propaganda piece on the recent hijacking:

"Turkey's few Muslim converts to Christianity, of which the hijacker Tuesday of a Turkish airliner claimed to be one, are a motley, marginal group that includes people on personal spiritual quests, as well as those in search of more material benefits."

"Whether he actually belongs to any of Turkey's Christian churches, however, has come under doubt with the appearance of several articles in the Turkish press Wednesday saying he has a criminal record for fraud, in addition to two spells in the stockade for desertion."

"The evangelical churches, which are not recognised by the strictly secular laws of Turkey, are mainly in the three biggest cities -- Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

"The fact that we are open to everyone means that we get some strange followers," said Ihsan Ozbek, the evangelical pastor for Ankara. "Some come looking for women, others for money, yet others for visas to the west."
Middle East Online

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Coming Papal Visit Focuses Anger Among the Turks - New York Times

"A novel was published here in May, winning more notoriety than sales, called “Assassination of a Pope.”

It was inspired not by the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II by a Turkish gunman in 1981, but by the trip to Turkey of his successor, Benedict XVI, who is coming to this overwhelmingly Muslim country in late November primarily to meet the Orthodox patriarch, who lives in Istanbul.

Benedict was far from loved here even before his speech in Germany two weeks ago quoting a medieval commentator who called aspects of Islam “evil and inhuman.” But his visit, and the book, play on one of Turkey’s deepest fears: that the secular and unified Turkish state could begin to dissolve if the Orthodox patriarchate tries to become a sort of Vatican, a state within a state.

The pope apparently did not grasp fully that his words would hit Turkey even harder than those other Muslim countries where the reaction was violent. The anger in this nation that uncomfortably bridges West and East — with a strong recent tug from Islam — is far from over, and not just among the religious."

A Coming Papal Visit Focuses Anger Among the Turks - New York Times

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cicek says religious education insufficient

A flawed idea, state-sponsored religion:

"Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek said yesterday the state had a responsibility to provide accurate religious education for its citizens and complained that it was one of the most seriously deficient areas in Turkey's current system.

'We have lack of education in all areas, but the greatest lack of education is in the area of religious education. The state should provide reliable and accurate information to meet people's needs in this area,' Çiçek said in a televised interview with private TV station Kanal 7."
�i�ek says religious education insufficient - Turkish Daily News Oct 02, 2006