Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Turkey's Christians like AK despite Islamist past

Note: This article doesn't take into account the Protestant minority.

"Its foes like to accuse Turkey's ruling AK Party of plotting to create an Iranian-style Islamic state, but many among the country's Christian minority seem to prefer the alleged Islamists to more secular parties."

" Turkey is overwhelmingly Muslim but hosts several ancient Christian communities -- dwindling remnants of sizeable populations that prospered for centuries in the Muslim-led but multi-ethnic, multi-faith Ottoman Empire.

Modern Turkey was founded on the empire's ashes in 1923.

Those communities include some 70,000 Armenians and 20,000 Greek Orthodox -- mostly based in Istanbul -- and 20,000 Syriac Christians, who speak a form of Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

Turkey's Christians have often voted in the past for secular parties such as the centre-left CHP, analysts say. But the CHP has joined a rising tide of Turkish nationalism, making Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party a more attractive option." Business - Latest News - Turkey's Christians like AK despite Islamist past

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