Islamist member of parliament Merve Kavakci triggered an uproar when she appeared at her swearing-in ceremony in 1999 wearing a headscarf. As she walked into the parliament building, other members of parliament jumped up from their seats and yelled: 'Get out! Get out!' Kavakci was expelled from the parliament and has never returned.That's great, but I wonder whether the same will occur in 10 or 20 years? It seems to me there'll either be no need for such outbursts, or the ones wanting to yell "Get out! Get out!" will have been silenced by religious bullies. The tightrope of today seems the least likely eventuality. The most likely seems to favor the bullies.
What is the greater good -- the individual's religious freedom or the secular principle of the state?The question is incorrect. Religious "freedom" today facilitates the suppression of secularism tomorrow, which implies the sort of religious "freedom" presently enjoyed in places like Saudi Arabia.
Turkey's secular forces, on the other hand, feel vindicated by the Strasbourg ruling. "The system worked," says historian Cagaptay, who is convinced that Turkey has "no potential for fundamentalism."No potential for fundamentalism. I certainly hope he's right.