Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron over his comments from last week pledging to fight “Islamist separatism,” accusing the French leader of “impertinence” and "provocation." "Speaking about Islam's structuring as the leader of France is overstepping and impertinence," said Erdoğan. "Who are you to utter a phrase like Islam's structuring?"Erdoğan asked.
Like France, Turkey too is a secular republic. Secularism is one of constitutional principles that even to propose changing is banned. Yet, judging the paths taken by the two presidents Mr. Erdoğan and Mr. Macron they are going at almost diametrically opposite directions.
Run by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), the Islamic Research Center (İSAM) has seen a 600-percent increase in its budget over the last 16 years. Known for holding a symposium about Islamic fatwas on medical issues, the foundation is chaired by a founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
A group of fundamentalists have marched on Istanbul's streets after praying at Hagia Sophia. Footage on Twitter showed men in robes chanting "God is great" as they marched.
Many Muslims, American Muslims included, no longer see world affairs through the lens of traditional notions of dominance and conquest. Islamic history now lends itself to alternative interpretations.
The interim secretary-general of the World Council of Churches, Ioan Sauca, has penned a letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to express his “grief and dismay” over Turkey's decision to change the status of Istanbul's landmark Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. "I am obliged to convey to you the grief and dismay of the World Council of Churches – and of its 350 member churches in more than 110 countries, representing more than half a billion Christians around the world – at the step you have just taken," Sauca said.
President Erdoğan has said that it is a "great concern" for words that fuel animosity towards Islam "to be used freely." Erdoğan made the comments on July 11 while marking the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.
US criticizes Turkey for deportations, entry bans of non-Muslims in its report on religious freedoms
The U.S. has criticized Turkey over deportations and entry bans of non-Muslims in its report on religious freedoms. The State Department cited community sources as saying that some of the deportations and entry bans during the year targeted foreign-citizen members of the community who had lived legally, as long-term residents, in the country for decades and who had previously not experienced any immigration difficulties.
As millions of people in Istanbul and throughout the country have been confined to their homes during the COVID-19 epidemic, the balcony has acquired a new status in urban Turkey.
Relations between Turkey and the European Union may indeed be back on track, but which track is that exactly? Just when I had given credit to EU-Turkey rapprochement, despite my usually pessimistic self, the usual flare-ups with Greece started up again.
President Erdoğan has reiterated Turkey's support for Palestine, saying that the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is a red line for all Muslims. "I would like to reiterate that al-Quds Al-Sharif, the holy site of three religions and our first kiblah, is a red line for all Muslims worldwide," Erdoğan said. "We will not allow the Palestinian lands to be offered to anyone else," he added.
Politicians have exchanged Eid al-Fitr celebrations through video conferences amid a tense political environment in Turkey. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said it won't exchange greetings with the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Future Party and the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA). A similar stance was adopted by its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which won't talk to İYİ (Good) Party in addition to the aforementioned three.
This year, the May 19 celebrations in Turkey were held within homes due to the coronavirus lockdown. Nationalist and neo-nationalist accounts called for a united celebration at exactly 19:19 in the evening. Even Atatürk as a symbol seems to have been partially adopted by the AKP regime in order to create total control over the public.
Turkish photographer Fırat Erez was detained on May 17 over "insulting religious values" in a social media post. "Islam is immorality," Erez said on Twitter, prompting authorities to detain him over "insulting religious values and inciting hatred and enmity."
The lawyer of Halis Bayancuk, dubbed Turkey's ISIS leader, has said that his client must be freed "since his speeches are based on Islam." "ISIS and al-Qaeda say, 'Democracy is kuffar' and call the rulers who don't rule with Islamic principles 'taghut.' My client also accepts non-Islamic governance as 'taghut' and says democracy is 'kuffar.' However, he says these because these concepts are included in the Quran," the lawyer said.