Friday, June 03, 2005

Turkish 'pro-Islamist' law vetoed

Turkey's secularist president has blocked a law that he says could have given Islamic extremists more freedom.

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said the change could have encouraged Islamists to preach against Turkey's secular state in illegal hardline schools.

The law was a late addition to a new penal code which Turkey has adopted in its efforts to join the EU.

It was backed by the governing AK Party, which has Islamist roots but insists it is committed to secularism.

The proposed change would have cut the penalty for anyone found guilty of teaching the Koran in unauthorised centres.

At the moment, those found guilty can be jailed for between three and six years.

Under the change, that sentence would have been cut to between three and 12 month.

Read the rest of the article on the Bbc website

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