Saturday, March 04, 2006

Opposition, AKP clash over 'Secularism Day'

A proposal by the main opposition to honor Turkey's principle of secularism with its own day is drawing fire from ruling deputies, who cited Ataturk in their defense.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) submitted a bill under which March 3, the anniversary of the Unification of the Education Act (Tevhid-i Tedrisad), would henceforth be celebrated as "Secularism and Unity in Education Day."

But the CHP quickly ran into troubles with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

AK Party Deputy Avni Dogan said that he saw no point in declaring a particular Secularism Day when, as far as he knew, Ataturk, the founder of the republic and initiator of the principle of secularism in Turkey, had not declared such a day.

He accused the CHP of pretending to be the guardian of the republic, adding, "You're monopolizing Kemalism."

Read the whole story on The New Anatolian

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