Monday, November 12, 2007

Medal for Saudi King raises doubts over gov't

by Fulya Özerkan from The Turkish Daily News

The written notice published yesterday in the Official Gazette said King Abdullah would be honored with the state medal for his contributions to bilateral ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia and his personal efforts for peace and stability in the region. “Unfortunately this situation is a clear indicator of the government's efforts to turn Turkey into an Islamic republic,” Onur Öymen, Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy, told the Turkish Daily News ... He said the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government aimed at bringing Turkey closer to the Islamic countries and was pursuing its religion-based agenda in all political, economic and culture spheres. İnal Batu, a veteran diplomat, warned that the government should avoid discrimination when presenting state medals. “There are question marks hanging over this [AKP] government regarding whether it is sticking to the secularism principle. Delivery of such merits only to the representatives of Islamic regimes would not be correct,” he said.

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