Turkish main opposition asks Islamic world to embrace secularism

Turkish main opposition asks Islamic world to embrace secularism

Turkish main opposition asks Islamic world to embrace secularism

Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu speaks at the Turkish Parliament on Jan. 13. AA Photo

Turkey’s main opposition party has called on Islamic countries to adopt secularism in order to end the roots of terrorism, denouncing last week’s deadly Paris attacks and stressing that “killing innocent people has nothing to do with Islam.”

“We are calling on the entire Islamic world: Please adopt secularism. It was described as sacrilege until yesterday, but secularism is the assurance of all faiths; it means no political interventions on people’s religions," main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told his parliamentary group on Jan. 13.

"Secularism is the antidote to terror,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.

The CHP head said the attacks against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo revealed once again the importance of secularism, recalling that Turkey’s prominent role among Muslim countries was because of its secular state tradition brought about by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

“Killing innocent people is not Islam and we strongly condemn this attack, just like the enter contemporary world does,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, stating that Islam is a "religion of peace."

He underlined that the fight against terrorism is no longer an issue countries can deal with alone, but is an international problem requiring co-operation.

Strongly criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) foreign policy, Kılıçdaroğlu argued that extremist jihadists have become Turkey’s neighbors as a result of the government’s mistaken policies.

“We warned the government; not once, not twice, not three times: If you follow such policies, terrorist organizations will become your neighbors. If you follow such policies, Turkey will pay the price,” he said, also claiming that Turkey had supplied weapons to these groups along with "main sponsor" Qatar.

The government has long been meddling in the internal policies of Syria, Iraq and Egypt, and this policy has resulted in Turkey's “precious loneliness,”  citing some government officials who had used this description while trying to respond to criticism that Turkey was isolated from its allies.

Addressing Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, he suggested that the government had followed reckless policies in the Middle East.

“He should ask himself: ‘Why am I being criticized?’ This terrorist organization called ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] is designated as a terrorist organization everywhere in the world, except by one person, one government and one party: The AKP. Why don’t you designate it as one too?” Kılıçdaroğlu added.