Does Erdogan want his own Islamic state?

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves from the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce mosque after Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey, April 15, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Murad Sezer) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves from the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce mosque after Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey, April 15, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

 

Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman unexpectedly sparked controversy in Turkey when on April 25 he declared that Turkey’s new constitution should forgo mention of “secularism” and instead be a “religious constitution” referencing God. His words reignited Turkey’s always tense “secularism debate,” which has been amplified since 2002 when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power. Kahraman’s remarks led to protests in a number of cities, a call by the main opposition leader for him to resign and allegations by secular pundits that the Speaker had shown the AKP’s “true face,” its “real intentions.” Because Kahraman is a known confidant of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, many also suspected that his statement was part of a scheme being orchestrated by Turkey’s leader. Continue reading

European Union Agrees To Invest Billions In Egyptian Economy

Following up on the request Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi made in mid-September, on Wednesday the European Union approved a $6.4 billion (5 billion euro) aid package for Egypt.

Morsi said in a statement that the deal is “a strong sign of the EU’s support for Egypt’s path to development.”

Two billion euros will come from the European Investment bank, and another two billion from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the BBC said. The rest will be provided by EU member states. Continue reading