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Is Erdogan signaling end of secularism in Turkey?

The Religious Affairs Directorate has become the center of the election campaign in Turkey, causing further social discord.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a Peace Summit ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, in Istanbul April 23, 2015. Thousands of Australians, New Zealanders and Turks gathered on Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula on Thursday ahead of the 100th anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles of World War One. A century ago, thousands of soldiers from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) struggled ashore on a narrow beach at Gallipoli at the start of an ill-fated
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In a televised speech April 25 for the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bluntly criticized the campaign promises of two leftist parties about the Religious Affairs Directorate (known as the Diyanet). “They are now targeting the Diyanet," he said. "The main opposition party [referring to the Republican People’s Party (CHP)] has written in their election platform, 'The Diyanet will be at equal distance to all faiths.' The religion of this nation is clear. And the members of other religious communities have their own institutions, and those are clear. So why are they bringing the controversy to the doors of the Diyanet?”

Erdogan then focused on pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) that had promised to close down the Diyanet. “And those who promise to abolish the Diyanet, it is clear what kind of a lesson our nation will teach them,” said Erdogan, who urged the main opposition party, CHP, to join HDP in promising to close down the Diyanet. “When we look at the establishment of the Diyanet, we see that it was during the time of founder of Turkey and CHP, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Why won’t the CHP tell you this?”

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