Expert: Turkey's ruling party uses religion for own purposes
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 13 / Trend A.Tagiyeva /
Leaders of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) are trying to use the religion for own political interests and enhance its credibility, said Sinan Ogan, the president of the Turkish Center for International Relations and Strategic Analysis (TURKSAM) and chairman of the Turkish-Azerbaijani Society.
"The religious freedom of the people should be respected, but we can not engage in politics, using religion," he told Trend over the telephone.
Regarding the fact that a woman in a hijab has nominated her candidacy in the parliamentary elections scheduled for June, Ogan said one should wear clothes set by the state in public institutions and state agencies. But, with this step the ruling party seeks to use religion for its own political purposes.
Teacher Gulderen Gultekin, being an AKP member, will nominee her candidacy from Anadolu. She teaches a culture of religion at the Erciyez University
Turkey scheduled the parliamentary elections for June 2011. The country holds elections on Sunday. June 12 will be the second Sunday in this June.
Turkish media reported that the decision on the date of the parliamentary elections was taken at a meeting of the AKP executive committee on Monday. An appropriate appeal will be sent to the Turkish central Election Commission (CEC).
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party is in power since November 2002. At the last parliamentary elections in June 2007, it won about 47 percent of the vote and formed a single-party government.
Although the AKP governs the country for eight years, Ogan said, the issue of hijab still remains unsolved in Turkey.
"The Party does not aim to solve this problem. They are using this issue to strengthen their political authority," he added.