Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with President Abdullah Gul and their ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), have been moving for quite some time to dismantle Turkish secularism and transform Turkey into a state governed by Islamic law. But as Prime Minister, Erdogan has not engaged in a direct assault on Turkish secularism. Instead, he and the AKP have steadily chipped away at it, reintroducing provisions of Islamic law piece by piece, while professing to uphold the country’s secular character.
[...] In the 1990s, as mayor of Istanbul, Erdogan was forthright about this goal, expressing his opposition to secularism in no uncertain terms: “You cannot be both secular and a Muslim! You will either be a Muslim, or secular!...It is not possible for a person who says ‘I am a Muslim’ to go on and say ‘I am secular too.’ And why is that? Because Allah, the creator of the Muslim, has absolute power and rule!”