After the second world war, western powers dismantled the ottoman empire and ended the Islamic Caliphate. They made sure that Islam has no role in modern Turkey. Kemal Ataturk who took over power in the new state of Turkey worked hard to make Turkey a secular country. He closed religious schools, religious clothing, switched the Turkish alphabet from Arabic to Latin, changed the call to prayer from Arabic to Turkish and introduced thusands of secular laws.
Before the current ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) many islamic parties tried to restore the role of Islam in Turkey but failed. The military had too much power and wanted the country to stay secular by all means. But things started to incrementally change under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and over the years Turkey is returning to its Islamic roots.
Here is why Erdogan is the greatest muslim leader of our times:
##Stood up to Puttin’s bullying in Syria
##Spoke the Truth to President Sisi of Egypt
##Helped Syrian Refugees More Than Any Other Muslim Leader
##Tremendously Boosted Turkish Economy
##Built Thousands of Mosques
#####(Camlica Mosque. Photo: Ali Aksoyer/Istanbul (DHA))
American newspaper ‘The Atlantic’ reported that Erdogan’s government built 17,000 new mosques between 2002 – 2013. A lot more are under construction.
Lifted Hijab Bans
Under previous governments Turkish women were not allowed to wear Hijab was banned in in state run institutions: schools, universities, courts, the parliament, etc. Erdogan’s government lifted the ban and women are now allowed to wear Hijab everywhere. For the first time in Turkey’s history a female judge conducted a trial while wearing her Hijab. In August 2015, Aysen Gurcan became the first Hijab-wearing government minister.
##Enrolled Over 1 Million Students in Religious Schools
The number of students enrolled in religious schools grew from 65,000 in 2002 to 658,000 in 2013. That number reached 1 million by the end of 2015 (The Turkey Analyst).
##Introduced Compulsory Religious Education in Turkish Schools
President Erdogan reportedly said:
We want to raise a religious youth. Do you expect the conservative democrat AK Party to raise an atheist generation? That might be your business, your mission, but not ours. We will raise a conservative and democratic generation embracing the nation’s values and principles.
##Abolished Age-Limit on Quran Classes
Before Erdogan’s government children under 12 years old were not allowed to attend Quran classes. The current government is not only those children to attend Quran classes but working on providing Quran courses for preschoolers.
##Placed Restrictions on Alcohol Sale and Advertisement
Erdogan’s Party passed bills banning the advertisment of alcohol within 100 metres of a school or mosque and forcing advertisers to blur out depictions of alcohol in movies and on TV. The sale of alcohol is banned in gas stations, schools, universities, health institutions and sports clubs.
##Expanded Islamic banking
By 2018, Ziraat Islamic will have 170 branches across Turkey. Erdogan called the traditional banking system ‘cruel’ and praised Islamic banking:
If we are to jump forward we need to grow within a real participation system rather than this cruel one. Islamic financing is a completely different system from the current banking system in terms of its asset-backed structure, its reliance on risk share and its structure closed to speculation. I believe that this system will be the driving force behind the Turkish economy.”</blockquote>