It’s hilarious sometimes what strict secularists and pious Muslims can fight over. The first group is faithfully represented by daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, which excels in finding proof of how religious Muslims are slowly turning Turkey into a non-secular state. As its most recent evidence it reports how, in a neighbourhood where some religious people were in charge, a few street names were changed, and one of the new street names was Cumhuriyet Çıkmazı. Now Cumhuriyet means ‘Republic’, and Çıkmazı means ‘dead end street’. Need we say more? Next day religious newspaper Zaman reacted: Cumhuriyet mentioned Cumhuriyet Çıkmazı, but forgot to mention that it’s a dead end street off the big Cumhuriyet Bulvarı, and that of course there is also an Atatürk Bulvarı (Atatürk being the saint of secularism of course), which Cumhuriyet also ‘forgot’ to mention. On the same day, Cumhuriyet also decided to add this information, apparently they seemed to find that fair as well. But of course this time they added a picture of the street name sign Cumhuriyet Çıkmazı, because to them that remains the ‘breaking news’. I literally laugh out loud when I read these things. I can hardly put myself into the shoes of someone who actually very seriously sees an Islamic state emerging from a dead end street called Republic.
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Podiumbouwer Maaike van Kempen made this website.