Law Said to Promote Islamist Agenda Blocked by President

June 3, 2005

Source: BBC News

On June 3, 2005 BBC News reported, "Turkey's secularist president has blocked a law that he says could have given Islamic extremists more freedom.

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said the change could have encouraged Islamists to preach against Turkey's secular state in illegal hardline schools.

The law was a late addition to a new penal code which Turkey has adopted in its efforts to join the EU.

It was backed by the governing AK Party, which has Islamist roots but insists it is committed to secularism.

The proposed change would have cut the penalty for anyone found guilty of teaching the Koran in unauthorised centres."