At the end of April, over a million people demonstrated against the presidential candidature of Abdullah Gül of the religious-conservative “party for justice and development” (AKP) in Turkey. The military even threatened with a putsch. They feared a massive islamization of the state, politics and society in the case of Gül’s election that could lead to an end of Turkey’s laicist order.
In PRIF Report No. 78 "Turkey: Islam and Laicism Between the Interests of State, Politics, and Society", Cemal Karakas examines the ambivalent relationship between Islam and laicism in Turkey and finds out that the prevailing kemalist interpretation of laicism is rather dogmatic and undemocratic. As long as constitutional and democratic rules are not questioned, Karakas recommends to allow religion more space in politics.