Articles worth reading
Image : Vietnamese fish farmers win $570,000 compensation for mass fish deaths

Vietnamese fish farmers win $570,000 compensation for mass fish deaths

person Orange Themes access_time Dec 23,2016

A group of 11 seafood companies in southern Vietnam have been ordered to recompense families whose fish were killed en masse last year.

Image : Liverpool announce sales partnership with China's

Liverpool announce sales partnership with China's

person Orange Themes access_time May 11,2016

Liverpool Football Club launched an online store in China on Tuesday in partnership with , the country's No.2 e-commerce company.

Image : Thailand's crown prince becomes country's new king

Thailand's crown prince becomes country's new king

person Orange Themes access_time Dec 02,2016

King Maha Vajiralongkorn will be known as Rama X, or the 10th king of Thailand's Chakri Dynasty.

Latest blog articles

Turkey’s potential shift on mosque and state

access_time Apr 18,2017 chat_bubble_outline 50 views

For nearly a century, Turkey’s political history has been one of largely secular rule over a mostly Muslim people. Its model of balancing divine faith and earthly governance, however, may soon be sharply reshaped. In an April 16 referendum, Turkish voters narrowly approved a plan to grant semi-authoritarian powers to a presidency now controlled by a man who founded the governing Islamist party.

The vote itself remains contested because of a crackdown on dissent since last July by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Yet the plebiscite’s near-even split did make clear that Turks have now joined the rest of the Muslim world in the struggle to redefine the proper role of religion in the public sphere.

From Tunisia to Indonesia, the rise of radical Islam has forced Muslims to debate the overlap of mosque and state. In Turkey, President Erdogan has promised to “raise pious generations,” a goal he could soon pursue by dictate. The approved changes to the Constitution are expected to keep him in office until 2029 and will give him strong powers over the legislature and judiciary. Yet about half of Turk voters indicated they prefer the secular system set up by the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. His reforms undercut the notion of religion as a source of authority for the state in a diverse society.

At the same time, the Ataturk model also repressed many outward expressions of faith, such as women wearing head coverings. The fact that Turkey may now be swinging the pendulum toward a new accommodation of religion might be welcomed – except for the fact that its democracy will soon concentrate many powers in the hands of one person. Democracy itself, in other words, may be at stake, perhaps leading Turkey toward the Iran model that blends religious and secular authority.

If anything, religious faith calls for humility in ruling over others, not coercion, and a wide respect for the dignity of the individual in choosing faith. At the same time, secular rulers must recognize that that the moral precepts of governance, such as rights and liberties, have their origins in religion.

Turkey could easily be the world’s most important Muslim country. Both its economy and its military are the largest in the Middle East. And it has long served as a bridge between East and West, serving as a member of NATO while regarding itself as the leader of the Muslim world.

It has also struggled over its national identity, not only in matters of faith but in dealing with ethnic minorities and in its leanings toward being European.

A country that straddles the Bosphorus can also learn to straddle the sometimes difficult divide between Islam and modern governance. Ataturk may have gone too far in secular governance, but now Erdogan could also go too far the other way. As long as Turkish voters are in charge and Erdogan does not further erode the democratic process, they can keep searching for the right balance.

Related stories

  • The Monitor's View
    Egypt’s example of cross-faith goodwill
  • The Monitor's View
    A good defense against terrorist hate
  • The Monitor's View
    In the most populous Muslim nation, a test of tolerance
  • The Monitor's View
    Winning the hearts of Islamic State’s potential recruits

Read this story at

Become a part of the Monitor community

  • Become a Facebook fan!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on Google+
  • Link up with us!
  • Subscribe to our RSS feeds!
Carter: US to return Okinawa land to Japanese government

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. and Japan announced Tuesday that Washington will give back to the Japanese government nearly 10,000 acres of land on Okinawa that U.S. Marines use for jungle warfare training.The giveback, to be completed by Dec. 22, has been in the works for 20 years and is the largest by U.S. forces in Japan since the U.S. returned control of Okinawa in 1972.Carter announced the plan at a joint appearance with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who also mentioned his earlier announced plan to… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Conquering the peak of Truong Son Nam Range

VietNamNet Bridge – Ngoc Linh Mountain is the peak of Truong Son Nam Mountain Range, the southern part of Truong Son Mountain Range. At 2,605 meters above sea level, the mountain is located in the north of the Central Highlands between Kon Tum and Quang Nam provinces. A view is seen from Mang Roi Pass From HCMC, it takes around 10 hours to travel by coach to Kon Tum City. Upon arrival in Kon Tum City in the Central Highlands province of the same name, tourists can hire a motorbike for a trip… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Samsung remains Vietnam’s largest exporter despite Galaxy Note 7 saga

An of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 at a mobile phone shop in Hanoi in October, before a global recall. Photo by Reuters/Kham The Galaxy Note 7 saga has not affected the dominant position of the South Korean tech giant Samsung in Vietnam’s export sector. Samsung Vietnam Deputy Director Bang Huyn Woo said that the company earned $39.9 billion from shipping electronics last year, up 10 percent against 2015. The company also contributed 23 percent out of nearly $176 billion of Vietnam's export… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Ben Thanh bus station to be relocated next week

If you travel by bus in Ho Chi Minh City this weekend it will be your last chance to hop off at the main station fronting Ben Thanh Market in District 1. The Ben Thanh bus terminal is scheduled for relocation to nearby Ham Nghi Street this Monday to free-up space for the construction of the city’s first metro line. Currently, 36 different bus routes operating 4,700 daily trips pass through Ben Thanh station, accounting for 30 percent of the city’s total bus traffic, according to the… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

UN counts on Trump to combat climate change, advance rights: Ban

Marrakech (Morocco) (AFP) - The UN's climate chief on Wednesday congratulated Donald Trump, who has called global warming a hoax and threatened to "cancel" the climate-rescue Paris Agreement, on his victory in the US presidential election."We look forward to engaging with his administration to take the climate action agenda forward for the benefit of the peoples of the globe," Patricia Espinosa said in a statement. World - Yahoo News chat_bubble_outline Read More...

folder_open Assigned tags



Trends in Singapore

Trends in Indonesia

Trends in Philippin