200,000 Turks protest Erdogan's run for president

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April 14, 2007 15:36

 
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More than 200,000 Turks protested against Turkey's Islamic-rooted prime minister Saturday, demonstrating the intense opposition he could face from Turkey's secular establishment if he decides to run for president next month. Protesters called on the government to resign and chanted slogans including, "We don't want an imam as president." Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has brandished his strong religious convictions while at the same time pushing Turkey toward European Union membership, represents a challenge to secularists in Turkey. Many fear that if he or someone close to him wins the presidency, the government will be able to implement an Islamist agenda without opposition. But Erdogan's opponents may be fighting a lost battle. His party was elected to an overwhelming majority in parliament and can appoint whomever it wants to the presidency.

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