Turkish main opposition asks Islamic world to embrace secularism

Republican People's Party (CHP) head Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu speaks at the Turkish Parliament on Jan. 13. AA Photo

Turkey's main opposition party has called on Islamic countries to adopt secularism in order to end the roots of terrorism, denouncing last week's deadly Paris attacks and stressing that "killing innocent people has nothing to do with Islam."

"We are calling on the entire Islamic world: Please adopt secularism. It was described as sacrilege until yesterday, but secularism is the assurance of all faiths; it means no political interventions on people's religions," main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) head Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu told his parliamentary group on Jan. 13.

"Secularism is the antidote to terror," K?l?çdaro?lu added.

The CHP head said the attacks against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo revealed once again the importance of secularism, recalling that Turkey's prominent role among Muslim countries was because of its secular state tradition brought about by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

"Killing innocent people is not Islam and we strongly condemn this attack, just like the enter contemporary world does," K?l?çdaro?lu said, stating that Islam is a "religion of peace."

He underlined that the fight against terrorism is no longer an issue countries can deal with alone, but is an international problem requiring co-operation.

Strongly criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) foreign policy, K?l?çdaro?lu argued that extremist jihadists have become Turkey's neighbors as a result of the government's mistaken policies.

"We warned the government; not once, not twice, not three times: If you follow such policies, terrorist organizations will become your neighbors. If you follow such policies, Turkey will pay the price," he said, also claiming that Turkey had...

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