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Soft Sharia in Turkey

The bad news about the Turkish justice system is that it is increasingly religiously ideological, reminiscent of the Ottoman justice system where non-Muslims were legally inferior to the Muslims and were constantly reminded of their inferiority to the dominant community through restrictions and markers.

  • The legislation reads that law enforcement officials cannot “intentionally marry a person who is known to be impure, or to stay in a marriage, or continue to live with such a person.”
  • In addition, the decree covers stricter rules against drinking, gambling, the vague and emphatic “going to places that would ruin your reputation,” as well as “excessive spending”.

 

The good news about Turkish justice is that despite 15 years of not-so-creeping Islamization, court verdicts do not yet sentence wrongdoers to public lashing, stoning, amputations or public hangings in main city squares. The bad news about the Turkish justice system is that it is increasingly religiously ideological, reminiscent of the Ottoman justice system where non-Muslims were legally inferior to the Muslims and were, in principle, expected to be constantly reminded of their inferiority to the dominant community through restrictions and markers.

In 21st century Turkey, fortunately, there are not [yet] markers revealing non-Muslim citizens or laws discriminating against non-Muslims. Nevertheless, with or without markers, there is positive discrimination in favor of pious Muslims and against the others. Turkish law enforcement is embarrassingly pro-pious Sunni Muslim.

Turkey, nominally, is not a Sharia state. But it is becoming one on a de facto basis. In January, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government issued a decree stipulating that law enforcement officials, including security officials, police and coast guard officers, could lose their jobs if they marry a “known adulterer.” The legislation reads that law enforcement officials cannot “intentionally marry a person who is known to be impure, or to stay in a marriage, or continue to live with such a person.” The offense is punishable by up to 24 months’ suspension from work. In addition, the decree covers stricter rules against drinking, gambling, the vague and emphatic “going to places that would ruin your reputation,” as well as “excessive spending,” all while off duty.

Is Turkey An Islamic Or Secular Country?

 

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