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Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 12:20 UK

AKP verdict: Turkish readers react

After the Turkish Constitutional Court decided not to ban the ruling AK Party on Wednesday, Turks have been reflecting on what that means for the country's political future.

Here, Turkish readers give their reaction to the verdict and offer the AKP some of their own advice.

YUSUF TOK, 33, ENGINEER, ISTANBUL

Yusuf Tok
I am surprised, but happy at this outcome.

I, like the majority of people here, was expecting the AKP to be closed down.

This entire trial was political not legal.

When the trial started many, many people were against the AKP.

But as the trial went on, people seemed to change their minds about a ban.

This may have been due to the external reaction of the EU and the US to the trial.

Turkish people also seemed to start worrying about what would happen to the country's economy, for example, if the governing party were to be closed down.

The claim that the AKP is a threat to secular values was a big lie and I disagree that the party has an overtly Islamist agenda

I am a little disappointed that only one of the judges actually voted for the AKP, as I think the court should have rejected this trial from the beginning.

But I am satisfied overall with the result. It is a win for democracy.

The claim that the AKP is a threat to secular values was a big lie and I disagree that the party has an overtly Islamist agenda.

I think now all parties will need to cool down.

The AKP may even try to impose some regulations to prevent a trial like this from happening again.

On the other hand, prosecutors may even try to open a new case against the party.

BURAK TASTAN, 23, WORKS IN TRADE, ANKARA

Burak Tastan
I am really shocked and disappointed at this ruling.

I really wanted the AKP to be closed down.

[Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and his party are declaring this ruling as a victory for democracy, but I can't understand how they can be allowed to do that.

Our economy is suffering under this party. The cost of electricity, gas and water are all going up.

Terrorism continues across the country and there is no security being put in place to protect Turkish people.

As the son of a soldier in the army, I am always waiting for bad news.


It is not a good outcome for Turkey

Erdogan does not trust or support our military.

I am not against the religious beliefs of the party, after all we are a Muslim country, so this was not an issue for me in this case.

The only issues that matter are our security, the economy and our low standard of living.

I think the AKP will receive a huge boost from this verdict and will continue to grow and become too powerful.

It is not a good outcome for Turkey.

OZGUR KAYA, 31, SOFTWARE CONSULTANT, ISTANBUL

Ozgur Kaya
This verdict is not a victory for the AKP, because there is no winner and you can't say democracy has won in the end.

The AKP won the last election, and although I did not vote for them myself, I think it is not up to the court to decide the party's fate.

If things are really going wrong with the AKP then it is the people that should have the ability to prevent them from continuing in government - in an election.

So, I am satisfied with the verdict because it is simply not democratic to close down a party elected by the people.

The AKP have certainly made mistakes, especially with the economy and in implementing EU reforms.

They should take this verdict as a warning that they need to do more to improve our economy and not provide any further distractions on other issues.

The charge that they are trying to create an completely Islamist state is not one that worries me.

As for headscarves, I think they should be allowed to be worn only in universities.

We need to see more democratic reforms by this government.

If they don't change their overall approach, prosecutors may well try to bring about another trial such as this one.




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