Secularism Does Not Mean Being Without A Religion: Turkey PM Erdogan


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that secularism did not mean being without a religion.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), Erdogan said that secularism did not imply being against a certain religion.

“As a Muslim leading a secular state, one has to be at an equal distance to Muslims, Christians and Jews. Believers of all religions are under the security of the secular state”, Erdogan said.

Erdogan’s comments on secularism came after a journalist reminded him that certain religious groups had reservations on secularism in Libya.

Touching on the developments taking place in Syria, Erdogan said that a country can not be prosperous by tyranny.

“It is impossible for any government to stay in power after tanks and artilleries attack its people. Our approach to the Syrian President Bashar al-Asad is not the same as it was two months ago. He will have to pay the price of his actions,” Erdogan stressed.

Abdel Jalil, in his part, said that “as Libyans, we are a Muslim society. We would not want to see the radicalization of our people neither in the right or left of the political spectrum and we will not permit this”.

“Certain individuals’ radicalization have come to an end in Libya,” Abdel Jalil said.

“The people of Libya have united. I believe that the Libyan people will adopt elections and a constitutional system,” Abdel Jalil also said.


JTW - the Journal of Turkish Weekly - is a respected Turkish news source in English language on international politics. Established in 2004, JTW is published by Ankara-based Turkish think tank International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

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