Turkey’s Republic Day reception covered by the New York Times

The reception which was hosted by President Abdullah Gul and Hayrunnisa Gul on the occasion of Turkey’s Republic Day which is celebrated on October 29 was covered in an article by The New York Times.

“At a reception on Monday evening at the president’s mansion to celebrate Turkey’s founding 89 years ago, something previously unheard of occurred: the country’s top military commander stood alongside the wives of the president and prime minister, even while the women wore Islamic headscarves,” the article wrote, adding, “In years past the military elite would never have stood beside women wearing a symbol long at the center of Turkey’s struggle over the role of religion in public life. These men were heirs to the traditions of Turkey’s secularist founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who zealously banished religion from public life.”

Tim Arago, writer of the article, also wrote the following: “At a time when Turkey’s prosperity and its melding of democratic and Islamic values are being put forward as a model for an Arab world in turmoil, the country is facing its own internal power struggles -- between Islamists and secularists, civilian leaders and military commanders. The outcome could not only determine the future of Turkey but, as it takes on a greater role in the affairs of the Middle East, also shape the region.”

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