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Akyol, Taha

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Hürriyet - Turkey | 28/07/2015

HDP must confront PKK

The leader of the Turkish pro-Kurdish HDP party, Selahattin Demirtaş, on Monday accused the Turkish government of having halted the peace process with its military strikes against the PKK. The HDP must now clearly distance itself from PKK violence in order to save this process between Ankara and the Kurds, explains the conservative daily Hürriyet: "The warlords [of the PKK] want to maintain their own totalitarian rule. This makes the resistance by the Kurdish movement's leftist and liberal intelligence important. The HDP parliamentarians who don't support the PKK's course, as well as the Kurdish democrats, are morally obliged to counter the pressure [of the PKK] in the Qandil region. It must be made clear to the Kurds in Qandil and the KCK [the military arm of the PKK] that weapons aren't the solution. To prevent a disaster like that in Syria and put the derailed peace process back on track the HDP must seek cooperation."

Hürriyet - Turkey | 29/05/2015

Only civil weddings protect Turkish women

Turkey's constitutional court ruled on Thursday that a marriage officiated by an imam without a previous civil wedding was no longer punishable by law. Columnist Taha Akyol of the conservative daily Hürriyet criticises the decision: "From a liberal standpoint everyone can be married or unmarried. So those who want to are also free to be married by an imam without being married in a civil ceremony. … The other perspective is the social one, and this has to do with protecting women. It is a fact that in our underdeveloped areas young girls are 'given' to their husbands in imam marriage ceremonies. Such marriages don't offer women any legal protection. …. Because people knew that it was a punishable offence to get married in an imam wedding ceremony without a previous civil wedding, and that those involved could be reported to the police, this at least served as a deterrent. The ruling has removed this deterrent."

Hürriyet - Turkey | 27/03/2015

Only democracy helps against religious wars

Yet another religious war is flaring up in the Middle East in Yemen, the conservative daily Hürriyet laments: "The basic problem is that the Muslim world is still stuck in the Middle Ages in the 21st century. … The Sunni doctrine sees other religions as abnormal and applies many historical rules of Islamic law as if they were divine commandments. … At the same time the Shiite rebellion in Yemen testifies to a radicalisation and militarisation similar to that in the Sunni world. … It's clear that the legacy of Muslim law and religious doctrine needs to be examined and updated. … If people, regardless of their religion, aren't equal before the law, how can peaceful coexistence be possible? The prerequisite for this is clearly democracy and a secular rule of law."

Hürriyet - Turkey | 19/11/2014

Muslims must focus on science

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech on Saturday that America was not discovered by Columbus, but three hundred years before that by Muslims. Renowned historians back this view but it shouldn't lead to false conclusions, columnist Taha Akoyl writes in the conservative daily Hürriyet: "In view of today's cultural problems I see little point in boasting about the Muslim's wonderful historical feats. Instead of praising our past achievements it is far more important and necessary to ask and research why the Muslims have moved so far away from these amazing scientific and philosophical feats. ... Why have the times when the Muslim culture was the pioneer in science and philosophy ended, and why has the Muslim world sunk into fanaticism and backwardness? ... Returning our focus to science is the only way to improve the honour and reputation of Islam."

Hürriyet - Turkey | 29/08/2014

Turkish opposition's disrespectful boycott

Turkey's biggest opposition party CHP left the plenary assembly hall in protest as the new president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was being sworn into office on Thursday. They criticise the fact that instead of stepping down as prime minister immediately after his victory in the president election, as stipulated in the constitution, Erdoğan waited two weeks to do so. Their accusations are justified but their boycott was tactless, the conservative daily Hürriyet concludes: "The act of leaving the hall and the catcalls from the benches were the wrong approach entirely. The opposition party's protest, which calls for the republic's customs and traditions to be respected, should have taken place after the swearing-in ceremony. ... The polarisation runs deep, and our culture of political debate is very dangerous. So rather than withdrawing his outstretched hand Erdoğan should should remain open to reconciliation as long as possible and defuse the tensions. For its part the opposition should also see to it that the tensions are lessened. This is necessary both for the sake of our democratic customs as well as to uphold the political spirit."

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