It Can't Happen Here
Turkish news reports that there was a public demonstration recently:
Ecevit buried amid secularist chants
POSTED: 12:05 p.m. EST, November 11, 2006
ANKARA, Turkey (Reuters) -- Thousands of Turks chanted in defense of secularism on Saturday as they buried veteran leader Bulent Ecevit, best known for winning EU candidacy for Turkey and invading Cyprus in a five-decade political career.
Crowds keen to protect Turkey's official secularism booed Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan -- whose party's roots are in political Islam -- as he arrived at the state funeral in Ankara.
"Turkey is secular and will remain secular," chanted members of the crowd, which a police official estimated at 50-80,000.
Mainly Muslim Turkey is officially secular but defenders of secularism suspect the AK Party government of having a hidden Islamist agenda.
The funeral chants follow a demonstration by secularists last Saturday, and in May some 25,000 marched in defense of secularism at the funeral of a judge shot dead by a suspected Islamist gunman.
Ecevit, who attended that funeral, said earlier this year that the government posed a threat to the secular order.
Secularists concerned that Erdogan may run for president -- which he has not ruled out -- shouted: "Cankaya (the presidential palace) is secular and will remain secular!"
Supporters of Ecevit, the former prime minister who had a stroke in May and died on Sunday aged 81, wore and carried pictures of the leftist nationalist politician. Some cried, waved flags and chanted: "Ecevit, man of the people."
Unionists and miners wearing helmets joined the crowd, and the huge funeral was also attended by members of the cabinet, former presidents -- including one who interned Ecevit after a 1980 military coup -- and the leader and former leader of the Ankara-backed enclave in northern Cyprus.
Copyright 2006 Reuters
Some People Feel Uneasy Over Slogans "Turkey Is Secular And Will Remain Secular", Baykal Published: 11/14/2006
ANKARA - "Some people felt uneasy over the slogans 'Turkey is secular and will remain secular' chanted during the funeral of late former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit," Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said on Tuesday.
Taking the floor at CHP group meeting, Baykal said, "Turkish Prime Minister (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) should know that there are reasons requiring people to reiterate this characteristic of the Republic. Because Justice & Development Party (AKP) and the Prime Minister put in jeopardy this fundamental characteristic of the Republic."
"The incidents that occurred in the funerals of Ecevit are rearing of social conscience and awareness" he said.
the earlier funeral refered to is reported here:
A judge was assassinated last May (by a religious zealot, of course), and the crowd at THAT funeral had the same chant.
Got it? There are public demonstrations where crowds of Turks chant "Turkey is secular and will remain secular". (Which is probably a catchier slogan in Turkish, but still.)
My point in quoting all this is to point out that you couldn't get 25,000 Americans into the streets of an American city to express similar sentiments.
They're 'way ahead of us.