ZAGREB: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the state should have an equal distance from all religious faiths following a call by the speaker of Turkey’s parliament for a new constitution to drop references to secularism.
Erdogan said in televised comments during a visit to Zagreb that the speaker, Ismail Kahraman, had been expressing his own views when he said Turkey needed a religious constitution.
The proposal contradicts the founding principles of the Turkish republic, which is overwhelmingly Muslim but also secular.
“My views are known on this … The reality is that the state should have an equal distance from all religious faiths … This is laicism,” Erdogan said. Kahraman’s comments provoked opposition condemnation and a brief street protest on Tuesday.
He later said his comments were “personal views”.