The population of Turkey is 98% Muslim, and the role of religion in daily life is a topic of continuous debate, with some fearing that the country could become much more conservative in the future, while others ask for the right to practise their religion more freely.
Despite this, the country is experiencing astounding economic growth as it embraces free markets and carries out reforms to align with EU legislative frameworks.
When an Islamist-leaning political party took charge of Turkey six years ago, this vibrant Mediterranean resort town [Antalya] feared a bumpy ride for a local economy driven in part by booze and bikinis.
Today, says Ahmet Barut, a hotel magnate here, the only real question is whether the town can sustain an unprecedented economic boom. He’s not keen on the teetotaling habits of the governing party’s leaders, nor the headscarves worn by their wives, but he applauds a key part of their record: “They are good at economics.”
This long but informative article from the Wall Street Journal examines Turkey’s recent economic growth as well as the complex question of religion and the state.
About the authorLucy