How Will Media Report Massive Turkish Protests Against Islamic-Rooted Government?

April 29th, 2007 1:08 PM

In case you hadn’t heard, there was a huge protest in Turkey on Sunday as reported by the Associated Press (h/t NBer Gary Hall and LGF, emphasis added throughout):

At least 300,000 Turks waving the red national flag flooded central Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of the government, saying the Islamic roots of Turkey's leaders threatened to destroy the country's modern foundations.

Given the American media’s predilection towards never wanting to write or say anything that could possibly offend Muslims, an interesting question is raised regarding how they will report this story.

Regardless of the answer, the article continued:

Like the protesters — who gathered for the second large anti-government demonstration in two weeks — Turkey's powerful secular military has accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of tolerating radical Islamic circles.

"They want to drag Turkey to the dark ages," said 63-year-old Ahmet Yurdakul, a retired government employee who attended the protest.

More than 300,000 people took part in a similar rally in Ankara two weeks ago.

Fascinating. The article also gave some historical context:

In the 1920s, with the Ottoman Empire in ruins, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk imposed Western laws, replaced Arabic script with the Latin alphabet, banned Islamic dress and granted women the right to vote.

The ruling party, however, has supported religious schools and tried to lift the ban on Islamic head scarves in public offices and schools. Secularists are also uncomfortable with the idea of Gul's wife, Hayrunisa, being in the presidential palace because she wears the traditional Muslim head scarf.

"We don't want a covered woman in Ataturk's presidential palace," said Ayse Bari, a 67-year-old housewife. "We want civilized, modern people there."

Yet, maybe most importantly, Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs noted: “The article above seriously understates the attendance at this rally; there were more than a million people.”

As reported by Agence France-Presse under the headline “More than one million rally in Turkey for secularism, democracy” (emphasis added):

More than one million people took part in a mass rally here Sunday in support of secularism and democracy amid a tense stand-off between the Islamist-rooted government and the army over presidential elections.

Once again, how will America’s media report this potentially historic development, and what numbers will they share in terms of attendance?

Stay tuned.

*****Update: Gateway Pundit identified that Reuters is now also reporting the crowd as being "up to a million."