Istanbul - between two worlds

Ataturk "Father of Turks" has made Turkey (after the Ottoman Empire, the last bastion of Islam) a secular state since 1924. Islam was no longer the official religion of the state, the Sultanate was abolished and all Turkish citizens were declared equal without reference to religion. This change resulted in a Muslim fear of losing their identity (religious and traditional way of life) in favor of a European lifestyle.

Today in Istanbul, one thing is certain: the modernization of the Ottoman Empire has largely followed the European model.

Recently, the comment made in a parliamentary speech Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "We want to raise a religious youth," has touched a nerve in society, promoting the debate about an alleged "hidden agenda" to Islamize Turkey secular.

The two lifestyles have lived side by side for eight decades. But now power is swinging towards more religious-minded Turks, the country's secular system - and its democracy - are being tested.

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