Source: Los Angeles Times
By Umar Farooq
Five times a day, the loudspeakers affixed to the spires of some 90,000 state-run mosques crackle to life, and the Islamic call to prayer bathes the streets of Istanbul and other Turkish cities.
For the faithful, the undulating Arabic hymn, called the adhan, is a reminder of Turkey’s historic place in the Muslim world. For others, it’s an unavoidable reminder of Turkey’s turn from the secular under its current leadership.
On Tuesday, a lawmaker was expelled from his party for suggesting the adhan be uttered in Turkish again. “Chant the adhan in Turkish. I would understand it,” Ozturk Yilmaz, with the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, said on a talk show earlier in the month. “Read the Koran in Turkish. My language, if you speak it anywhere in the world, I will understand it. Why do we have this, this insult to Turkish?”
His suggestion not only sparked an immediate shouting match with other guests on the show, but also reignited a touchy topic in Turkey: What exactly did Turkey’s founders want the country to look like?