Burak Bekdil explains why Turkish secularism isn’t.
A majority of Turks, Sunni Muslims, overtly or covertly believe that they should be “more equal” than the others because they constitute the majority. They think that it is their natural right to enjoy preferential treatment in terms of governance and law enforcement. Remember how the crowds in Istanbul last year, trying to attack the Israeli consulate, shouted at the police who were trying to prevent bloodshed? “Leave the Jews to us! What kind of Muslims are you?” A simple search will produce thousands of examples of this nature unveiling the conscious or subconscious desire of the Sunni Turk for preferential treatment in public administration.
It’s not unlike the US that way. A great many Christians in the US also believe that they should be “more equal” than the others because they constitute the majority.
Most recently, the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office charged a cartoonist with “insulting the religious [Muslim] values adopted by a part of the population [Muslim],” demanding that the artist receive up to a year in prison in its indictment. That cartoon may or may not insult part of the population. And yes, blasphemy laws are not exclusively Turkish. But a state, or in this case, law enforcement, that is equal to all faiths should ensure that similar cases are opened against, say, the Sunni majority when they insult, say, other monotheistic or atheist parts of the population. Can anyone imagine a Muslim Turk having to stand trial for writing a book that insults atheists?
Secularism combined with a healthy respect for free speech combined with an ability to live with perceived “insults” to beliefs and ideas would be the way to go.