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Turkey: A Divided Country Struggles For Identity

Islamic head scarf or miniskirt? In a nutshell, that's the choice Turks face as they head toward early general elections on July 22.

"It is quite likely that this [election] will be a plebiscite on whether there should be more religion in society or not," says David Barchard, a veteran Ankara-based analyst and former correspondent for "The Financial Times." And the chances are that a majority will say yes to that, and therefore the Justice and Development Party, the AK party, will go up."

The general elections had originally been set for November 4. But Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of the Islamic-rooted AK ruling party on May 2 proposed early polls, after Turkey's highest court invalidated the first round of a presidential election held last week.

A Million People In The Streets

The secular opposition, fearing that the government's candidate for president would tilt the country closer to Islamic rule, had boycotted the first round of voting in parliament. Without the required two-thirds quorum present in parliament, the Constitutional Court ruled that the election was invalid.

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Turkey: A Divided Country Struggles For Identity

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