A mass rally was held in Ankara
[EPA]
Canidates for Turkey's next president began applying for the job on Monday, and the current prime minister, Receb Tayeb Erdogan, is expected to add his name to those running for the post.

Erdogan's run is widely anticipated to be successful … and controversial. Although he now describes himself as a conservative democrat, Erdogan is seen by the secular elite as having a secret Islamist agenda.

Over the past weekend, an estimated 500,000 people from across Turkey gathered in a mass rally in Ankara against him. But the ever-influential military, which has staged three coups in the past, is taking a more concessionist stance.

Why is that? Is this part of what is being called a New Turkey? And how does the EU, whose membership is sought by Turkey, view this political development?

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This episode of Inside Story aired on 16 April 2007

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