LAHORE Delivering a lecture on a Changing Turkey held at Aiwan-e-Karkunan Tehrik-e-Pakistan, a Turkish scholar said here on Tuesday that practicing secularism in a Muslim state was not a bad idea. Professor Dr Ihsan Yilmaz, an associate professor at Fatih University Istanbul and Chairman Rumi Forum, was of the view that ruling Justice and Development Party won more than 50 per cent seats in Turkeys recent election because of its secular posture. Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust and Pakistan Movement Workers Trust jointly organised the lecture at Aiwan on Tuesday. TheNation Editor-in-Chief and NPT Chairman Majid Nizami presided over the sitting. Majid Nizami stressed the need for establishing a bloc comprising Turkey, Iran and Pakistan for strengthening defence and economic ties between the brother Muslim countries. He expressed his feeling of love for the Turkish people and for the land of Maulana Rumi. NPT Vice-chairman Professor Dr Rafique Ahmad welcoming the guest speaker described that how the Muslims of the region started Caliphate Movement in the Sub-continent and how much affiliation and love they had for their Turk brothers. A good number of people from different walks of life and students attended the event. Dr Yilmaz told the gathering that Turkish people were well-aware about the sentiment of Pakistani people for Turkey and they have the same feelings for their Pakistani Muslim brothers. Speaking in the context of exercising western democracy in a Muslim state, he said that Islam was open to use democracy and allow running institutions like parliament in a Muslim state. The Holy Quran is a source of guidance and asks the humanity to find solutions of their problems themselves. He moved on to saying, The Holy Book holds very few verses on political matters and only 300 other deal with the legal issues. He added: Majority of those 300 verses are about personal matters. So various schools of thoughts were established by Muslim scholars to constitute laws. Professor Ihsan held that laws being practiced in the past Muslim states were totally manmade. We should understand that if those laws were manmade then the Muslim states run under those laws were in fact secular states, according to Ihsan Yilmaz. He asserted that not only a modern Turkey, but the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman the Magnificent used to practice secular laws. Half of the members in Suleimans cabinet were non-Muslims, he said. When Pakistan Movement Workers Trusts Chairman Colonel (R) Jamshaid Ahmad Tareen pointed out that actually the Ottoman Empire had been practicing Islamic laws and it was Suleiman who had introduced some legal changes under the influence of his Ruthenian-origin wife, Mr Yalmiz said that that issue was debateable. He told the sitting that the ruling Justice and Development party in Turkey was introducing reforms to weaken military influence in politics. We should establish educational institutions to produce doctors, engineers, lawyers and journalists. We should adopt universal teaching of Islam to promote peace, justice and development in society. He stressed on adopting Ijtihad and concluded by saying that Islamic law could be flexible and pluralistic and, contrary to stereotype, could be used in a Muslim nation for the promotion of democracy. The sitting expressed the feelings of grief and sorrow over the recent earthquake in Turkey and said the people of Pakistan were standing with their Turkish brothers on this incident of pain.