Welcome to this week's edition of Newsline.
The scene of Tuesday's Islamist atrocity in Turkey was particularly poignant for secularists, given that Istanbul's international airport is named after the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who transformed Turkey into a modern, democratic, secular state. The people of Turkey are very much in our thoughts.
But the savagery of Islamic State isn't the only threat to Turkey's secular tradition. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whilst ostensibly supporting secularism, is at the same time very much undermining it by attacks on the press and social freedoms, secular education and human rights. One Turkish politician engaged in the struggle to preserve Turkey's secular state is Safak Pavey. We're pleased to say that Safak will be addressing our 'Secularism 2016' conference later this year, and we urge as many Newsline readers as possible to attend to make sure her important message on the necessity of secularism in upholding international human rights standards is heard as loudly as possible. Tickets are available here.
The theme of the conference is 'living better together' – and never has finding a way of achieving this seemed so important. The political fallout following the referendum, including an apparent spike in hate crime, highlights serious divisions in British society. It goes without saying that the NSS unequivocally condemns all forms of bigotry – and wherever Britain's future lies, you can rest assured that we'll continue to campaign for freedom, fairness and human rights – and a secular UK in which all us, irrespective of our differences, can live together fairly and cohesively.
The NSS receives no funding from government or outside bodies – our campaigning is wholly supported by our members. This year we're celebrating our 150th birthday and the best possible gift you could give us is to sign up as a member. If you're already a member then thank you – and we hope you'll consider donating to our anniversary appeal to help commemorate our founder Charles Bradlaugh and put the NSS on a sound financial footing to meet the challenges of the future.