Democracy Islam and Secularism in Turkey

Author: Ahmet Kuru
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231530250
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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While Turkey has grown as a world power, promoting the image of a progressive and stable nation, several policy choices have strained its relationship with the East and the West. Providing social, historical, and religious context for Turkey's singular behavior, the essays in Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey examine issues relevant to Turkish debates and global concerns, from the state's position on religion and diversity to its involvement in the European Union. Written by experts in a range of disciplines, the chapters explore the Ottoman toleration of diversity during its classical period; the erosion of ethno-religious diversity in modern, pre-democratic times; Kemalism and its role in modernization and nation building; the changing political strategies of the military; and the effect of possible EU membership on domestic reforms. They also conduct a cross-Continental comparison of "multiple secularisms" as well as political parties, considering the Justice and Development Party in Turkey in relation to Christian Democratic parties in Europe. The contributors tackle central research questions, such as what is the legacy of the Ottoman Empire's ethno-religious plurality and how can Turkey's assertive secularism be softened to allow greater space for religious actors. They address the military's "guardian" role in Turkey's secularism, the implications of recent constitutional amendments for democratization, and the consequences and benefits of Islamic activism's presence within a democratic system. No other collection confronts Turkey's contemporary evolution so vividly and thoroughly or offers such expert analysis of its crucial social and political systems.

Political Islam and the secular state in Turkey

Author: Evangelia Axiarlis
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1780769237
Format: PDF
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How safe is Turkey's liberal democracy? The rise to power in 2002 of the right-leaning Islamic Justice and Development Party ignited fears in the West that Turkey could no longer be relied upon to provide a buffer against the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East. But the contribution of the JDP (or AKP as it known in Turkey) to civil liberties and basic freedoms, long suppressed by secular and statist Kemalist ideology, has remained unexamined despite more than a decade in government. In this - the first detailed study of the policies and ideology of Prime Minister Erdogan's government - Evangelia Axiarlis examines the extent to which the JDP has worked to improve civil life in Turkey and critically addresses whether a government built on Islamic principles can champion political reform. Exploring how Islam and democracy are neither monoliths nor mutually exclusive, this is a timely contribution to the wider understanding of political Islam.

Secular and Islamic Politics in Turkey

Author: Ümit Cizre
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134155220
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Turkey is ninty-nine per cent Muslim, its ruling party, Justice and Development Party (JDP), comes from but denies its Islamist pedigree and has a very secular feel. However, the deeply secular regime distrusts the JDP with regard to its 'true' colours. This book makes sense of these paradoxical perceptions which have characterized Turkey’s politics since the JDP has come to power in 2002. The key momentum for shaping the nature and trajectories of the ruling party of Turkey since 2002, the JDP, has been the ‘identity’ question. The JDP’s commitment to transform Turkey’s politics was part of its engagement to remake its own identity. The JDP’s adoption of a conservative-democrat identity has rested on a new understanding of Westernization, secularism, democracy and the role and relevance of Islam in politics. The book’s central problematic is to explain both the politics of change the JDP initiated and sustained in the first three years in office and the politics of retreat it has made from its reformist discourse since 2005. The book analyzes not just the catalysts for its reformist discourse of the first 3 years but tries to explain its reversal to an inward-looking conservative nationalist course. By approaching this topical debate from the conceptual stance rather than a party-centered approach, Ümit Cizre identifies that the change the JDP has initiated within Turkey’s political Islam and in Turkish politics is the product of an interactive process between many levels, actors, forces and historical periods. The forces and actors covered include: global forces of Islam the secular establishment and its popular extensions the past and present Islamic actors in political and non-political spheres the changing balance of forces in the region which frame the EU and the US policies toward the JDP. Secular and Islamic Politics in Turkey is a valuable contribution to the study of globalization and ‘change’ in contemporary political Islam, the relationship between religion and politics, and secularism and political Islam. As such, it will be of interest to students and researchers alike in the area of Islamic politics, democratization, European Union and political Islam, and globalization.

Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey

Author: M. Hakan Yavuz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521888786
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Islamist Justice and Development Party swept to power in Turkey in 2002. Since then it has shied away from a hard-line ideological stance in favour of a more conservative and democratic approach. This book asks whether it is possible for a political party with deeply religious ideology to liberalise and entertain democracy?

Islam and Secularism in Turkey

Author: Umut Azak
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 0857713779
Format: PDF, ePub
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Are you aware of the danger?' The 'danger' was fear of 'reactionary' insurgent Islam ('Irtica') and this was the chilling slogan in the 'Republic' newspaper in 2006 - over 80 years after the establishment of the secular Republic of Turkey._x000D_ _x000D_ When Kemal Ataturk's Republic of Turkey was set up in 1923 as a secular state, sweeping political, social, cultural and religious reforms followed. Islam was no longer the official religion of the state, the Sultanate was abolished, all Turkish citzens were declared equal without reference to religion and secular control of education curbed clerical influence. In Azak's phrase, 'secularism was the central tenet of Kemalism' and the ruling philosophy of positvism overshadowed traditional religion. But the fear of resurgent and fanatical Islam continued, fuelled by the Menemen Incident - when a religious extremist murdered a state official - the attempt on the life of the proprietor of the leading liberal newspaper, the 'Fatherland', and the rise of Said Nursi's 'Nurcus' faith movement preaching a suspected fanatical Islam. And in the 21st century fear still haunts the state with the Council of State's controversial upholding of the headscarf ban and with suspected Islamist influence in modern political parties like the Justice and Development Party (JDP)._x000D_ _x000D_ Azak's revisionist and orginal study follows the struggle between religion and secularism but shows how Ataturk's secular state strove for an idealised 'Turkish Islam' - the 'social cement' of the Turkish nation - stripped of superstition and obscurantism and linked to modern science and rational, positivist, philosophy. The Young Turk ideal of 'Turkish Islam' could make Ataurk's 'catching of the train of civillisation' possible. Thus Islam would be, in Azak's view, 'personal, enlightened, rational and national'. 'Turkish Islam' has also retained its traditional form in the modern state and Ataturk's Mausoleum dominates the capital as a pantheon, attracts popular devotion, and even secularism and inspires semi-religious acclamation at Aturturk's shrine - 'Turkey is secular, it will remain secular'.

Healing Secular Life

Author: Christopher Dole
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812206355
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In contemporary Turkey—a democratic, secular, and predominantly Muslim nation—the religious healer is a controversial figure. Attracting widespread condemnation, religious healers are derided as exploiters of the sick and vulnerable, discredited forms of Islamic and medical authority, and superstitious relics of a pre-modern era. Yet all sorts of people, and not just the desperately ill, continue to seek them out. After years of research with healers and their patients in working-class neighborhoods of urban Turkey, anthropologist Christopher Dole concludes that the religious healer should be regarded not as an exception to Turkey's secular modern development but as one of its defining figures. Healing Secular Life demonstrates that religious healing and secularism in fact have a set of common stakes in the ordering of lives and the remaking of worlds. Linking the history of medical reforms and scientific literacy campaigns to contemporary efforts of Qur'anic healers to treat people afflicted by spirits and living saints through whom deceased political leaders speak, Healing Secular Life approaches stories of healing and being healed as settings for examining the everyday social intimacies of secular political rule. This ethnography of loss, care, and politics reveals not only that the authority of the religious healer is deeply embedded within the history of secular modern reform in Turkey but also that personal narratives of suffering and affliction are inseparable from the story of a nation seeking to recover from the violence of its own secular past.

State and Intellectuals in Turkey

Author: Sakir Dincsahin
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739191322
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Niyazi Berkes, a prominent figure in Turkish political thought, lived through the transitional period in which the Republic of Turkey was founded on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. Berkes’s political and intellectual biography thus affords a unique vantage point from which the author both studies Turkish political thought and examines the interplay between political history and intellectual biography.