AK Party Between Post-Islamism and Non-Islamism: A Critical Analysis of the Turkish Islamism’s Transformation
23 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2011
Date Written: February 27, 2011
With the increased international prominence of Turkey and its successful and internationally respected AK Party government, the Academia’s attention has focused on the Turkish Islamist experience. Turkey had already been seen as an almost unique case as far Islam-state-secularism-democracy relations were concerned but the recent transformation of Turkish Islamism coupled with the global turmoil in the post-9/11 world has made the Turkish case much more important. While Turkish Islamists’ recent transformation that has brought about their rise to the power has been applauded at home and abroad, there are relatively very few studies that analyze their transformation by taking into account the unique experience of Turkish Islamism starting from the 18th & 19th centuries’ Ottoman secularization, Young Ottomans of the 1860s and the Ottoman constitutionalism and democracy. Moreover, structural materialist analyses of Islamism and post-Islamism take globalization and Westernization as independent variables and try to analyze how they have influenced Islamists’ behavior. Although academics have drawn our attention to the globalization, international opportunity structures and failure of Islamist government experiences both in Turkey and abroad as the factors that have influenced the Islamists’ transformation, the socio-cultural variable needs to be taken into account as well. Dynamics that affected the change in the Turkish Islamists’ Islamic normative framework have not been analyzed in detail. Thus, this study endeavors to analyze the main factors behind the newly emerged tolerant normative framework of the AK Party leaders who were formerly Islamist. This paper attempts to show that Islamic groups’ physical and discursive interaction has been a crucial factor in the Turkish Islamism’s transformation.
Keywords: Islam, Turkey, Islamism, Post-Islamism, Gulen Movement, Secularism
JEL Classification: Z19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation