Modern Turkey is the site of a powerful Islamic revival, with a strong intellectual elite dedicated to the overthrow of secular modernism. Why have modern Muslim intellectuals turbaned against the ideals of Kemalism on which the modern Turkish nation-state is founded? What does this reveal about the future of Turkey? And how are Islamic intellectuals in Turkey affected by developments in the Middle East? Muslims in Modern Turkey is the first book to analyse this phenomenon, tracing the evolution of Muslim intellectual thought from the 1980s to the present day. It focuses on six leading Muslim thinkers - Ali Bulac, Rasim Ozdenoren, Ysmet Ozel, Ylhan Kutluer, Ersin Nazif Gurdooan and Abdurrahman Dilipak - who belong to a single school and share a novel understanding of Islam. They act as public intellectuals, who aim to reform and enlighten society by educating them and raising their awareness of Islamic values, arguing not for the compatibility of Islam and European values but the fundamental superiority of Islam over secular democracy.
Sena Karasipahi places the Turkish experience in its broader international context and shows how Turkish Islamic intellectuals are affected by the earlier Muslim intellectuals and revivalists in the Arab world and in Turkey. This important study makes connections with the Islamic revival process throughout the contemporary Middle East as well as with comparable movements in Turkey's own past, making this a crucial contribution to an understanding of contemporary Islamic political thinking.
About the Author
Sena Karasipahi is Assistant Professor in the International Studies Department at Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. from the Turkish Studies Department at the University of Leiden.
Table of Contents
1. The Emergence of Contemporary Turkish Muslim Intellectuals
2. Analysis and Explanation of the Contemporary Turkish Muslim Intellectuals and their Discourses
3. Examination of the Muslim Intellectuals' Thoughts on Concepts other than West and Modernity
4. Comparison of the Turkish Muslim Intellectuals across Time and Space