The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey

The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey


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The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey by Angel Rabasa, Stephen F. Larrabee

Turkey, a Muslim-majority country, is pivotal to Western security interests in the Middle East. Its ruling party, the AKP, has Islamic roots but operates within a framework of strict secular democracy, which has generated controversy over the boundaries between secularism and religion. This monograph describes the politico-religious landscape in Turkey and evaluates how the balance between secular and religious forces has changed over the past decade.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780833044570
Publisher: Rand Publishing
Publication date: 05/22/2008
Pages: 132
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Angel M. Rabasa (Ph.D., History, Harvard University) is a senior policy analyst at RAND. He was previously the Deputy Director, Office of Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore Affairs at the Department of State and has held numerous State and Defense Department positions.

F. Stephen Larrabee (Ph.D., Political Science, Columbia Univeristy) is a senior international policy analyst at RAND whose research interests include NATO and military alliances, the Mediterranean region, and U.S. defenses policies.

Table of Contents

Preface iii

Figures and Table vii

Summary ix

Acknowledgments xvii

Acronyms and Abbreviations xix

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Politics and Religion in Turkey 1

Structure of the Report 5

Chapter 2 The Islamic Landscape in Turkey 7

Religion, Ethnicity, and Politics 9

The Management of Islam 11

Sufi Brotherhoods 13

Religious Movements 15

Islamic Foundations 18

Islamic Schools 19

Shi'ites and Alevis 19

Turkish Attitudes Toward Religion 22

The Violent Fringe 26

Turks in Europe 27

Chapter 3 The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey 31

The Impact of the Kemalist Revolution 32

The Advent of Multiparty Democracy 35

The "Turkish-Islamic Synthesis" 37

The Impact of the Öet;zal Reforms 38

The Rise of the Religious Right 40

Political Islam in Power: The Welfare Interlude 42

The Impact of the February 28 Process 44

The Ascendency of the AKP 47

The July 22, 2007, Election 49

Chapter 4 The AKP in Power 51

The Reconfiguration of Turkish Politics 51

The AKP: A New Synthesis or Islamism in Disguise? 53

"Green Money" 57

The Headscarf Controversy 60

The Imam-Hatip Schools Controversy 63

Non-Muslim Minorities Under AKP Rule 65

The AKP and the Kurds 67

The AKP and the Military 68

The AKP's Uncertain Future 73

Chapter 5 The AKP's Foreign Policy 75

Relations with Europe 76

Relations with Greece 81

Relations with the United States 81

Relations with Russia 84

Relations with the Middle East 85

Chapter 6 Future Prospects and Implications 91

Whither Turkey: Alternative Political Futures 91

Scenario 1: The AKP Pursues a Moderate, EU-Oriented Path 91

Scenario 2: Creeping Islamization 93

Scenario 3:Judicial Closing of the AKP 94

Scenario 4: Military Intervention 95

Implications for U.S. Policy 96

Foreign Policy and Bilateral Issues 99

The PKK and the Kurdish Issue 100

Bibliography 103

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