Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 July 2011
It would probably be quite curious, if not confusing, for uninformed readers of Turkish politics who are interested in learning more about Turkey's ruling party, the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi/Justice and Development Party), to pick up these five books, all written by scholars of Turkish politics, all dealing with the ideology of the AKP and the social and political conditions that gave rise to it, all published by prestigious publishers, and realize that they make almost completely opposite claims. For example, while Banu Eligür in The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey claims that the AKP is an Islamist party that is “opposed to democracy” (p. 11), William Hale and Ergun Özbudun in Islamism, Democracy and Liberalism in Turkey: The Case of the AKP see the AKP as a secular, conservative-democratic party that clearly rejects Islamism as a political ideology and is perhaps making the most significant contribution to the expansion of democracy in Turkey.
1 In their discussions of the ideology of the AKP, the authors reviewed here use “Islamism,” “Islamic,” “Muslim,” and “political Islam,” sometimes interchangeably, suggesting that there are no significant differences among these terms when used in relation to the ideology of a political party. I will use “Islamism” to refer to the use of Islam as part of the ideological makeup of the AKP.
2 For different perspectives on the significance of Islam and secularism in Turkey, see Göle, Nilüfer, The Forbidden Modern: Civilization and Veiling (Ann Arbor, Mich.: The University of Michigan Press, 1996)Google Scholar; Çınar, Alev, Modernity, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey: Bodies, Places, and Time (Minneapolis, Minn., and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2005)Google Scholar; and Özyürek, Esra, Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
3 Simon, Robert L., Neutrality and the Academic Ethic (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 1994), 23Google Scholar.
5 “Anatolian cities” refers to those apart from the three largest Turkish cities—Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir—which were the main centers of capital accumulation and economic growth until the 1990s.
6 Öncü, Ayse, “Becoming ‘Secular Muslims’: Yasar Nuri Öztürk as a Super-subject on Turkish Television,” in Religion, Media, and the Public Sphere, ed. Meyer, Birgit and Moors, Annelies (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2006), 227–50Google Scholar.
7 Çınar, Modernity, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey.