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Religious Politics in Turkey
From the Birth of the Republic to the AKP


Part of Cambridge Middle East Studies

  • Date Published: March 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108458924

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About the Authors
  • Since the elections of 2002, Erdogan's AKP has dominated the political scene in Turkey. This period has often been understood as a break from a 'secular' pattern of state-building. But in this book, Ceren Lord shows how Islamist mobilisation in Turkey has been facilitated from within the state by institutions established during early nation-building. Lord thus challenges the traditional account of Islamist AKP's rise that sees it either as a grassroots reaction to the authoritarian secularism of the state or as a function of the state's utilisation of religion. Tracing struggles within the state, Lord also shows how the state's principal religious authority, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) competed with other state institutions to pursue Islamisation. Through privileging Sunni Muslim access to state resources to the exclusion of others, the Diyanet has been a key actor ensuring persistence and increasing salience of religious markers in political and economic competition, creating an amenable environment for Islamist mobilisation.

    • Based on original archival material, offers new analytical framework for understanding state-religion relations in Turkey and the wider Middle Eastern region
    • Uses new data to propose an alternative account of the historical roots of the AKP period in Turkey
    • Looks at the expansion of religious infrastructure in Turkey
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A captivating book and a welcome addition to a growing genre of critical scholarship on secularism in Turkey.' Sinem Adar, EuropeNow

    '… [Religious Politics in Turkey] makes an important point that should revise our understanding of Turkish politics.' David C. Unger, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

    '… rich with ideas and detail …' John Waterbury, Foreign Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108458924
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.519kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures and tables
    List of abbreviations
    1. How religious majoritarianism was institutionalised in the Early Republic
    2. The struggle within the state: the Diyanet and Islamisation
    3. Shaping the nation: the Diyanet's interventions against Alevism and the elevation of Sunni Islam
    4. The expansion of the religious field in the multiparty era
    5. The Islamist movement in Turkey and the rise of the AKP
    6. The rise of the AKP and the struggle within and for the state since 2002
    Appendix: presidents of the Diyanet

  • Author

    Ceren Lord, University of Oxford
    Ceren Lord is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Middle East Studies at the Oxford School for Global and Area Studies at the University of Oxford. She is also Associate Editor of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.

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