Australia, Turkey, and Understandings of Islam in a Secular Age: The Islamic State Movement and the Challenge of Rising Extremism

  • Greg Barton


Turkey remains one of the great success stories of the Muslim world. In its 90-year history the Republic has faced many challenges with the ever-present tensions in Turkish society between left and right, secular and religious, frequently bubbling to the surface and often resulting in violent confrontations. The decade that followed the election of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP — Justice and Development Party) to government in 2002, however, was markedly different from the decades that had preceded it. The Turkish economy grew consistently, society was stable, and democracy was consolidated. That decade of tranquillity and steady growth came to an end in early 2013. As will be seen in Chapter 12, the Gezi Park protests marked a turning point. Not only was the Turkish economy facing persistent headwinds, but the related effects of a global downturn, in particular a European recession, had begun to drag heavily on the Turkish economic locomotive. Just as importantly the steady consolidation of democracy experienced over the previous decade had begun to falter. Economic uncertainty, social unrest, and the unravelling of some of the gains of democratic advancement defined the last few years in Turkey.


Political Identity Globalized World Muslim World Turkish Society Islamic State 


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© Greg Barton 2015

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  • Greg Barton

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