Religion, Politics, and the Politics of Religion in Turkey

  • İştar Gözaydin
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Governance, Security, and Development book series (GSD)


This chapter is primarily concerned with a power struggle that has been taking place within Turkey over the last two-hundred years, but in particular with the last eighty years of this struggle. Working on religion, politics, and politics of religion anywhere involves examining the various parties of the state, society, and the individuals in the political body of a given country. During the whole republican era since 1923, friction has been increasing between two groups within Turkish society that may roughly be defined as laicists1 and Islamists,2 but it has become particularly more visible since the 1990s. In this chapter, I discuss the basic and crucial questions as I perceive them: What is a capacitated democracy and how can it be achieved in the context of law and politics in Turkey? To evolve my argument, I initially focus on the development of relations among the state, groups in society, and religion in the Republic of Turkey. An examination of the Presidency of Religious Affairs, the Diyanet İşleri Başkanlaği forms the starting point for this. Then, I discuss the need for and possibility of finding a mutually acceptable basis for peaceful coexistence in this country. My preference to focus on the last eighty years instead of the entire two-hundred-year span of the phenomenon stems from my acceptance of republican times as a more visible stage for the above-mentioned contestation.


Legal Regulation Deliberative Democracy Turkish Society Official Gazette European Union Institute 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Dietrich Jung and Catharina Raudvere 2008

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  • İştar Gözaydin

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