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The Politics of Security and Secularism in Turkey: From the Early Republican Era to EU Accession Negotiations

  • Pinar Bilgin
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Governance, Security, and Development book series (GSD)

Abstract

Policy discourse and academic accounts alike are characterized by a sharp divide concerning the nexus between security and secularism1 in Turkey. On the one hand are those who consider the ‘state establishment’s2 interpretation and practices of secularism as unduly restricting the rights and freedoms of ‘the pious’ (Muslims and non-Muslims). On the other hand are those who consider any kind of challenge to the status quo regarding this matter as a threat to ‘national security.’ Historically, both perspectives have had their supporters inside and outside Turkey. A coalition of international actors has, for long, been supportive of the state establishment’s practices3 as the best form of defense against the threat of the rise of irtica (reactionarism). More recently, a growing number of actors including the European Union (EU),4 the United States State Department,5 and Pope Benedict XVI (Weigel 2006) have been critical of the very same interpretation and practices due to the adverse consequences they have had for the freedom of religion in Turkey. What has drawn the two positions further apart is the emergence of the AKP movement6 (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, Justice and Development Party)

Keywords

European Union State Establishment Religious Freedom Contemporary Civilization National Outlook 
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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Copyright information

© Dietrich Jung and Catharina Raudvere 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pinar Bilgin

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