By Halil Karaveli

May 13, 2016

The dynamics of capitalist development have played a much more central role for Turkey’s journey from secularism to religious conservatism – and before that for the Kemalist break with Islam – than what is generally recognized. During the context of the Cold War, capitalist development and Islamization went hand in hand, as religious conservatism neutralized the challenge of the left and labor. Today, neoliberal globalization provides impetus for Islamization. Raising “pious generations” – who are “traditional,” not rebellious – is essential for sustaining neo-liberalism. An explicitly “religious” constitution, in which reference is made to God, will serve to mask that it is capital that reigns supreme. Ultimately, the survival of secularism requires that the economic order that depends on continued Islamization is called into question.

 

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By Svante Cornell

October 9th, 2015, The Turkey Analyst

Since 2010, the State Directorate for Religious Affairs has risen in prominence. Diyanet’s budget has quadrupled under the AKP, and the Directorate now issues fatwas on demand, as well as wading into political issues and backing up the AKP position. Moreover, Diyanet has drastically increased its provision of Quran courses for students of all ages. The Diyanet, originally created by the Turkish state to exercise oversight over religious affairs, is now firmly under the control of President Erdoğan, and has turned into a supersized government bureaucracy for the promotion of Sunni Islam.

diyanet 

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By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 8, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst) 

The growing efforts at Islamization of Turkish society have largely gone unnoticed. For many years, Islamization was the dog that did not bark: in spite of dire predictions by secularists, the AKP did not introduce conspicuous efforts to Islamize Turkey. But since 2011, this has changed. The main exhibit is the education sector, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has remodeled to instill considerably more Islamic content, in line with his stated purpose to raise “pious generations”. Ultimately, the Islamic overhaul of the education system is bound to have implications for Turkey’s civilizational identity, and on the choices it will make on where it belongs politically.

imam-hatip-2 

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By M. K. Kaya (vol. 8, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst) 

In violation of the Turkish constitution, Ahmet Davutoğlu’s new caretaker cabinet is a pure AKP government. The government may be temporary, but it is nonetheless nothing but an expression of the determination of the AKP to secure permanent power.  Both the process that led to its formation and its extra-constitutional composition bears testimony to the power-grab of the AKP.

tr coalition 

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By Fatih Yaslı (vol. 28, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)

The regime that the AKP is constructing certainly deserves to be defined as “new.” However, a proper understanding of the rise of the Islamists requires that their ascent is put in the right historical context, and that the true nature of the old Turkish regime is appreciated. Turkey’s Islamization has a long prehistory. It has been a long time since the radicalism of Kemalism was discarded. Instead, religion and conservatism have been consistently promoted in the name of anti-socialism.

council

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Joint Center Publications

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell, A Road to Understanding in Syria? The U.S. and TurkeyThe American Interest, June 2018

Article Halil Karaveli "Will the Kurdish Question Secure Erdogan's Re-election?", Turkey Analyst, June 18, 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "Erbakan, Kisakürek, and the Mainstreaming of Extremism in Turkey"Hudson Institute, June 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "The U.S. and Turkey: Past the Point of No Return?"The American Interest, February 1, 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "Erdogan's Turkey: the Role of a Little Known Islamic Poet", Breaking Defense, January 2, 2018

Op-ed Halil Karaveli "Turkey's Authoritarian Legacy"Breaking Defense, January 2, 2018

Article Svante E. Cornell, "A Religious Party Takes Hold: Turkey"The SAIS Review of International Affairs, November 2017

Article Svante E. Cornell and M.K. Kaya"The Naqshbandi-Khalidi Order and Political Islam in Turkey"Hudson Institute, September 2015 

The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.

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