Religion, politics and the politics of religion in Turkey
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CitationGözaydın, İ. (2013). Religion, politics and the politics of religion in Turkey. In Istanbul Spring School: Islam and The Non-Muslim Other: Doctrines, Attitudes, and Practices 2012 (pp. 1-28). İstanbul: Liberales Institute
This article is primarily concerned in a power struggle within Turkey for over the last 80 years, leaving aside a much longer one of 200 years. Working on religion, politics and politics of religion anywhere involves varies parties as the state, the society, and the individual of the political body of that given country. In order to try to understand the statereligion relationship in Turkey, I suggest that Presidency of Religious Affairs / Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı should be scrutinized as an initial step. Within the Turkish society, there have been existing an increasing friction between two groups that may roughly be defined as laicists1 and Islamists2 during the whole republican era ongoing since 1923, but has become more visible especially in the 1990’s. In this article, I will be debating on the basic and crucial questions, as I perceive it, ‘what is a capacitated democracy and how to achieve it?’ in the context of law and politics in Turkey. Actually, in order to evolve my argument, I will initially be focusing on the development of the relations among the state, the groups in society, and religion in the Republic of Turkey. Then, I will be discussing the need and possibility of a mutually acceptable ground for a peaceful coexistence in this country. Obviously my preference to work on the last 80 years instead of the 200 year span of the phenomenon stems out of my acceptance of the republican times to be a more visible stage of the above mentioned contestation.