Accession Number : ADA482594


Title :   The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey


Descriptive Note : Monograph


Corporate Author : RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA


Personal Author(s) : Rabasa, Angel ; Larrabee, F S


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a482594.pdf


Report Date : Jan 2008


Pagination or Media Count : 136


Abstract : As a Muslim-majority country that is also a secular democratic state, a member of NATO, and a long-standing U.S. ally, Turkey is pivotal to U.S. strategy to shape the Middle Eastern security environment. Turkey also is a key test case for the role of Islam in politics and its influence on external policy. Until recently, Islamic parties in Turkey were largely a fringe movement. However, the success of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the past two national elections demonstrates the growing strength of a political movement with Islamic roots. That said, the AKP does not define itself as an Islamic party, and its electoral success does not translate into popular support for an Islamist agenda. Although the AKP won an overwhelming victory in the July 2007 election, it still faces serious challenges, including the possibility that it could be closed down. While the AKP has Islamist roots, it is fundamentally different from its predecessors -- the National Salvation, Welfare, and Virtue parties -- in terms of its ideology, its political goals, its market-oriented economic agenda, and the broader range of the electorate to which it appeals. Despite its origins, the AKP government has not pursued an overt Islamist agenda, although critics accuse it of infiltrating Islamists into the civil bureaucracy and condoning Islamization at the local level. The AKP government has given priority to pursuing Turkey's European Union (EU) membership, economic stability, and reform of the legal system over divisive symbolic issues such as the Islamic head scarf controversy. Over the next decade, Turkey could evolve in a number of different ways. Four possible alternative futures for Turkey are discussed in this monograph: (1) The AKP Pursues a Moderate, EU-Oriented Path; (2) Creeping Islamization; (3) Judicial Closing of the AKP; and (4) Military Intervention. The study also assesses the challenges and opportunities for U.S. policy in the changed Turkish political environment.


Descriptors :   *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , *ISLAM , *GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , *DEMOCRACY , *POLITICAL PARTIES , *TURKEY , *FOREIGN POLICY , GEOPOLITICS , RUSSIA , INTERVENTION , ELECTIONS , GREECE , ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT , EUROPEAN UNION , ATTITUDES(PSYCHOLOGY) , MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , MIDDLE EAST , EUROPE , NATO , STABILIZATION , POLITICAL ALLIANCES


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Humanities and History


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE