The Future of Secular Turkey
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL
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This research paper is a study of the prospects of a secular state developing in Turkey since the Refah Party, an Islamist party, has come to lead a coalition government with the secular True Path Party. The origins of the secular Turkish state will be examined to determine how the state imposed itself above Islam, and subjugated a religion that does not recognize a division between the ulema, the Islamic religious leaders, and the state. The research will explore how Turkish Islamism survived and evolved to allow the Refah Party to represent Turkish Islamist interests. The ideology and practice of the Refah Party also will be explored to determine its orientation and meaning in Turkish politics. The answer will either soothe or intensify the fears of the West over the resurgence of Islam in the political realm. The burning question is whether Refahs fundamentalist elements should cause the West to be overly concerned about recent events that point to the Islamists desire to align Turkey more with its Eastern neighbors. Solutions as well as probable outcomes will be proposed to the difficulties the Refah Party will face in consolidating power, and the possibilities of it eroding the secular states control over society and the government. 35 refs.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History