Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

The term “Muslim democracy” is an oxymoron because democracies by definition cannot take religion as a reference point. It is also unfair to the religion because in a Muslim democracy, democracy deficits will be attributed to Islam. These days it is fashionable among Westerners to brand Turkey as a model country for the Middle East. This practice not only favors the ruling AKP but also disregards an important reality of Turkey’s political evolution: without secularism, AKP would not have ever existed. So the Islamists in the Arab world would need to first adopt a secular democracy, and then take AKP as a model. A question left lingering is, are they interested in doing this?

 

CONTRIBUTOR
Kadri Gürsel
Kadri Gürsel
From the Desk of the Editor Since the founding of the Turkish Republic, competing conceptions of Turkish identity have existed. Among many examples, the role of Islam has been contested, Kurdish and Turkish nationalisms have clashed, and various identity-based movements have ebbed and flowed, shaping political cleavages. National identity contestation has also spilled over into Turkey’s relationship with its Western...
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