Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

In France, even though debates about Islam sometimes risk bordering racism, religious minorities are aware that secularism remains their best protection. In Turkey, the choice of secularism cannot simply be summed up as a confrontation between authoritarian secularists bullying democracy and Islamists using democracy to undermine secularism. If the recent allowing of the headscarf to be worn by Turkish university students, civil servants, and members of parliament is part of a trend towards a general reversal of secularism, driven by a political movement that is turning religious tenets into political norms, the results could be worrisome. Under such “democratization”, not only secularism but democracy itself becomes threatened.

 


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CONTRIBUTOR
Caroline Fourest
Caroline Fourest
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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