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GLOBALIZATION AND POLITICAL ISLAM: THE SOCIAL BASES OF TURKEY’S WELFARE PARTY

Haldun Gulalp

Political Islam has gained heightened visibility in recent decades in Turkey. Large numbers of female students have begun to demonstrate their commitment by wearing the banned Islamic headdress on university campuses, and influential pro-Islamist TV
channels have proliferated. This paper focuses on the Welfare (Refah) Party as the foremost institutional representative of political Islam in Turkey.
The Welfare Party’s brief tenure in power as the leading coalition partner from mid-1996 to mid-1997 was the culmination of a decade of steady growth that was aided by other Islamist organizations and institutions. These organizations and institutions
included newspapers and publishing houses that attracted Islamist writers, numerous Islamic foundations, an Islamist labor-union confederation, and an Islamist businessmen’s association. These institutions worked in tandem with, and in support of, Welfare as the undisputed leader and representative of political Islam in Turkey, even though they had their own particularistic goals and ideals, which often diverged from Welfare’s political projects. Focusing on the Welfare Party, then, allows for an analysis of the wider social base upon which the Islamist political movement rose in Turkey. Since Welfare’s ouster from power and its eventual closure, the Islamist movement has been in disarray. This paper will, proto, be confined to the Welfare Party period.
Welfare’s predecessor, the National Salvation Party, was active in the 1970s but was closed down by the military regime in 1980. Welfare was founded in 1983 and gained great popularity in the 1990s. Starting with a 4.4 percent vote in the municipal elections of 1984, the Welfare Party steadily increased its showing and multiplied its vote nearly five times in twelve years. It alarmed Turkey’s secular establishment first in the municipal elections of 1994, with 19 percent of all votes nationwide and the mayor’s seats in both Istanbul and Ankara, then in the general elections of 1995 when it won a plurality with 21.4 percent of the national vote. Nevertheless, the Welfare Party was only briefly able to lead a coalition government in partnership with the right-wing True Path Party of Tansu C¸ iller.

Islamist Opposition Parties and the Potential for EU Engagement

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

In light of the increasing importance of Islamist movements in the Muslim world and

the way that radicalisation has influenced global events since the turn of the century, it

is important for the EU to evaluate its policies towards actors within what can be loosely

termed the ‘Islamic world’. It is particularly important to ask whether and how to engage

with the various Islamist groups.

This remains controversial even within the EU. Some feel that the Islamic values that

lie behind Islamist parties are simply incompatible with western ideals of democracy and

lidská práva, while others see engagement as a realistic necessity due to the growing

domestic importance of Islamist parties and their increasing involvement in international

affairs. Another perspective is that democratisation in the Muslim world would increase

European security. The validity of these and other arguments over whether and how the

EU should engage can only be tested by studying the different Islamist movements and

their political circumstances, country by country.

Democratisation is a central theme of the EU’s common foreign policy actions, as laid

out in Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union. Many of the states considered in this

report are not democratic, or not fully democratic. In most of these countries, Islamist

parties and movements constitute a significant opposition to the prevailing regimes, a

in some they form the largest opposition bloc. European democracies have long had to

deal with governing regimes that are authoritarian, but it is a new phenomenon to press

for democratic reform in states where the most likely beneficiaries might have, from the

EU’s point of view, different and sometimes problematic approaches to democracy and its

related values, such as minority and women’s rights and the rule of law. These charges are

often laid against Islamist movements, so it is important for European policy-makers to

have an accurate picture of the policies and philosophies of potential partners.

Experiences from different countries tends to suggest that the more freedom Islamist

parties are allowed, the more moderate they are in their actions and ideas. In many

cases Islamist parties and groups have long since shifted away from their original aim

of establishing an Islamic state governed by Islamic law, and have come to accept basic

democratic principles of electoral competition for power, the existence of other political

competitors, and political pluralism.

Islamist Parties : participation without power

Malika Zeghal

Over the last two decades, social and political movements grounding their ideologies in references to Islam have sought to become legal political parties in many countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Some of these Islamist movements have been authorized to take part lawfully in electoral competition. Among the best known is Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which won a parliamentary majority in 2002 and has led the government ever since. Morocco’s own Party of Justice and Development (PJD) has been legal since the mid- 1990s and commands a significant bloc of seats in Parliament. In Egypt, Muslimské bratrstvo (MB) has never been authorized to form a political party, but in spite of state repression it has successfully run candidates as nominal independents in both national and local elections.
Since the early 1990s, this trend has gone hand-in-hand with official policies of limited political liberalization. Together, the two trends have occasioned a debate about whether these movements are committed to “democracy.” A vast literature has sprung up to underline the paradoxes as well as the possible risks and benefits of including Islamist parties in the electoral process. The main paradigm found in this body of writing focuses on the consequences that might ensue when Islamists use democratic instruments, and seeks to divine the “true” intentions that Islamists will manifest if they come to power.

the 500 most influential muslims

John Esposito

Michael Thick

The publication you have in your hands is the first of what we hope will be anannual series that provides a window into the movers and shakers of the Muslimworld. We have strived to highlight people who are influential as Muslims, thatis, people whose influence is derived from their practice of Islam or from the factthat they are Muslim. We think that this gives valuable insight into the differentways that Muslims impact the world, and also shows the diversity of how peopleare living as Muslims today.Influence is a tricky concept. Its meaning derives from the Latin word influensmeaning to flow-in, pointing to an old astrological idea that unseen forces (like themoon) affect humanity. The figures on this list have the ability to affect humanitytoo. In a variety of different ways each person on this list has influence over thelives of a large number of people on the earth. The 50 most influential figuresare profiled. Their influence comes from a variety of sources; however they areunified by the fact that they each affect huge swathes of humanity.We have then broken up the 500 leaders into 15 categories—Scholarly, Political,Administrative, Lineage, Preachers, Ženy, Youth, Philanthropy, Development,Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Media, Radicals, International IslamicNetworks, and Issues of the Day—to help you understand the different kinds ofways Islam and Muslims impact the world today.Two composite lists show how influence works in different ways: InternationalIslamic Networks shows people who are at the head of important transnationalnetworks of Muslims, and Issues of the Day highlights individuals whoseimportance is due to current issues affecting humanity.

Kromě Post-islamismu

Ihsan Yilmaz


With the increased international prominence of Turkey and its successful and internationallyrespected AK Party government, the Academia’s attention has focused on the Turkish Islamistexperience. Turkey had already been seen as an almost unique case as far Islam-state-secularismdemocracyrelations were concerned but the recent transformation of Turkish Islamism coupledwith the global turmoil in the post-9/11 world has made the Turkish case much more important.While Turkish Islamists’ recent transformation that has brought about their rise to the power hasbeen applauded at home and abroad, there are relatively very few studies that analyze theirtransformation by taking into account the unique experience of Turkish Islamism starting from the18th & 19th centuries’ Ottoman secularization, Young Ottomans of the 1860s and the Ottomanconstitutionalism and democracy. navíc, some dynamics that affected the change in theTurkish Islamists’ Islamic normative framework have not been analyzed in detail. Tím pádem, this studyendeavors to analyze the main factors behind the newly emerged tolerant normative framework ofthe AK Party leaders who were formerly Islamists. After showing that there are good historicalreasons arising from the Ottoman experience of secularism and democracy and arguing based on abrief theoretical discussion of the plurality of Islamisms, it argues that the Turkish Islamism hasalways differed from the other Islamist experiences. Proto, in this study, a detailed evaluationof the Turkish Islamist experience starting from the Young Ottomans is undertaken. Then, thispaper attempts to show that Islamic groups’ physical and discursive interaction has been a crucialfactor in the Turkish Islamism’s transformation. Main premise of this paper is that the Gülenmovement has been the most influential factor that has helped the AK Party leaders to develop amore tolerant normative framework and to eventually jettison their Islamism. It is of coursedifficult to establish casual relationship between two social phenomena but one can underscorecorrelations. As the main hypothesis is that the Gülen movement has been the most influentialfactor in the normative transformation of the former Islamists’ mental frameworks and theirreligio-political worldviews, this paper provides a comparative discourse analysis betweenFethullah Gülen’s and Islamists’ ideas on several issues that have been relevant for both Islamismand newly-emerged post-Islamism. To identify these relevant issues (secularism, pluralism,democracy, rule of law, nationalism, state, Islamismus, religiosity, the other, borders and dialogue),the paper provides a brief theoretical discussion of Islamism and post-Islamism that will also helpthe reader to understand the fundamental differences between Islamism and the Gülenian thought.

Islámské MODERNITIES: Fethullah Gulen a současném islámském

Honorární nůž

The Nurju movement1, being the oldest moderate Islamist movement which is probably peculiar to Modern Turkey, was broken into several groups since Said Nursi, the founder of the movement, passed away in 1960. At the present time, there are more than ten nurcu groups with different agendas and strategies. Despite all their differences, today the Nurju groups seem to acknowledge each other’s identity and try to keep a certain level of solidarity. Theplace of the Fethullah Gulen group within the Nurju movement, nicméně, seems to be a bit shaky.Fethullah Gulen (b.1938) split himself, at least in appearance, from the overall Nurju movement in 1972 and succeeded in establishing his own group with a strong organizational structure in the 1980’s and the 90’s. Due to the development of its broad school network both in Turkey and abroad2, his group attracted attention. Those schools fascinated not only Islamist businessmen and middle classes but also a large number of secularist intellectuals and politicians. Although it originally emerged out of the overall Nurju movement, some believe that the number of the followers of the Fethullah Gulen group is much larger than that of the total of the rest of the nurju groups. Dosud, there seems to be enough reason to think that there was a price to pay for this success: alienation from other Islamist groups as well as from the overall Nurju movement of which the Fethullah Gulen group3 itself is supposed to be a part.

Progresivní islámského myšlení, občanské společnosti a hnutí Gülen v národním kontextu

Greg Barton

Fethullah Gulen (born 1941), or Hodjaeffendi as he is known affectionately by hundreds of thousands of people in his native Turkey and abroad, is one of the most significant Islamic thinkers and activists to have emerged in the twentieth century. His optimistic and forward-looking thought, with its emphasis on self development of both heart and mind through education, of engaging proactively and positively with the modern world and of reaching out in dialogue and a spirit of cooperation between religious communities, social strata and nations can be read as a contemporary reformulation of the teachings of Jalaluddin Rumi, Yunus Emre, and other classic Sufi teachers (Michel, 2005a, 2005b; Saritoprak, 2003; 2005a; 2005b; Unal and Williams, 2005). More specifically, Gulen can be seen to be carrying on where Said Nursi (1876-1960), another great Anatolian Islamic intellectual, left off: chartinga way for Muslim activists in Turkey and beyond to effectively contribute to the development of modern society that avoids the pitfalls and compromises of party-political activism and replaces the narrowness of Islamist thought with a genuinely inclusive and humanitarian understanding of religion’s role in the modern world (Abu-Rabi, 1995; Markham and Ozdemir, 2005; Vahide, 2005, Yavuz, 2005a).