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Islamic Political Identity in Turkey (Religion and Global Politics) Hardcover – August 28, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0195160857 ISBN-10: 0195160851

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Product Details

  • Series: Religion and Global Politics
  • Hardcover: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195160851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195160857
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,177,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"...this is an excellent book and should be required reading for those interested in modern Turkey, the history and politics of Islamic activism in the Middle East, relations between Turkey and the West, and the complex negotiations between the secular, the religious, and the modern state."--Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies


About the Author


M. Hakan Yavuz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Hakan Yavuz takes his reader's into a detailed journey into the largely unknown aspects of Islamic movements in Turkey. So far Islamic movements both in Turkey and elsewhere have been discussed with a bias on political movements. Yavuz' book is important in the sense that it also covers social Islamic movements, most specifically the Nurcu movement in Turkey. What I like about this book is its theoretical framework that takes on the traditional modernist perspective's dichotomous understanding of modernity and tradition. highly recommended to any student of Islam and Turkey.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The illiterate readers, (considering their spelling and grammar),who gave this path breaking book negative reviews obviously have some axe to grind while lacking any graduate level training in political science or contemporary Turkish politics and society. While the bookshelves are filled with the pap produced by third rate journalist and instant pundits on Islam and politics, this contribution is a serendipitous discovery. Yavuz is the first to have conducted indepth field work on the gamut of Turkish Islamic political and social movements. He has obviously mastered the theoretical literature on political development and transitions to democracy. He applies these insights in a novel fashion in being the first Western based scholar to predict the rise of the current AKP party of PM Erdogan into power. Yavuz shows the conditions under which oppositional Islamic movements can move toward the promotion of democratic reforms and pluralism and liberalism more generally. Given the present mess in the Middle East and Iraq, the theoretical insights of this book are absolutely vital in discerning the conditions under which Islamic political and social movements may achieve compatibility with liberal democratic norms and modernity. In addition to scholars of modern Turkey and the Middle East, this book should be required reading for all American policy makers dealing with the wider region.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. I. Wells on April 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
M. Hakan Yavuz's book Islamic Political Identity in Turkey claims that the reconstitution or re-imagining of identity is not contingent upon historical context and political forces, but rather constructed by them. Islamic movements in Turkey has developed when the state liberalized, filling the space by politicizing religion and changing the terms of politics to be applicable to their context. Yavuz offers an informative and readable scholarly work, but his re-contextualization of Turkish Islamic identity ultimately muddles his constructivist claims.

The historical background for the thesis is plentiful, though not always objective. Yavuz explains that the autocratic Kemalist regime of Ataturk embarked upon a modernization and secularization program that did not impact rural, traditional identities. Indeed, the state appeared to be completely hostile to religion and its thwarting of attempts at political and religious organization in the early days of the republic. Islam was initially a way of challenging the imposed secularism of the government and it remains "a debate about the boundary of state and society, the public and private" (31). Furthermore, economic and political liberalization over the history of Turkey allowed for "opportunity spaces" where "identities and lifestyles are performed, contested, and implemented" (24). Within these spaces, mechanisms such as the modern press, educational institutions and the Internet allowed for Islamic identity construction. Islam was also, at times, used as a tool of the parties in power, such as the military in the 1980s, who developed an Islamist-Turkish synthesis. Yavuz explains that Islamic groups articulate their version of "the good life" in a constant give and take with what the state offers.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A well-crafted comprehensive look at the role of Islam in Turkey. The book offers some original and compelling explanations regarding the social transformation that Turkey has experienced since the 1980s. Specifically, the author mentions the role of opportunity spaces in the evolution of Islamic movements and ideas as a result of economic and political liberalization.I think anyone who is interested in Turkey, Islamic movements, and the relationship between Islam and modernity would get a great deal out of this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book on contemporary Islamic movements in Turkey. Yavuz, who is the leading scholar of Turkish politics and Islam, offers a new conceptual framework, a typology to map Islamic movements and identifies the conditions under which these movement become more democratic and pluralist. Moreover, the book argues that the history of the post-1980 Turkey is about the formation of opportunity spaces and their socio-political implications. The key concept of the book is the "opportunity spaces" and this book must be read by everyone who studies Islam, identity, and politics in Turkey.
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