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BEYOND SECULARISM: FAITH, IDENTITY AND DIFFERENCE: THE TURKISH CASE

BEYOND SECULARISM: FAITH, IDENTITY AND DIFFERENCE: THE TURKISH CASE

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The aim of this article is to explore the boundaries of Turkish secularism. There are regular complaints about the extent of the stifling secularism, although it is well established in constitutional practice and supported by the majority of the Turkish intellectuals. Much of scholarly debate about Turkish secularism has focused on the predictions of the fading relevance or at least of religious activities that have ever been boosted. A growing concern is that Turkish Islam may prove a useful weapon of opposition to secular authority and become much more effective in constructing an authoritarian model of political system. Is secularism simply inclined to accentuate the role of religion – the tradition of which Turks have inherited from the past? Is religion most likely in the process of becoming over politicised again? For Turkey, these are hugely difficult questions, while admitting that current tendencies pose problems.

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