Next Article in Journal
The Romanian Orthodox Church, the European Union and the Contention on Human Rights
Next Article in Special Issue
Political Islam: A 40 Year Retrospective
Previous Article in Journal
After Hajj: Muslim Pilgrims Refashioning Themselves
Previous Article in Special Issue
Practices of Piety: An Alternative Approach to the Study of Islamic Movements
Article

Islam and Foreign Policy: Turkey’s Ambivalent Religious Soft Power in the Authoritarian Turn

1
School of Social Science, London Metropolitan University, London N7 8DB, UK
2
Turkey Programme, The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), 10676 Athens, Greece
Religions 2021, 12(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010038
Received: 13 November 2020 / Revised: 31 December 2020 / Accepted: 6 January 2021 / Published: 8 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Islam in World Politics)
Although the pro-democracy agenda of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) gained significant domestic and international credibility throughout the early 2000s, the party has, since approximately 2010, experienced a dramatic process of democratic decline. The AKP has intensively used Islamist policies at home and abroad to consolidate its base of support under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Weaponised in foreign policy, Islam has become both an instrument and an objective of the repressive AKP, and Turkey has emerged as a front runner in a race among countries increasingly using religion as a foreign policy tool. This new role for Turkey has created a slew of disparate perceptions among foreign countries. While some are content with Turkey’s religiously fuelled policies and designate Turkey as an influential actor which can use Islam as a soft power tool, others refuse to define Turkey’s policies within the boundaries of soft power due to its extra-territorial authoritarian practices. This study defines Turkey’s Islamic soft power as ambivalent and scrutinises the reasons behind this ambiguity by exploring examples from other countries in South-eastern and Western Europe. View Full-Text
Keywords: Islam; foreign policy; soft power; authoritarianism; Turkey Islam; foreign policy; soft power; authoritarianism; Turkey
MDPI and ACS Style

Ozturk, A.E. Islam and Foreign Policy: Turkey’s Ambivalent Religious Soft Power in the Authoritarian Turn. Religions 2021, 12, 38. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010038

AMA Style

Ozturk AE. Islam and Foreign Policy: Turkey’s Ambivalent Religious Soft Power in the Authoritarian Turn. Religions. 2021; 12(1):38. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010038

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ozturk, Ahmet E. 2021. "Islam and Foreign Policy: Turkey’s Ambivalent Religious Soft Power in the Authoritarian Turn" Religions 12, no. 1: 38. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010038

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop