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Islamic Populism in Turkey

International Studies, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN 38112, USA
Academic Editor: Jocelyne Cesari
Religions 2021, 12(9), 752;
Received: 23 July 2021 / Revised: 6 September 2021 / Accepted: 7 September 2021 / Published: 13 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Nationalism and Populism across the North/South Divide)
In the last two decades, multiple Islamic parties have become incumbent parties and/or joined coalition governments. Such a development brought debate as to whether these parties could moderate into democratic actors à la Christian Democratic Parties in Western Europe, or whether they were aiming at the formation of an Islamist state and society through electoral means. What remains relatively unaddressed in the literature, however, is to what degree Islamic parties truly derive their socio-political agenda from Islam. Hence, this paper will ask, how do Islamic parties utilize Islam? To answer this question, this paper will use a single case-study approach to test and to rethink Islamic political parties and what is “Islamic” about them in the Turkish case. This paper will study the Turkish case because the country’s incumbent party, the Justice and Development Party (JDP), has been governing Turkey since 2002, making the Party the longest ruling Islamic party still in power. Based on the literature on populism, this paper will argue that the way the JDP utilized Islam can be characterized as populism flavored by religion that is based on (i) a thin theological foundation, (ii) a majoritarian rather than a multivocal interpretation of Islam, and (iii) a Muslim unity rhetoric. View Full-Text
Keywords: Islamic parties; populism; Turkey Islamic parties; populism; Turkey
MDPI and ACS Style

Kirdiş, E. Islamic Populism in Turkey. Religions 2021, 12, 752.

AMA Style

Kirdiş E. Islamic Populism in Turkey. Religions. 2021; 12(9):752.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kirdiş, Esen. 2021. "Islamic Populism in Turkey" Religions 12, no. 9: 752.

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