Political Islam in Turkey: A State of Controlled Secularity

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

(2005) Political Islam in Turkey: A State of Controlled Secularity, Turkish Studies 6(1): 3–19.

​The victory in the November 2002 elections of the religiously rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been a challenge for Turkish democracy with its strong secular state tradition. The Turkish Armed Forces, as guardians of the state, are wary of any AKP policies that may undermine secularity. Although the military condemns the use of religion for political purposes, it has, in the past, used religion as a political tool to serve national interests. The use of religion both as a threat against and as a tool for the state results in ambiguity with regard to secularity in Turkey.