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Introduction

  • Recep Dogan
Chapter
Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)

Abstract

Political Islam has a long history, and the Justice and Development Party—the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi) is a new face of it, in the twenty-first Century. The main goals of writing this book are to define political Islam with respect to the AKP, a political party which has been in power in Turkey since 2002, and to try to understand how and why the image of the Gülen movement has been changed from a faith-based community to a terrorist organization by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party, the AKP. The Justice and Development and the Gülen Movement are religious groups that aim to serve Islam and religious life. Both groups had a mutually beneficial relationship for a long time. The Gülen movement’s support was important for the AKP to gain control over the state institutions. For the Gülen movement, aligning with the AKP was desirable too, because the success of political Islamists empowered Islamic civil society organizations, particularly during the first two terms of the AKP government. In 2010, all three strongholds of the secular establishment in the presidency, military, and judiciary were neutralized. After eliminating the secularist and military threat in Turkey, their beneficial relation turned into a brutal fight. Each group attacked the other using the control they had gained over particular state functions in the preceding years. The differences in the ideology, worldview, and interpretation of Islam have eventually caused a dramatic split between the movement and the AKP. In order to help readers understand the difference between Political Islam and Civil Islam better, the book explains the political theology of each group. In the final chapter, political theologies of the AKP and Gülen movement are compared to each other to give a clear picture of the differences between them. The book concludes with how this fight would shape the future of Turkey as well as how it may direct Muslims’ understanding of Islam when they adopt the ideology of Political Islam or the ideology of civil Islam.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Recep Dogan
    • 1
  1. 1.Wisdom CollegeBrisbaneAustralia

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