By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 3, no. 4 of the Turkey Analyst)
The critical question today is whether the Turkish secularists will conclude that a reassessment of their ideological stance has become inevitable subsequent to the reversal of the regime of military tutelage. Not unlike the Islamists a decade ago, the seculars face the challenge to either broaden their appeal or concede defeat. Without secular forces making a transition to liberalism, the democratic evolution of Islamic conservatism will remain uncertain.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s influential liberal intellectuals have become disenchanted with the ruling AKP, which they accuse of having abandoned its initial, reformist agenda. However, disappointed liberals have yet to acknowledge that events could have taken a different turn if they had chosen to exert a corrective influence on their Islamic conservative allies in the AKP. Above all, liberals who truly aspire to be a vanguard of freedom will have to revisit the question of secularism and its democratic implications.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The opposition Republican people’s party, CHP, long perceived as dogmatically secularist, is now intent on broadening its base and its message. CHP leader Deniz Baykal has made a bold move by enlisting women wearing the headscarf and even the black chador as party members. The overture to veiled women could at best pave the way for a new realignment that contributes to the reconciliation of secularism and religious traditionalism. But it also raises new questions about the future of secularism in Turkey.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 12 of the Turkey Analyst)
The conclusion of Turkey’s regime crisis calls for a revisal of the conventional way of interpreting Turkish political dynamics. Turkey has moved from confrontation over the nature of the regime to a systemic reconciliation in the making. Significantly, the split between the moderate Islamists and the military is about to be bridged. That should make it less difficult for observers in the West to discern and appreciate the reality of civilian secularism in Turkey.
By Halil Magnus Karaveli (vol. 1, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
As the storms gather around the AKP, its rule is by all accounts likely to draw to a close. What went wrong with Turkey’s experiment of moderate Islamism? It is tempting for western observers to conclude that it was sabotaged by a supposedly autocratic, dogmatically secularist state establishment which is unwilling to surrender its positions of power. But the fatal mistake of the Islamists has precisely been to expect the seculars to accept surrender.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.