By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 6, no 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
A recent, unprecedented clash between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, one of the founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has exposed mounting dissent within the top leadership of the AKP. This has two sources: Erdoğan’s leadership style, and an increasing, ideological divergence among Muslim conservatives. That divergence revolves around the question of how the Muslim conservatives are going to relate to and cope with change – a change that they themselves have abetted. While Erdoğan reacts with old reflexes, Arınç (and President Abdullah Gül) disapprove of conservative social engineering, and seem to understand that the Muslim conservatives’ continued political success depends on their ability to remain in tune with change.
by Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 6, no. 15 of the Turkey Analyst)
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s resurrection of the ideological militancy of a bygone era is not a recipe for political success. The class dynamics that once brought about the moderation of the Turkish Islamic movement are even stronger today. Differences of culture and life style still separate the two middle classes of Turkey, the religiously conservative Anatolian bourgeoisie and the secular bourgeoisie. Yet, Turkey’s political future will likely be shaped by their synergy, indeed alliance. It is reasonable to expect that the material interests of the combined bourgeoisie will revive political moderation.
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.