Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey

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In 2002 the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept to power in Turkey. Since then it has shied away from a hard-line ideological stance in favour of a more conservative and democratic approach. In this book, M. Hakan Yavuz negotiates this ambivalence asking whether it is possible for a political party with a deeply religious ideology to liberalise and entertain democracy or whether, as he contends, radical religious groups moderate their practices and ideologies when forced to negotiate a competitive and rule-based political system. The author explores the thesis through an analysis of the rise and evolution of the AKP and its more recent 2007 election victory. The book, which tackles a number of important issues including political participation, economics and internal security, provides a masterful survey of modern Turkish and Islamic politics, which will be of interest to a broad range of readers from students to professionals and policymakers.