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The Ankara Consensus: Islamists, Kemalists, and Why Turkey's Nationalism Remains Overlooked

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Over the past decade scholarly consensus has moved away from viewing turmoil in Turkey as a product of religious–cultural incompatibility with modernization. Instead, scholars have shown that the rise of an Islamic elite has expanded democracy in Turkey, while often vexing the secularist elite. This article reviews the most important of the new scholarship, but criticizes it for inheriting the assumption that all events in Turkey somehow hinge upon Islamist–secularist antagonism. Alternatively, insights from sociology are employed to argue that domestic Turkish discord is intimately related to industrialization and democratization, and that excessive attention to supposedly religious conflict blinds much contemporary scholarship to the intolerant Sunni-Turkish nationalism cultivated by the Turkish state.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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