Islam, Kurds and the Turkish Nation State (New Technologies by Christopher Houston

By Christopher Houston

Can Islamism, as is frequently claimed, really unite Muslim Turks and Kurds in a discourse that supersedes ethnicity? it is a unstable and interesting time for a rustic whose lengthy historical past has been characterised through dramatic strength play. Evolving out of 2 years of fieldwork in Istanbul, this booklet examines the fragmenting Islamist political flow in Turkey. As Turkey emerges from a repressive modernizing venture, quite a few political identities are rising and competing for effect. The Islamist move celebrates the failure of Western liberalism in Turkey and the go back of politics in response to Muslim beliefs. despite the fact that, this imaginative and prescient is threatened via Kurdish nationalism and the country's afflicted past.Is Islamist multiculturalism even attainable? The ethnic tensions surfacing in Turkey beg the query no matter if the Muslim Turks and Kurds can locate universal flooring in faith. Houston argues that such unification relies essentially upon the flexibleness of the explanation at the back of the Islamist movement's fight.

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However, problems with the hoca (hodja – the leader of prayers in the mosque and a religious bureaucrat on the state’s payroll) forced their cancellation. Instead Ahmet aðabey was hoping to hire a local kahvehane (coffee-house) to continue the programme, but this too met with some resistance. Setbacks like these have led Ahmet aðabey to ponder the possibility that Muslims should have the right to set up an area of their own, an area in which Islamic law would be the basis of the legal system and anyone who wanted to join should be free to do so.

Perhaps ‘neighbourhood groups’ of around thirty houses could be formed . . The method is not the essence of course. What matters is to bring about democratic participation by this or that method . . So long as we do not take the decisions which affect ourselves, so long as we allow others to take decisions on our behalf, is there any hope of solving the problems we complain about today? (1996b: 158–9). If participatory democracy is the prize, then tolerance is its patron. Kuzguncuk naturally is the venue.

For instance, I attached excessive importance to physical change . . But I had ignored the fact that even the repair of communal facilities naturally followed on the repair of human relations’ (Bektaþ 1996b: 29, 30) But why do human relations need to be repaired at all? [Because] in 1985 the urban population [of Turkey] exceeded the rural population for the first time . . Although city dwellers might be regarded as urbanized for statistical purposes, they are not so in social terms. Yet this city [Istanbul] has been a school of urbanization throughout its history.

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