Turkey since 1989 & The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey
Author(s): Kerem Oktem
THE MOBILIzATIon OF PoLITICAL ISLAM IN TURKEY. By Banu Eligur. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Pp. 336. ISBN: 9780521760218.
ANGRY NATION: TURKEY SINCE 1989. By Kerem Oktem. London: Zed Books, 2011. Pp. 213. ISBN: 9781848132115.
The political process and realization of popular aspirations in most of the Muslim world are undeniably related with their socio-economic conditions, the role of repressive regimes, political opportunities, the model of political process and the capacity of political and social movements to develop their networking, and organizational structures. These and several other factors, when properly identified, help to build a strategy for political change. In the case of Muslim countries, religious identity is no less important but has been downplayed in most political analyses. In fact, in some cases, an argument is put forward that the appeal of Islamist parties is limited to a small segment of the populations of Muslim countries. An argument is also put forth by the secularists that religion should have no business in political, social, legal, cultural and economic spaces. The Islamists, on the other hand, are often projected as conservative, backward looking and religious extremists who know nothing about global challenges, international politics, monetary policies and technological developments. They are also projected as an anti-rational and anti-liberal minority group. The general masses in the Muslim countries are,on the other hand, taken for granted as neutral, less informed or inclined toward secular, nationalist, or ethnic political parties.