From 'clients' to 'magnates': the (not so) curious case of Islamic authoritarianism in Turkey

Arisan M.

SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN AND BLACK SEA STUDIES, cilt.19, sa.1, ss.11-30, 2019 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 19 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1080/14683857.2019.1576341
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.11-30


This paper sketches out the historical emergence and progress of political Islam in modern Turkey by emphasizing its statist and clientelistic aspects emanating from the authoritarian basis of Turkish political modernization. The paper contends that there has always been an authoritarian and autocratic tendency in modern Turkish politics that depends on a peculiar and modernist articulation of both Islamism and secularism, which eventually stand on the same ground. This very ground is formed upon a sacred understanding of the state that can be defined as an all-encompassing and absolute perfection of political power, which manifests itself differently in content for secular nationalists and Islamists, and yet produces the same authoritarian tendency. Both the secular nationalism and Islamism appear to be state oriented movements in the sense that they both have emanated from the state, and envisage to control the state in an absolute sense.