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Cultural Reconfiguration and Revivalism of Islam of Modern Turkey

However, in recent history Turkish politics has been subject to vast changes in its make-up. Since the 1980 military intervention, and perhaps even earlier, the subject of religious revivalism has been in the forefront of the Kemalist republic. While many countries in the Middle East have witnessed religious upheaval in recent past.A new middle class became visible after the 1980’s, accepting the ethical standards and cultural values of the traditional order but also adopted the rational business rules and the profit motive of the capitalist market system.  The new Turkish Islamic middle middle, and upper middle classes are very good examples of capitalistic spirit both as believers and entrepreneurs.
A relatively new friction between the laicists and Islamists emerged in the 1990’s when the critical approach of a group of Islamist writers gained an unprecedented popularity. Ruşen Çakır marks the book titled Üç Mesele: Teknik, Medeniyet. Yabancılaşma (Three Issues: Technique, Civilization, Alienation) by Ismet Ozel that was published first in 1978, as an initiator of such a line of criticism. This new literature was not only popular in Islamic wing, but also ignited the widespread debate of the 80’s and 90’s among the Turkish intelligentsia about the conduct to be taken in issues of modernity.In February 1997, the mayor of Sincan, a town on the outskirts of Ankara, organized ‘Jerusalem Day’, to call liberation of the city from Israel. The mayor was from the ‘pro-Islamic’ Welfare Party, a partner of the coalition government. The Iranian ambassador was invited and, making anti-secular statements, he called for the establishment of Islamic law in Turkey, while the crowd demonstrated in support of Hamas and Hezbollah, two Islamist groups waging armed struggle against Israel.The parliament that emerged from the general elections on November 3, 2002, in Turkey has created an unexpected possibility of exit from the authoritarian regime established after the military coup of September 12, 1980, and empowered by the regulations after February 28, 1997.It is evident that the Kemalist model eroded. The Kemalist elite of Turkey enjoyed very many ‘faces’ of power as decision-making, as agenda setting, as thought control, almost all through the republican times. However, politics is inextricably linked to the phenomena of conflict and cooperation. Outcome of the 2007 general elections in Turkey reveal that almost 50% of the population that has voted, used their preference for AKP. This is an expression of the social change that Turkey has been experiencing especially within the last decade.A quite recent survey in Turkey reveals that a large group of laicists and Islamists are coming closer to each other in their views about democracy, freedoms, and rights. Several negotiations have been taken place regarding the issue of modernization process of Turkey.A process of negotiation may be exemplified by a work run in an Islamic context. A current project carried under the working title, ‘The Future of Shari'a’ by Prof. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law School, focuses on the struggle of Islamic societies to define themselves and positively relate to the local and global conditions under which they live.