The bifurcation of political Islam in Turkey : the case of the People's Voice party

Arslan, Nursel
This study aims to show why there was a schism within National Outlook (Milli Görüş, MG) in Turkey during 2000s, why political Islamist parties having different discourse from MG emerged, and more specifically why and how People's Voice Party (Halkın Sesi Partisi - HAS Party) differed from MG and political Islamist parties. The argument of this study is that socioeconomic factors have played an important role in differentiation of political Islam in Turkey and transformation of MG. Consequently, I tried to find why the HAS Party came about on the basis of the transformation of the MG movement, considering the effects of the changes in socioeconomic and political fields on MG/political Islam. In this respect, I took advantage of the interview done with some senior staff of the HAS Party, and İhsan Eliaçık, a HAS Party supporter, through semi-structured questions; of the comparison of party programs; of the articles in the press on the HAS Party; of the statements and articles of party representatives, as well as of the literature in question. It has been seen that different parties have emerged from MG due to socioeconomic changes, as well as to internal and external factors. While there have not been more changes morally in political Islamist parties apart from expressing Islamist notions or values in a common language, it has been seen that the ideas in the field of economy could change accordingly to the current year, and that this change showed parallelism with the development process of capitalism. It can be said that MG-based people within the HAS Party did not ideologically dissent from the SP, that they secede because of not being able to make the changes they wanted in the party’s politics, that therefore the HAS Party was a follow-up party of the MG, taking Islam as a reference and giving great importance to personal conservatism and religious education, and that it had a different approach from the traditional MG in terms of economy and external relations. It can be said also that the most important difference of the HAS Party compared to other political İslamist parties is that it finds itself under the same roof with socialists, having thus the characteristics of a social democratic party with Islamist spirit..


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Citation Formats
N. Arslan, “The bifurcation of political Islam in Turkey : the case of the People’s Voice party ,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.