A Comparative analysis of religion-state relations: a case study on Turkey and Iran

Hazır, Agah
This thesis compares religion-state relations in Turkey and Iran by adopting a historical perspective. Mainly, the thesis explores the kinds of historical trajectories, international developments and cultural elements which generated distinct religion-state relations in these two national contexts. It argues that the main determinants of this relation derive from the varying degrees of institutionalization of the religious establishments. The historical analysis reveals that, the Turkish state inherited a type of state tradition in which religion was strongly controlled and incorporated to the state structure. Conversely, in Iran, especially after Safavid period, the state tradition was marked by the relative autonomy of the religious establishments from the state. The thesis also analyses the influence of international factors on religion-state dynamics. It reveals that direct international factors have been more influential in the Iranian case whereas in Turkish case indirect factors played a more decisive role. The thesis also argues that it is misleading to point the differences between Shi’a and Sunni sects in an essentialist manner to explain the different paths these two countries followed.


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Citation Formats
A. Hazır, “A Comparative analysis of religion-state relations: a case study on Turkey and Iran,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.