Transformation of secularism in Turkey: debating post-secularism under the AKP rule

Konuralp, Emrah
Post-secularism literature has been developed to respond the need for resolving problem of pluralism in the Western societies by putting emphasis on inviting the religious to the public sphere. The main goal of this research is to transpose this literature to the analysis of Turkish experience which is an officially secular and predominantly Muslim context. Turkey under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) can be considered as an example of post-secularism. The AKP is seen as an evolution of political Islamist National Outlook movement which antagonised secularisation in Turkey. Dissimilarly, the AKP did not challenge the secular credential of the Republic of Turkey directly and acted in between secularism and Islam. This ‘in-between-ness’ can be seen as a reflection of post-secularism. Nonetheless, the main thesis in this research is: Turkey under the AKP-rule cannot be considered as post-secular and this is assessed along with the following criteria of conditions for post-secularism in Turkey: (1) consolidated democracy; (2) deeply established secularism as a political principle; (3) the objective guarantees on the freedom of religion and conscience; (4) management of problem of pluralism; and (5) analysis of the AKP in relation to post-Islamism.