Islamisme i Tyrkiet

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by Bassam Tibi
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2009, pp. 47-54

Since their electoral landslide victory in November 2002, Islamists within Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) have camouflaged themselves as “democratic Islamic conservatives.”[1] The AKP claims to be the Muslim equivalent of the Christian-Democratic parties of Western Europe. Such an analogy is false, however. What the AKP seeks is not “Islam without fear,” to borrow the phrase of Trinity College professor Raymond Baker,[2] but rather a strategy for a creeping Islamization that culminates in a Shari‘a (Islamic law) state not compatible with a secular, democratic order. The AKP does not advertise this agenda and often denies it. This did not convince the chief prosecutor of Turkey who, because of AKP efforts to Islamize Turkey, sought to ban the party and seventy-one of its leaders. While the AKP survived a ban, the majority of justices found that the AKP had worked to advance an Islamist agenda and undermine secularism.[3] Nevertheless, the AKP enjoys the backing of the United States and the European Union as well. Through its support for institutional Islamism in Turkey, the West loses its true friends: liberal Muslims.

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