Turkey, secularism and the EU: A view from Damascus

Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (4):449-457 (2011)
Abstract
This article deals with the impact of the free, democratic and peaceful accession to power of the Islamic Justice and Development Party (JDP) in Turkey on the Arab world in general and on the Islamic currents active in Arab societies in particular. A main point is looking into how Arab political formations and especially political Islam are trying to make sense out of such recent developments in Turkey as: (1) the fact that traditionally reviled Turkish secularism, Kemalism and westernism could produce a democratic form of political Islam capable of winning free elections and ruling Turkey without a catastrophe befalling the whole polity; and (2) the fact that an Islamic JDP is the most eager proponent of Turkey’s membership in the secular EU, while the traditional staunch military guardian of Turkish secularism is now the main obstructor of the drive for EU membership
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