Religious Groups in the Face of Turkey Modernization


It is generally emphasized that there is a close relationship between modernization and secularization. Turkey’s modernization process can be regarded as a secularization process of religion, society and politics in relation to Turkey’s sociological and historical reality. In the process, a cultural and political distance has developed between the old and the traditional and the new and modern. Many innovations that began to be discussed after the II. Constitutional period and passed on to the social life after the establishment of the republic were interpreted as a result of the policy of secularization of the new government. The modernization of the republic has caused a social division on the basis of secularism. Religious groups and communities, which have been the producers of the traditional religious structure of the society for many years, are defined by the ones in power as “the other” in this division. The loss of legitimacy of those religious groups in the public sphere did not mean that they were destroyed, but it often caused them to go underground in order to continue their existence. Religious groups were in a tense relationship with the state during the single-party rule, after transition to multi-party system, they have had a pragmatic relationship with politics. Political parties also observed a similar benefit relationship with religious groups. Although bureaucratic structures showed similar reflexes to that in the single party period during the period when politics was interfered by military coups, mutual benefit dialect continued to be produced in terms of politics and religious groups with the return of democracy. The period of February 28 and AK Party ruling also attracted attention as different periods in terms of the position of religious groups in the modernization of Turkey.


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