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  • Author: Ayhan Kaya
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses a new social and political phenomenon in Europe, which has become evident along with the visibility of Islam in the European public space. Revealing the current social-political context in Western Europe, which is mainly characterized by a growing drift of securitization of Islam and migration, this paper argues that there are two simultaneously running processes regarding the changing nature of Euro-Islam, which seem to are antithetical: individualization of Islam vs. institutionalization of Islam. Drawing upon the findings of the field research in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, this article shows that while the processes of globalization seem to prompt younger generations with Muslim background to liberate themselves from the constraints of their patriarchal parental and community culture, western states as well as ethnocultural and religious brokers tend to reify, or reinforce, their existing communal and religious boundaries. That is to say that the descendants of migrants seem to have been squeezed between individualization and institutionalization of Islam.
  • Topic: Islam, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands
  • Author: ilman Lanz
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This text discusses the case of Talip, son of Turkish immigrants to Germany and a recent convert to Islam. Specifically, the text addresses Talip's reasons for a (re)conversion and the details of his embrace of Islam as the religion of his ancestors. The argument is made that processes of conversion cannot be captured through the conceptualization of different stages or phases except in retrospect. In showing this impossibility, the text further argues that every conversion needs to attach itself or revolve around a specific event that is taken as cathartic for making the move towards the new faith. Attempts that delineate commonalities in processes of conversion and that then speak of phases or stages are able to illuminate the social dimension of this phenomenon. The focus on events, proposed here, is able to much better highlight the idiosyncratic, contingent and personal dimensions of the same phenomenon.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Sevgi Çilingir
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article attempts to analyze various aspects of ethnic and religious identity configurations among the Turkish Sunni Muslims in Britain and to explore how such social processes influence their socio-political integration. It tries to situate the Turkish community in the context of British Muslim identity politics. Findings in this article are based on in-depth interviews on perceptions and attitudes the Turkish Sunni Muslims have and their implications in the planning of collective activities, especially in the field of education. This study reveals that although the current level of integration among the Turkish Sunni Muslims in Britain is less than expected, neither living in a non-Muslim country nor claiming to have a British identity are perceived as incompatible with Turkish and Islamic values. This paper concludes that educating Turkish youths in ethnic and religious values is a priority, as it is seen as a means to protect against assimilation, while allowing for successful integration.
  • Topic: Education, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Turkey
  • Author: Zeynep Yanaşmayan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Immigration of Turkish guestworkers to Western European countries in the 1960s and 1970s laid the ground for the emergence of various transnational religious organizations. This paper examines transnational organizations of Turkish origin that gained major support and membership in their host societies. Drawing upon a case study on Turks in Belgium, it shows that in the last four decades these organisations went through various transformations depending on the dynamics in their respective immigrant communities, host societies and countries of origin. This essay captures the role and selfadaptation process of Turkish Islamic organisations vis-à-vis the changing environment both in their host countries and countries of origin. It focuses on two Turkish transnational organisations in Belgium: The Islamic Federation of Belgium (IFB) and the Turkish Islamic Foundation of Belgium (TIFB). This essay concludes that political structure in the countries of origin constantly induces transnational organizations to further adopt and position themselves according to changing circumstances.
  • Topic: Environment, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Belgium, Western Europe
  • Author: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the cultural politics of European opposition to Turkish accession to the EU. It argues that the foundations of secularism-the powerful a prioris that structure the debate in Europe regarding religion and politics-make it difficult for Europeans to cope with what is often described as an "Islamic challenge" to Europe, both internally and externally. Turkish candidacy makes these stumbling blocks explicit, as Turkey has become the symbolic carrier of domestic European angst about religion, particularly Islam, and politics. Turkish candidacy highlights unfinished business in the social fabric of the core EU members, including what it means to be secular and how religion, including but not limited to Islam, relates to European identity. These sticking points are what the debate over Turkish membership is really about, and it is for this reason that it is culturally-in addition to economically and politically-so contentious.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Roberta Micallef
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This work's title Islamic Literature in Contemporary Turkey From Epic to Novel might give some readers the impression that this book is about different genres of Islamic literature available in Turkey today. It is not. Readers familiar with Bakhtin's essay, “The Epic and the Novel: Towards a Methodology for the Study of the Novel” will be better prepared for what is in this book. Çayır investigates Islamism and the changing compositions of Islamic identities in Turkey through a study of the Islamic literary fictions of the 1980s and 1990s. He explores the political and sociological processes of identity construction in the context of Turkey in that period. Instead of opting for breadth, the author examines Islamic novels in depth by focusing on two 'salvation novels' of the 1980s, Müslüman Kadının Adı Var and Boşluk, and two 'selfreflexive novels' of the 1990s, Halkaların Ezgisi and Yağmurdan Sonra, which have canonical status in Muslim circles and because they are the prototypes for the narrative structure for each time period.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Masaki Kakizaki
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: While Islamic fundamentalism or “radical Islam” has attracted a great deal of public attention, some societies in the Muslim world have experienced the gradual evolution of radical Islam into “moderate” or “political” Islam. Although moderate Muslims in such societies still maintain a pious commitment to Islam in their daily lives, they are not necessarily against the idea of a market economy, democracy, or the West. Where does moderate Islam come from? Is it the outcome of structural changes such as the modernization and rationalization of Muslim society? Or is the emergence of moderate Islam largely contingent upon a complex interaction between politics, the economy, and everyday social life? Finally, how should we approach this newly emerging alternative to radical Islam?
  • Topic: Islam
  • Author: Mehmet Özkan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Based on extensive literature and fieldwork research in international relations, intellectual history and political thought, Cemil Aydin has written an exceptionally detailed account of the boundaries and horizons of pan-Islamic and pan-Asian thoughts on world order. Although his research on the intellectual journey of these two main anti-Western movements only covers the period from the early nineteenth century through to World War II, it still has relevance to today as we speak of “the rise of the rest” and/or “the Second World”.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Matthew S. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The title of this new volume is perhaps misleading suggesting as it does a discussion of imperial expansion and its impact on conqueror and conquered alike. It is, to be sure, a study of ghaza and its organization by pre-modern Muslim dynasts. Anooshahr prefers the term itself, ghaza, to “holy war” with its thorny, tangled associations (p. 14). His particular interest lies with Mahmud of Ghazna (Ghaznavid dynasty, d.1030), Murad II (Ottoman dynasty, d. 1451) and, especially, Babur Muhammad Zahir al-Din (Timurid dynasty, founder of the Mughal state, d. 1531) all of whom engaged in warfare of the sort.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Author: Stefan Ihrig
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Adib-Moghaddam's engaging analysis of the Iranian politics is an effective antidote against the widespread characterizations of the Islamic Republic as the center of Shi'i crescent and a regime ruled by messianic fanatics who are soon-to-be armed with nuclear weapons. He explicitly states his purpose: “Ideally, this book equips you… with the necessary tools to widen and fill the gaps between lines next time you read a newspaper article about Iran” (p.2). “My idea in this book is to employ critical theory in order to place Iran out of the reach of their awesome propaganda” (p.3).
  • Topic: Islam, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran