In the rising momentum for new and reformulated cultural identities, the Turkish Alevi have also emerged on the scene, demanding due recognition. In this process a number of dramatic events have served as important milestones: the clashes between Sunni and Alevi in Kahramanmaras in 1979 and Corum in 1980, the incendiarism in Sivas in 1992, and the riots in Istanbul (Gaziosmanpasa) in 1995. Less evocative, but in the long run more significant, has been the rising interest in Alevi folklore and religious practices. Questions have also arisen as to what this branch of Islamic heterodoxy represents in terms of old and new identities. In this book, these questions are addressed by some of the most prominent scholars in the field.
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This volume, written by specialists, be they political scientists, historians or anthropologists, is a convenient handbook on the origins and history of Turkey's Alevis - an important group that is largely unknown in the West. It examined their ethnic identity, cultural representation, political life, and relations with the Turkish State, The Turkish Left and the Kurdish National Movement.
In November of 2002, the Justice and Development Party swept to victory in the Turkish parliamentary elections. Because of the party's Islamic roots, its electoral triumph has sparked a host of questions both in Turkey and in the West: Does the party harbor a secret Islamist agenda? Will the new government seek to overturn nearly a century of secularization stemming from Kemal Atatürk's early-twentieth-century reforms? Most fundamentally, is Islam compatible with democracy? In this penetrating work, M. Hakan Yavuz seeks to answer these questions, and to provide a comprehensive analysis of Islamic political identity in Turkey. He begins in the early twentieth century, when Kemal Atatürk led Turkey through a process of rapid secularization and crushed Islamic opposition to his authoritarian rule. Yavuz argues that, since Atatürk's death in 1938, however, Turkey has been gradually moving away from his militant secularism and experiencing "a quiet Muslim reformation." Islamic political identity is not homogeneous, says Yavuz, but can be modern and progressive as well as conservative and potentially authoritarian. While the West has traditionally seen Kemalism as an engine for reform against "reactionary" political Islam, in fact the Kemalist establishment has traditionally used the "Islamic threat" as an excuse to avoid democratization and thus hold on to power. Yavuz offers an account of the "soft coup" of 1997, in which the Kemalist military-bureaucratic establishment overthrew the democratically elected coalition government, which was led by the pro-Islamic Refah party. He argues that the soft coup plunged Turkey into a renewed legitimacy crisis which can only be resolved by the liberalization of the political system. The book ends with a discussion of the most recent election and its implications for Turkey and the Muslim world. Yavuz argues that Islamic social movements can be important agents for promoting a democratic and pluralistic society, and that the Turkish example holds long term promise for the rest of the Muslim world. Based on extensive fieldwork and interviews, this work offers a sophisticated new understanding of the role of political Islam in one of the world's most strategically important countries.
As a religious and cultural minority in Turkey, the Alevis have suffered a long history of persecution and discrimination. In the late 1980s they started a movement for the recognition of Alevi identity in both Germany and Turkey. Today, they constitute a significant segment of Germany's Turkish immigrant population. In a departure from the current debate on identity and diaspora, Sökefeld offers a rich account of the emergence and institutionalization of the Alevi movement in Germany, giving particular attention to its politics of recognition within Germany and in a transnational context. The book deftly combines empirical findings with innovative theoretical arguments and addresses current questions of migration, diaspora, transnationalism, and identity.
In Managing Invisibility, Hande Sözer examines complicated invisibilities of Alevi Bulgarian Turks as a double-minority which faces structural and societal discrimination in Bulgaria and Turkey. The data for the book was gathered during 18 months of fieldwork in both settings.
This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of Islamic studies find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. A reader will discover, for instance, the most reliable introductions and overviews to the topic, and the most important publications on various areas of scholarly interest within this topic. In Islamic studies, as in other disciplines, researchers at all levels are drowning in potentially useful scholarly information, and this guide has been created as a tool for cutting through that material to find the exact source you need. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study of the Islamic religion and Muslim cultures. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.aboutobo.com.
Analyses European Muslim communities' developing involvement in their political environment and related Muslim and public debates.
Akturk discusses how the definition of being German, Soviet, Russian and Turkish radically changed at the turn of the twenty-first century. Germany's ethnic citizenship law, the Soviet Union's inscription of ethnic origins in personal identification documents and Turkey's prohibition on the public use of minority languages, all implemented during the early twentieth century, underpinned the definition of nationhood in these countries. Despite many challenges from political and societal actors, these policies did not change for many decades, until around the turn of the twenty-first century, when Russia removed ethnicity from the internal passport, Germany changed its citizenship law and Turkish public television began broadcasting in minority languages. Using a new typology of 'regimes of ethnicity' and a close study of primary documents and numerous interviews, Sener Akturk argues that the coincidence of three key factors – counterelites, new discourses and hegemonic majorities – explains successful change in state policies toward ethnicity.