The Relationship Between Islam and Democracy in Turkey: Employing Political Culture as an Indicator

Toros E.

SOCIAL INDICATORS RESEARCH, vol.95, no.2, pp.253-265, 2010 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 95 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11205-009-9458-1
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.253-265
  • Keywords: Political culture, Democracy, Islam, Turkey, SECULARISM, MODERNITY
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


During the last decade the agenda of local and global politics is heavily marked by the encounter of two powerful currents, namely democracy and political Islam. On the one hand Islam as a religion itself is facing a cultural dialectic between a modern and an authentic form, producing a synthesis which is only to be criticized again by a new radical antithesis. Within that framework political Islam is perceived to be a tool for this current antithesis, attacking the states for impiety and materialism. Democracy, on the other hand, is becoming dominant as a criterion of good government, the "only game in town", with its inherent complexity which reveals itself in each particular context. The two currents are not necessarily irreconcilable, but they produce a number of different effects on each other whenever they meet. The fundamental contention of this article is to demonstrate this relationship within the Turkish setting.