Observed with curiosity and fascination when he came to power in 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seemed to embody the fusion of political islam and of democracy. Over the years, the Turkish regime has hardened, and Claude Guibal shows us in this episode how Erdoğan’s discourse has also become Islamized.
Legacy of the Cold War in Afghanistan and the Iranian Revolution
The political Islamization of the ideas of the Turkish president crystallized very noticeably from 1979, when in the name of the defense of Islam, an army of mujahideen faced the invasion of the USSR in Afghanistan, and when Ayatollah Khomeini takes power in Iran and leads there the islamic revolution.
1979, a fundamental year in the history of political Islam, of the geopolitics of the Middle East, as in Erdoğan’s journey. The Cold War contributes to the breakthrough of the Islamist movement in Turkey, and stirs up, in passing, Erdogan’s Islamo-conservative tendencies until he came to power in March 2003 when he had to get a facelift.
A chameleon hiding his political Islam
If he first presents an acceptable face by getting rid of his reputation as a radical Islamo-nationalist, it is with the sole aim of widening his electoral base and establishing his Islamist and authoritarian convictions over the long term. , to transform Turkish society as he sees fit.
Moreover, when he founded his party (AKP) he praises it as being a religious party, reformer, modernist, economically liberal, pro-European, guarantor of secularism. He adopts a false feminist discourse in order to obtain maximum support from women, he engages in an opportunistic and open dialogue with all minorities ethnic, religiousbut also with
the LGBT community. It is neither more nor less than a political mask meant to deceive liberal Turkey and Europe.
Since the founding of the republic in 1923, Turkish society has been governed by a dress code inherited from Atatürk where outward signs of religiosity are tracked down. At the antipodes of Erdogan’s ideals, attached to traditions and to
an islam rigorous.
We will see how, once in power, Erdoğan, attached to a patriarchal perspective, lifted restrictions and demonstrated his Islamo-conservative convictions by encouraging the wearing of the veil. He adds the moralization of society, the Islamization of school programs to form at all costs a pious youth, and the construction of thousands of mosques.
Ahmet Inselpolitical scientist
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