History of Islamic Political Movements in Turkey

  •  Hakan Köni    
  •  Nurhidayu Rosli    
  •  Siti Aishah Mohamad Zin    


This article investigates the history of Islamic political movements in Turkey. The time period of the article cover the time after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 to the year 2000. It is argued in the article that Islamic movements were largely suppressed in the period between 1923-1945 when the country was ruled with a single party regime led by the Republican Peoples Party. With the introduction of multi-party political system in 1945, political Islam found the opportunity for political activism in the body of Democrat Party. But the political Islam found a more organized opportunity with the establishment of National Order Party in 1970 and National Salvation Party in 1971 by Necmettin Erbakan. Based on a programme of National View, the Turkish political Islam was known for its aim to support material development with a parallel moral and spiritual development with a reaction to the west in interstate relations. Turkish political Islam expressed itself with Welfare Party in 1983 to function until 1998 with some clear changes in its programme particularly in its agreement with contemporary political institutions and later support for Turkey’s integration with the west. Turkish political Islam experienced its first great electoral success during the WP period. However, the WP is closed down in 1998 by the Constitutional Court due to allegations about anti-secularism and driven to a process of breakdown.

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