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Is Islam a Cure for Ethnic Conflict? Evidence from Turkey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2015

Mehmet Gurses
Affiliation:
Florida Atlantic University
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Turkish Islamists have long attributed the root causes of the Kurdish conflict in Turkey to the anti-religious Turkish nationalism promulgated by the secular Kemalist republican elite in the 1920s. As a result, they lay emphasis on “Islamic brotherhood” as the glue that holds numerous ethnic nationalities together. This article examines this claim and argues that Islam's role as a peacemaker has been overstated. The data from in-depth interviews with dozens of Kurdish Islamists in Turkey conducted in the summer of 2013 indicate that Kurdish Islamists in principle agree with the peacemaking potential of Islam. Distrustful of the “Islamic brotherhood” discourse however, they describe this allegedly new policy as yet another tactic to undermine the Kurdish struggle for equal rights

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2015 

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