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Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are off-nuclear point sources in nearby galaxies with luminosities well exceeding the Eddington limit for stellar-mass objects. It has been recognized after the discovery of pulsating ULXs (PULXs) that a fraction of these sources could be accreting neutron stars in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) though the majority of ULXs are lacking in coherent pulsations. The earliest stage of some HMXBs may harbor rapidly rotating neutron stars propelling out the matter transferred by the massive companion. The spin-down power transferred by the neutron-star magnetosphere to the accretion disk at this stage can well exceed the Eddington luminosities and the system appears as a non-pulsating ULX. In this picture, PULXs appear as super-critical mass-accreting descendants of non-pulsating ULXs. We present this evolutionary scenario within a self-consistent model of magnetosphere-disk interaction and discuss the implications of our results on the spin and magnetic field of the neutron star.
Turkey has the largest Kurdish population in the world. Estimates of the number of Kurds in Turkey in 2007 ranged from 8 million to 12 million. The Kurds of Turkey have made demands varying from full secession, to federalism, and, at a minimum, to the recognition of individual and cultural rights within the framework of the process of Turkey's entry into the European Union (EU). Undoubtedly, the most extreme symptom of Kurdish nationalism in contemporary history has been the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has led resistance and terrorist activities against the Turkish state as well as against moderate Kurds, which in turn has resulted in the Turkish armed forces' equally violent backlash against both PKK fighters and innocent Kurdish civilians. Turkish soldiers have battled the PKK in the south-east since 1984, a conflict that has caused an estimated 37,000 fatalities and hundreds of thousands of displaced people.
One cannot understand Turkish history over the last quarter-century without taking into full account the role played by Kurdish nationalism in general, and that of the PKK in particular. In a way, both the domestic and foreign policies of Turkey have been held hostage to the Kurdish problem for the past twenty-five years. In addition to causing human suffering, the PKK-led rebellion has defined the meaning and role of politics, redefined the boundaries between state and society, and has inadvertently empowered certain state institutions at the expense of others. It has also slowed down the democratization process of Turkey.
In 2002 the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept to power in Turkey. Since then it has shied away from a hard-line ideological stance in favour of a more conservative and democratic approach. In this book, M. Hakan Yavuz negotiates this ambivalence asking whether it is possible for a political party with a deeply religious ideology to liberalise and entertain democracy or whether, as he contends, radical religious groups moderate their practices and ideologies when forced to negotiate a competitive and rule-based political system. The author explores the thesis through an analysis of the rise and evolution of the AKP and its more recent 2007 election victory. The book, which tackles a number of important issues including political participation, economics and internal security, provides a masterful survey of modern Turkish and Islamic politics, which will be of interest to a broad range of readers from students to professionals and policymakers.
This chapter examines the sociopolitical causes, actors and consequences of the April 2007 political crisis and its impact on the July 2007 national election results in Turkey. The actors in the crisis were the AKP leadership, an assertive secular sector of civil society that organized a series of “republican meetings,” a secularist judiciary, and the guardians of the Kemalist system: the military. Three important causes existed for what can be described as an “elite-centric crisis”: disagreement over the founding principles of the Republic, concerns of the military, and fear of the secular sector of civil society. To understand the causes of the crisis, I will first examine the disagreement between the AKP and the Kemalist sector over the meaning and role of such foundational principles as secularism and nationalism by focusing on the 2007 presidential election. In the second part, I will explore the mobilization of secular civil society in April and May 2007 by examining the demands and identity of the participants. And since the military's e-memorandum of April 27, 2007 considered almost all criticism of the Kemalist version of secularism and nationalism as “hostile voices” of religious fanaticism (irtica) or “separatistist” Kurdish ethno-nationalism, it is important to analyze the role of Kurdish identity claims and the “expansion” of the Gülen movement to understand the military's interference in the presidential election process. The final section of the chapter will analyze the 2007 election results.
Sometimes major revolutions take place quietly, their importance obscured by the hubbub of more dramatic events. Only with time does the shift become perceptible. Turkey has changed, but not because of a war or a major crisis; it has changed because of the emerging Anatolian bourgeoisie with its EU ambitions. The catalysts for this change have been the February 28 coup of 1997, the 2001 economic crisis and the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership. The EU process has played an important role in the speed and focus of the political reforms since 1999. However, the impact of the process is very much conditioned by the dynamics of Turkish domestic politics, especially the commitments of the major civil society organizations, as well as the governing party's commitment to the EU process. Although many scholars tend to explain the current wave of democratization in terms of the Copenhagen criteria, I tend to treat external factors as facilitators rather than direct causes of this ongoing democratization of the state and society in Turkey, and I stress the role of opportunity spaces in the constitution of a greater democratic and more civic consciousness in Turkey. This book also explains the mechanism through which and under what conditions the EU process has shaped Turkish domestic politics.
The current transformation of Turkish politics is an outcome of the interplay between internal and external events. It is the product of a bizarre blend of Islamic tradition and EU norms, acting on local and global policies.
This book examines the principal puzzle that confronts many Muslim and non-Muslim countries: is it possible for religiously inspired (Islamic) political movements to become agents of democratization and even of liberalization? Or is the adaptation of secular ideas (ideology) and institutions through a process of internal reform and secularization necessary to establish a liberal and democratic system in Muslim societies? In other words this puzzle is closely related to one central question that has been of primary concern to social scientists: what is the connection between religious movements and democracy, on the one hand, and democracy and secularism, on the other? Do prevailing Islamic ideas and norms pose an obstacle to the transition to democracy, as most prominently argued by Daniel Lerner, Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington?
My general contention is that radical religious groups moderate their practices and ideologies when they enter into a competitive and rule-based participatory political system. The political openness characterizing this kind of system leads to reflexivity and a gradual moderation of the interpretation of the religious dogma and of political platforms on the part of religious groups. This process, in turn, allows the log-jam between polarized secular and religious forces to be broken discursively, as each side is now able to engage directly with the other along multiple channels of interaction in political and public spheres, eroding monolithic and homogeneous socio-political blocs.
In August 2001, the reformist and younger sector of the FP, led by Abdullah Gül, formed the AKP with the support of the rising Anatolian bourgeoisie. Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party) is also called Ak Parti meaning the “pure” or “uncontaminated” party to differentiate itself from the other political parties, which were allegedly involved in widespread corruption before the 2002 elections. The party committed itself not to use Islam for political purposes and ended its confrontational policies. To the surprise of many observers, although the AKP emerged out of the Islamic political movement, it is pro-European and tolerant of diversity. Due to the collapse of the government in 2002, the newly formed AKP found itself in the midst of an election on November 3 of the same year. A little more than a year after its foundation, the party received 34% of the votes and won 363 seats out of a total of 550 parliamentary seats – a near two-thirds majority of seats. Kutan's Saadet Partisi (SP) (Felicity Party) received a mere 3% of the votes in the same election.
The 2002 election victory of the AKP can be explained by a convergence of factors. Widespread popular dissatisfaction with the economy and political parties encouraged many people either not to vote or to vote against the existing parties and try the untested AKP instead.
Not ideas, but material and ideal interests, directly govern men's conduct. Yet very frequently the ‘world images’ that have been created by ‘ideas’ have, like switchmen, determined the tracks along which action has been pushed by the dynamic of interest.
In the analysis of the transformation of the pro-Islamic parties in Turkey, there are three competing explanations: the effect of repression, EU conditionality within the framework of the Copenhagen criteria, and the emergence of a new generation. Even though these “effects” played important facilitating and restraining roles, none of them were the causes of this deep transformation. I explain the transformation in terms of the emergence of new economic opportunity spaces and the evolution of a new set of actors.
This chapter argues that the main reasons for the evolution of a liberal Islamic movement in Turkey are the domestic changes that took place during the premiership of Turgut Özal, between 1983 and 1993. These changes have been consolidated by external factors, especially Turkey's desire to join the European Union. Thus, I argue, the origins of this transformation are rooted in Turkey's neo-liberal economic history, but the movement towards democratization has been consolidated by the EU process. The chapter will address the following questions. What are the political and social origins of the split of the AKP from the National Outlook Movement (NOM) of Necmettin Erbakan? What is the role played by Islamic entrepreneurs in the emergence of a pro-European, pro-market and pro-liberal Islamic movement in Turkey?
We regard Turkey's EU membership as the biggest democratization project after the proclamation of the Republic.
We want to integrate with Europe, not assimilate.
The EU is our obsession. Even though we all understand different things from the EU membership, this obsession is what unifies us.
What guides the foreign policy of the AKP? Has the AKP government made any changes in the orientation of Turkey's traditional pro-Western foreign policy? What is the connection between identity and interest in the formation of the AKP's foreign policy? These are some questions which this chapter attempts to answer. On the basis of speeches by Prime Minister Erdoğan and President Gül, then Foreign minister, one can identify three guiding principles of AKP foreign policy: the Europeanization of foreign policy as a way of maintaining the domestic and international legitimacy of the government; the policy of “zero-problem with the neighbors,” that is, to create a peaceful environment in Turkey by developing trade and political ties with neighbors, especially with Muslim countries; and pursuing a policy that balances the anti-American feelings of its grass-roots supporters with its need for US support.
The policy-makers of the AKP consider Turkey to be not a “bridge,” but rather a “pivotal” state in the region. A close examination of the writings of Ahmet Davutoğlu, the top foreign policy advisor of the government, and Foreign Minister Gül's statements indicates that they both stress Turkey's “Eastern” – read Islamic – identity, while at the same time stressing the government's determination to adopt mainstream Western values and principles in order to join the EU. There is thus a deep duality at play between “Eastern identity” and “the Western values” that the government seeks to implement.
Modern Turkish history could be viewed as a “conflict between two Turkeys,” that is, a division between secularists and Islamic groups. In the case of Turkey, secularism, commonly known as laiklik, is the identity of “progressive” people, the state project of modernization, a model of creating an enlightened Islam, and also a strategy of criminalizing religious opposition. It is therefore important to study secularism and Islamism as mutually constitutive and interactive concepts, since secularism is a way of redefining the meaning and the role of religion in society. Secularism thus becomes a “political settlement” of controlling and reconstituting Islam in accordance with the needs of the state and the political elites who have historically controlled the Turkish state. However, the economic and political opportunity spaces that have greatly expanded in recent decades have caused the constitutionally protected settlement to undergo renewal, revision and even rejection. Thus, the emergence of a new Turkey depends on the nature of this new settlement between religion and politics that must be negotiated through democratic processes. In this chapter, I examine the key debate over the realignment of the boundary between religion and politics by focusing on the AKP's understanding of secularism within the framework of the Kemalist legacy and changed market conditions. First I examine the contemporary theoretical debate by focusing on the analytical and causal connections between secularism, democracy and Islam.
In November 2002 and July 2007 the Turkish electorate voted decisively for the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AK Parti) – hereafter referred to by its Turkish acronym of AKP, demonstrating that it was willing to take a risk for broad political change. The voters swept away a generation of established politicians to give Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP enough seats in Parliament to form a government on its own. The election posed a dramatic challenge, that of whether a modern democratic party with deep roots in political Islam was capable of expanding civil liberties and maintaining the democratic system. Before the November 2002 election, many in the Western media had described the AKP as a “fundamentalist party.” After the election, the same journalists used the phrase “Islamist or Islamic party”; and when the party started to adopt the EU's Copenhagen criteria, they referred to it as a “party with Islamic roots.” Two years later, when parliament had passed several major reform packages, the AKP was characterized as a “reformed Islamist party.” Later, during parliamentary consideration of new legislation on adultery, the European media once again used the adjective “Islamist” or “Islamic” to describe the AKP. After the 2007 elections, The Economist called the AKP a “mildly Islamist” party.
It is important to focus on the lives and roles of these two political leaders of the AKP since the life-spans of political leaders in Turkey have always been longer than their own political parties. While Turkey is a graveyard of political parties, political leaders rarely retire and hardly die. This is very much the outcome of the personality-centric aspect of Turkish political culture. Thus, political leaders are more significant than ideologies or party programs. Leaders are likely to be turned into a Sultan and they govern their own parties as their own domain. This de-institutionalized aspect of political parties encourages us to focus on key personalities, especially Erdoğan and Gül. Moreover, oppressed or marginalized masses tend to turn “victimized” political leaders into resistance heroes. It is very important to study the biographies of Erdoğan and Gül to understand not only their reconstruction in the social memory of Anatolian people but also the meaning of what they represent for ordinary people. Moreover, the social roots, socialization and ideological evolution of the two men might open new avenues to understand the social transformation of Turkey itself. Their life stories and changing ideological positions reflect the transformation of the Islamic movement and an evolving Turkey.
When I was going from Pendik to Kartal, I asked a taxi driver what he thinks about Erdoğan. He said “Kasımpaşalı kabadayı olarak gitti, Etilerli olarak dönüyor” (He went as a kabadayı of Kasımpaşa but returned as a man of Etiler).
The silent revolution of Turkey contains two fundamental changes. The AKP's second term electoral victory and the election of Abdullah Gül as the president of the Republic represent the end of dual sovereignty or “parallel governments” in Turkey because the power of the military has been reduced. In addition, there is the evolution of a new moral language of politics that is very much shaped by the global discourses of human rights. The meanings of state, national identity, secularism and political community are redefined as a result of four interrelated transformations. These transformations are economic (introduction of market conditions), ideological (Islamic values and ideas are contemporarized), social (urbanization, spread of higher education and higher degree of social mobility) and political (democratization of the state and thickening of civil society), and they account for this revolutionary change. The neo-liberal economic reforms of Turgut Özal and the EU-led political reforms entailed an ideological transformation, especially the reinterpretation of Islamic ideas and norms in accordance with the needs of the new bourgeoisie. The economic transformation affects all sectors of society, especially conservative and peripheral Islamic groups with values and norms different from those of the modern (secular) sector of society and the Kemalist establishment. Turkey has been experiencing a dual and simultaneous process of integration and polarization. While the distance between the city and countryside, on one hand, and the state and a large sector of the conservative masses, on the other hand, is reduced with the democratic process, the most secular sector of society and the politicized Kurdish community feels alienated from the state.