International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

From the Conservative Discourse to the Compromising Discourse: An Analysis of the “New Muslim Intellectual” Within the Frame of Rising “Islamism” in Post-1980 Turkey
Mehmet Meder, Güney Çeğin

After the military coup of 12 September 1980, the field of intellectual production in Turkey has gone through a structural transformation with the strategies conducted by state policies. The most prominent “intellectual breakthrough” in the process of transformation was executed by the Islamist intellectuals. This enterprise, which is also known as “the new Muslim Intellectual movement” in the literature, led Muslim section who for many years has had an ambivalent relationship with the political field to “discover politics”. Until the 80s and the middle of the 90s, the new Muslim intellectuals had constructed an opposing intellectual discourse which had been established on the disagreement between modernity and the Islamic. For Muslim sections, the dominant figures of this innovative discourse were leading Muslim intellectuals like İsmet Özel, Rasim Özdenören and Ali Bulaç. However, the AK Party’s coming to power in the 2000s with an Islamic ideological background, especially successful mobilization of the Islamic movements in harmony with capital have caused erosions in arguments which the new Muslim intellectual had once supported. In this context, the main argument in this paper is that, in contrast to the authoritarian identity of the official ideology, Islamic intellectuals, who have entered into a relative alliance with different ideological positions under the title of “democratic republic”, have become the discourse producers of liberal positions. Another factor within this position shift is the economic-political process which is nowadays called the “Protestantization of Islam”.

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