Democracy, Islam, and the AKP July 01, 2011 / Soli Ozel
Paradoxically, secularization and Islamization go hand in hand in Turkey. The AKP that emerged from Turkey’s Islamist movement is the agent of an ascending entrepreneurial class, which has prospered phenomenally in the course of the past eight years and benefited from patronage and rent distribution. Meanwhile, the losers of the global integration process were taken care of with a series of populist (and popular) measures. Is today’s picture in Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy a function solely of the AKP governments? Over the course of the last two centuries, Turkey made the historical choices to become a capitalist, secular, and democratic country with a Muslim population. The AKP must be seen and evaluated as a product of Turkish economic and political history, as must its foreign policy.