by Galip Dalay
The German Marshall Fund of the United States,
On Turkey Series
June 2, 2014
Summary: The approach to “the West” occupied a central place in Turkish Political Islam’s identity formulation and distinguished them from other “systemic” parties. Nevertheless, Turkish Political Islam’s stance on the “West” has not been static. Instead, the character of the relations has acquired new shapes and dynamism, particularly in the late 1990s and 2000s. For a better understanding of the evolution, it is necessary to divide the time-span from the Welfare Party to the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) into distinguishable periods. These periods can be described as going from rejection of political Islam of the West to its enthusiastic embrace, and from co-existence to uncertainty. Currently, opposing trends have been set in motion simultaneously, and ambiguity rules Turkey’s relations with the West.
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