Political Islam and the Secular State in
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How safe is Turkey's liberal democracy? The rise to power in 2002 of the right-leaning Islamic Justice and Development Party ignited fears in the West that Turkey could no longer be relied upon to provide a buffer against the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East. Once hailed by the West as a model of secularism and moderation in the Muslim world, Turkey is now seen to be under the influence of the 'creeping Islamisation' of the JDP (or AKP as it is known in Turkey). Yet to what extent has this affected the lives of Turkish citizens? Evangelia Axiarlis here explores the contribution of the JDP to civil liberties and basic freedoms, long suppressed by secular and statist Kemalist ideology, and how this has remained unexamined despite more than a decade in government. In this - the first detailed study of the policies and ideology of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo? an's government - the author examines the extent to which the JDP has worked to improve civil life in Turkey and critically addresses whether a government built on Islamic principles can champion political reform.Exploring how Islam and democracy are neither monoliths nor mutually exclusive, this is a timely contribution to the wider understanding of political Islam.