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Contemporary Turkey in Conflict

Ethnicity, Islam and Politics

Tahir Abbas

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Explores ethnicity, politics and Islam in Turkey in the 21st-century

New perspectives on ethnic relations, Islam and neoliberalism have emerged in Turkey since the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002. Placing the period within its historical and contemporary context, Tahir Abbas argues that what it is to be ethnically, religiously and culturally Turkish has been transformed. He explores how issues of political trust, social capital and intolerance towards minorities have characterised Turkey in the early years of the 21st-century. He shows how a radical neoliberal economic and conservative outlook has materialised, leading to a clash over the religious, political and cultural direction of Turkey. These conflicts are defining the future of the nation.

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List of Figures and Tables
1. Setting the Scene
2. Historicising Pluralism and Monoculturalism
3. Insights on Intolerance Towards Minorities
4. Perspectives on the 'Kurdish Issue'
5. The Gezi Park Awakening
6. Exploring Trust in Society and Politics
7. Conclusions
Appendix: Notes on Methods

About the Author

Professor Tahir Abbas FRSA is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. He is author and editor of several books, including Islamic Radicalism and Multicultural Politics (2011).


'Tahir Abbas surveys some of the major ideas and actors of contemporary Turkish politics and examines the social and economic transformation of the country. Ideal as a reference for understanding state-society relations in Turkey, Abbas' witty and penetrating analysis of Turkish politics is unique. This is a remarkable and a brilliant book.'

- M. Hakan Yavuz, University of Utah

'Tahir Abbas' study of contemporary Turkey systematically explores the nuances of ethnic relations and social conflict in the current epoch. It is an inspired sociological, political science and socio-historical contribution to existing research on this complex, fraught and multi-layered nation.'

- Ferhat Kentel, İstanbul Şehir University

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