Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been accused of Islamizing society through its family-centered policies that overlap with discourses originating from the Islamic faith. At the same time, the AKP government has maintained that it abides by Turkish laicism. This essay identifies and analyzes the extent to which the AKP's discourse and rhetoric have changed over the years to discover whether the party truly has a hidden agenda or if the shifts serve as strategies to win votes. The essay highlights how the observed changes are related to the perceived strengths of the party, with Islamic rhetoric rising and falling with the support the party receives. The results suggest that the AKP cannot be seen as a party that had always intended to turn Turkey into a religious country. The strategies undertaken by the party since early in the twenty-first century show that the shifts in discourse were meant to manage the support of conservative Turks rather than to challenge the secular establishment.
Research Article| September 01 2017
Strategic Shifts in Discourse by the AKP in Turkey, 2002–2015
Mediterranean Quarterly (2017) 28 (3): 5–26.
Syaza Farhana Mohamad Shukri, Ishtiaq Hossain; Strategic Shifts in Discourse by the AKP in Turkey, 2002–2015. Mediterranean Quarterly 1 September 2017; 28 (3): 5–26. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10474552-4216388
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