Faculty Publications


Between Allah and Atatűrk: Liberal Islam in Turkey.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Thomas W. Smith

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2005

Date Available

January 2012


At a time when the Turkish model of state secularism is being held up for other Muslim countries to emulate, Turks themselves are rethinking that secular framework. In the election of November 2002 the Justice and Development Party, a ‘reformed’ Islamist party, swept into power and has become what is by almost all accounts the most liberal and least corrupt government in Turkey’s history. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has grafted a tolerant, populist, Western-friendly Islamist movement onto the country’s Kemalist roots. The government has stressed the preservation of Turkey’s Islamic heritage but also holds out the possibility of a moral community in the face of widespread graft and corruption. The article highlights the practice of liberal Islam in terms of popular culture, relations with the EU, and ‘Islamic’ conceptions of human rights, women’s rights, minority rights, political economy and foreign policy.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in The International Journal of Human Rights, 9(3), 307-325. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.




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