Soner Cagaptay, who is always worth reading on all things Turkish, has an article today at the Washington Institute speculating on Turkey’s future direction. His thesis is basically that Turkey continues to flatter to decieve under the Islamist AKP: whilst the country entered EU accession negotiations under the party back in 2005, seeking EU membership was merely a pretext for sanitising the party’s Islamist brand of politics. By contrast, some see the AKP’s commitment to Islamism as ‘one of values and identity rather than Islamic law’ pointing to the recent constitutional referendum victory that has moved Turkey away from intervention by the so-called ‘guardians of secularism’, the armed forces, but towards a judiciary likely to be more amenable to the AKP government. Whatever your view, those with an interest in Islamic politics and the future direction of political parties and quasi-political organisations with Islam as their guiding principle will be watching the machinations of the AKP over the next few years with interest.
Elsewhere, although his passing was not remarked by this blog, I feel that now would be a suitable time to draw readers’ attention to this study by Martin Kramer on Grand Ayatollah Husayn Fadlallah.