Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey

Article excerpt

The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey. By Banu Eligür. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. 317 pp. $85.

In an era when an overwhelming majority of articles and books published on Islamism are apologetic in nature and often fall short in terms of academic and scholarly integrity, Eligür's study constitutes a shift in research design, data, analytical strength, and discursive qualities.

Eligür of Brandeis University's Crown Center for Middle East Studies utilizes a wide range of primary and secondary sources as well as interviews to write what is perhaps the most successful scholarly attempt to explain the rise of political Islam in Turkey.

The author argues that "grievance-based" cultural approaches are inherently flawed explanations for the Islamist mobilization in Turkey since the 1970s. Those who "regard political Islam as a protest movement against modernity and Western colonial domination" have failed in understanding the situation in Turkey. As Eligür argues, "Turkey was never subjected to Western colonial domination. …

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