The Factor of Islamic Diversity in the Formation of Ethnic and Confessional Identity of the Modern Turkish Society and Development of a Culture of Coexistence

By Nafikov, Ilsur Z.; Fazliev, Aivaz M. | Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, January 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Factor of Islamic Diversity in the Formation of Ethnic and Confessional Identity of the Modern Turkish Society and Development of a Culture of Coexistence


Nafikov, Ilsur Z., Fazliev, Aivaz M., Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict


INTRODUCTION

From the point of view of historical development Turkey has a rich experience in the development, because it outlasted in its history both a period of the Caliphate and the Republican period. After the elections, on June 7, 2015 the importance of the Islamic factor in the socio-cultural space of the country was discussed among the modern political scientists and analysts. According to Article 14 of the applicable Constitution of the Republic of Turkey the basic principles of nation building are the principles of laicism, and Article 10 emphasizes the equality of everyone" on language, race, gender, religious principles and criteria of political and philosophical views" (https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/anayasa/anayasa_2011.pdf).

In this legal framework Article 136 of the applicable Constitution determines that the "Directorate of Religious Affairs is intended to implement the policy for the benefit of maintaining the national unity". On this basis, it should be noted that the head of the Directorate is the Mufti of the Republic of Turkey, and he is directly subordinate to the head of the Turkish government. This fact poses a challenge to determine the features of laicism in the Turkish Republic and the factors of becoming a society based on the principles of mutual respect and interfaith dialogue. Some Turkish scholars are trying to look at the statistics, stating a thesis of the confessional majority, namely: according to the figures, Muslims are 98% of the population and religious minorities account 2%, however, all Muslims are 98% of the population, since according to Turkish historical tradition, everyone who is a Turk by nationality, shall automatically become a Muslim. This policy leads to the unification of all groups of Muslims together: the Sunnis, the Jaffars, the Alawites and the members of other movements and flows. 2% of the population, as a rule, is represented by the supporters of the Constantinople Orthodox Church and the Armenian Church. Thus, there is a question of the principle of laicism and the possibility of the confessional identity among Turkish Muslims.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Analysis of the statistics, interview materials with the political leaders and fundamental principles of a secular state based on the Constitutional principles of the Turkish Republic enabled to analyze the points of inviolability and to try to predict the possible ways of further developments.

The unique materials and books in Turkish language (in the original) from the library fund of the Islamic Studies Center, were collected by the authors during research internship in the study of the " Islamic factor in the formation of global security" at the Theological Faculty of the University of Istanbul in the period from May 1 to July 28, 2015 constituted the sources research database. For testing the hypothesis, the authors used a comprehensive approach to the problem of using the achievements and methods of humanitarian sciences. The studied phenomena are considered in their relationship, contradictory, in the aggregate of all factors, quantitative and qualitative characteristics. In this paper, the approaches of the particularly historical research approaches were combined with the ideal-typological methods, which were mobilized in the sociological and political science in the proportions necessary for solving the research problems; as well as the general scientific research methods are used: analytical, statistical, comparative benchmarking, textual methods.

The research showed that the ideal principles of the Turkey's Constitutional arrangement had differences in secularism, and the unification of the Muslim Ummah in the context of the clergy centralization led to new and very interesting results.

RESULTS

According to Ismail Kara, professor and Doctor of Science: if we analyze the term "Turk" in terms of progressive Islam and nation building, it is necessary to pay attention to the process of dynamic change in the latter half of the XIX century of such concepts as "nation", "tribe" "genus" and ultimately "the people" (Kara, 2014). …

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