The protests in Turkey started on May 27 with a modest resistance movement against the destruction of Istanbul’s Gezi Park and the planned construction, in its place, of a replica of the Ottoman artillery barracks that formerly stood there (which, however, was also to include a shopping mall). The Occupy Gezi movement has since grown exponentially and spread to other Turkish cities, largely in response to police brutality and to the inflammatory speeches of Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The unprecedented scope and duration of the protests—and, even more importantly, the emergent movement’s pluralistic composition and inclusive political style—make it a genuinely new phenomenon in the ninety-year history of the Republic.Read the rest of Occupy Gezi, beyond the religious-secular cleavage.
Ateş Altınordu is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Sabancı University, Istanbul. His work focuses on religion and politics, secularism, and political parties. Altınordu's doctoral dissertation analyzed German political Catholicism (1848-1914) and Turkish political Islam (1970-2010) in comparative perspective. He is currently involved in a research project on religion and science in Turkey. Altınordu's articles have been published in the Annual Review of Sociology and Politics and Society.
Posts by Ateş Altınordu:
The publication of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age has fostered an exceptionally vibrant intellectual debate on secularism and on the conditions of belief under modernity, as the readers of this blog very well know. For the social sciences at least, this fundamental rethinking on secularism inspired by Taylor’s work could not be any timelier: the stand-off between classical secularization theorists and the proponents of the religious economies model, which has continued for about two decades is only recently giving way to new paths of investigation. Precisely because this debate offers such a crucial opportunity, I want to point out what I see as two important points of neglect in this burgeoning discussion.Read the rest of Varieties of anti-religious imagination.