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#gender #sexuality #masculanity

The intersectionality of gender, sexuality, and religion: novelties and continuities in Turkey during the AKP era

Nil Mutluer 



This article argues that in the AKP era, gender and sexuality play a central role in reshaping the secular-religious divide to instill ‘yeni milli’ (new national) – or as AKP members call it, ‘yerli ve milli’ (homegrown and national)- values. Adopting a feminist and reflexive approach, this article seeks to demonstrate that Erdoğan and the AKP have used gender and sexuality-related issue areas not as diversions to highjack the public agenda, as it is often assumed, but as a medium to regulate the neoliberal redistribution of conservative values. After a brief presentation of the historical background of the gendered evolution of the secular-religious divide in Turkish politics, this article focuses on the following three particular cases: the policies and discourse on LGBTI rights; the link that was established between the reproductive rights of women and ethnic identity; and how the AKP created new types of ‘other men’ and ‘other women.’ The article also seeks to show that in each case the meanings attributed to the secular and the religious in the secular-religious divide have shifted accordingly and that shift was reflective of and was used to instill the particular set of values supportive of particular political positions.

Keywords: Religion, gender, secularism, Kemalism, AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, Justice and Development Party)​

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