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Diyanet's Role in Building the 'Yeni (New) Milli' in the AKP Era

Nil Mutluer 



This study argues that Diyanet has become one of the most important political symbols and representatives of the “yeni milli” (new national) – or as named by AKP members, “yerli ve milli” (homegrown and national) – values and neoliberal economic policies that the AKP seeks to instil and implement. Adopting feminist discourse analysis (with a reflexive approach), this article examines the continuities and novelties that Diyanet, as an institution which has assumed a major function since its foundation in creating the national-religion connection of the Turkish Republic, namely the secular -laik- Muslim Turkish national identity, underwent in the neoliberal AKP [Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, Justice and Development Party] period. This study first discusses the institutional structure of Diyanet during the AKP era, and then analyses the policies and public statements of Diyanet, government and non-governmental actors in the following issue areas: Diyanet’s presidents during the AKP era, nationalism-militarism, Kurdish, Alevi and gender questions.

Keywords: Religion and Politics, Nationalism, Gender, Turkey, Alevis, Secularism, Akp, Diyanet Işleri Başkanlığı

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