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Guests of GodPilgrimage and Politics in the Islamic World$
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Robert R. Bianchi

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195171071.001.0001

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The Belated Quest for Religious Tolerance

(p.141) 7 Turkey
Guests of God

Robert R. Bianchi (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Since Turkey became a democracy in 1950, the hajj has blossomed into an emotionally charged symbol of conflict between a Muslim society and a supposedly secular state. Ongoing debate over the hajj illustrates the malleability of Turkish secularism and its endless capacity to divide the nation. Because of hostility from hard-line followers of Ataturk and bickering among right-wing politicians, Turkey created one of the most volatile pilgrimages in the world–and one of the most politicized. A series of pro-Muslim governments led by S\'fcleyman Demirel, Necmettin Erbakan, and Turgut \'d6zal transformed the Directorate of Religious Affairs from a state watchdog over Islam into a powerful interest group dispensing benefits to voters and businesses in key constituencies throughout Anatolia.

Keywords:   aturk, secularism, Turgut \'d6zal, S\'fcleyman Demirel, Necmettin Erbakan, Anatolia, Directorate of Religious Affairs

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