Does Shari'a Play a Role in Turkey?
16 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015 Last revised: 5 Jan 2016
Date Written: August 17, 2015
This essay is intended to introduce my empirical project exploring Turkish perceptions of law and religion. I returned from Istanbul in the summer of 2013, having recently completed data collection. The data and analysis support a number of important findings. First, there was a trend of increasing support for Shari'a within Turkey, and education appeared to correlate (inversely) with this preference more than religiosity. Turks under thirty were more likely to be religious than those between thirty and fifty, and those under thirty who identified as religious were more likely to have a university education. Interpretations of Shari'a in Turkey differed from those in other predominantly Muslim countries. The influence of the AKP in combining commitments to Islamic ethics, center-right politics, neoliberal economics and Kemalist republican values likely accentuated this distinction by validating the consistency of secular constitutionalism and Islam.
Keywords: Islam, Shari'a, Turkey, jurisprudence, polling, law, religion, secularism
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K33, K39, N40, N45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation