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The Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World

Joshua D. Hendrick

Publication Year: 2013

The "Hizmet" ("Service") Movement of Fethullah Gülen is Turkey’s most influential Islamic identity community. Widely praised throughout the early 2000s as a mild and moderate variation on Islamic political identity, the Gülen Movement has long been a topic of both adulation and conspiracy in Turkey, and has become more controversial as it spreads across the world. In Gülen, Joshua D. Hendrick suggests that when analyzed in accordance with its political and economic impact, the Gülen Movement, despite both praise and criticism, should be given credit for playing a significant role in Turkey's rise to global prominence.
Drawing on 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Turkey and the U.S., Hendrick examines the Gülen Movement’s role in Turkey’s recent rise, as well as its strategic relationship with Turkey’s Justice and Development Party-led government. He argues that the movement’s growth and impact both inside and outside Turkey position both its leader and its followers as indicative of a "post political" turn in twenty-first century Islamic political identity in general, and as illustrative of Turkey’s political, economic, and cultural transformation in particular.
Joshua D. Hendrick is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. 

Published by: NYU Press


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pp. 1-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

Primary funding for the research that led to this book was provided by the U.S. Fulbright “Islamic Civilization Special Initiative” (2006–2007) and by the Department of Sociology at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). I began fieldwork in the United States in the fall of 2005, and continued in Istanbul, Turkey, in the summer of 2006 through the summer of 2007. ...

Note on Turkish Transliteration

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pp. xiii-xiv

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction: The World’s Most Influential Public Intellectual

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pp. 1-10

In a 2005 poll administered to determine “the world’s most influential public intellectual,” the U.S. political magazine Foreign Policy (FP), together with its British affiliate, Prospect, published an unranked list of one hundred people whom their editors believed to be the most impactful opinion makers, political leaders, policy advisers, activists, and scholars in the world. ...

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1. Approaching Muslim Politics in Turkey

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pp. 11-34

This book focuses on a particular case of Muslim politics in late modern Turkey, a diverse Muslim majority country that is distinguished as much by its conservative Anatolian culture as it is by its history with secular state authoritarianism. For the purposes of this analysis, Muslim politics refers to the employment of categories historically associated with the faith and culture of Islam ...

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2. The Political Economy of Muslim Politics in Turkey

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pp. 35-55

When assessing the GM’s transnational mobilization, the unique context of twentieth-century Turkey cannot be understated. Like in many other countries, in Turkey the institutions of mid-twentieth century development suppressed the social forces of Islam in favor of particularly rigid understandings of progress and modernization. ...

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3. An Ambiguous Leader

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pp. 56-88

In the study of modern organizations, “strategic ambiguity” is often cited as an effective means to allow for the expression of internally divergent group interests, and to persuade outsiders that stated objectives correspond with observable outcomes. Contradicting common beliefs, the theory of strategic ambiguity suggests that organizations ...

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4. Community

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pp. 89-122

The GM’s reliance on social, financial, service, and ideational networks constitutes connectivity in a complicated system of partial, fragmentary, ambiguous relationships. Relying on maximum efficiency through the “flexible production” of these networks, the GM cultivates collective identity through extensive social ties, shared practice, and communal loyalty on the one hand; ...

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5. Education

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pp. 123-143

Although constituting a growing faith community in the 1970s, the GM’s institutional mobilization could not have expanded were it not for deeply penetrating transformations that ensued in the aftermath of the 1980–1983 junta. As noted previously, Turkey’s turn toward liberalization and market competition in this period was a necessary precondition for the GM’s shift ...

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6. Değirmenin suyu nereden geliyor? (Where does the water for the mill come from?)

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pp. 144-173

Economic communities based on trust networks such as those observed in the GM are widespread in Turkey, and are not atypical of Muslim culture in general. Often these communities organize under the cultural leadership of a spiritual mentor, which provides producers, merchants, and exporters with valuable social connections ...

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7. Manufacturing Consent

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pp. 174-205

In September 2008, a new round of turbulence began in Turkish public discourse, this time pitting Turkey’s largest media mogul, Aydin Doğan, against the ruling AKP government, and specifically against Prime Minster Erdoğan.1 The row began after Doğan-owned newspapers and television stations published and aired a series of reports ...

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8. Strategic Ambiguity and Its Discontents (i.e., the Gülen Movement in the United States)

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pp. 206-232

and businesses associated with the GM in Turkey are connected in a complicated network whose actors share overlapping social and economic ties, and whose leaders share a deep and passionate devotion for “Hocaefendi” Fethullah Gülen.1 ...

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Conclusion: The Marketization of Muslim Politics in Turkey

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pp. 233-242

The development policies associated with Kemalist republicanism, institutional laicism, and limited democratization produced a unique sociopolitical context in late twentieth-century Turkey. During the formative years of the Republic, industrialization was administered unevenly between east and west, city and country; ...


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pp. 243-256


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pp. 257-270


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pp. 271-275

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About the Author

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pp. 276-293

Joshua D. Hendrick is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. He received his PhD and MA degrees in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780814760475
E-ISBN-10: 0814770983
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814770986
Print-ISBN-10: 0814770983

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 854974605
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Gülen

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Islam -- Economic aspects -- Turkey.
  • Turkey -- Politics and government.
  • Gülen Hizmet Movement.
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