Issue 26 – Political Islam, Power, Hegemony

Editor – Tolga Tören

The Image of “Nation” Under Islamic Conservatist Nationalism: The Kurdish Policy of the AKP Rule in Turkey
Cenk Saraçoğlu

This article aims to investigate the ruling AKP’s (Justice and Development Party) strategies vis a vis the Kurdish question in Turkey through an attempt to clarify this party’s position within the ideological universe of Turkish right. A comprehensive understanding of the AKP’s specific ideological position and its place within the tradition of Turkish right requires an examination of the nature of the hegemonic project that this party attempts to represent and exercise. In this respect, the article will try to expose the ways in which the AKP’s Kurdish policy throughout the 2000s has been mediated by the requirements and limits of this hegemonic project and its concomitant ideological strategies. The AKP’s ideological orientation has been largely shaped by an idiosyncratic combination of Islamic conservatism and nationalism, in which the symbolic and discursive content of the latter has been predominantly shaped by the main premises of the former. Such a distinctive formulation of nationalism accounts for how, under the AKP rule, the tendency to recognize the presence of Kurdish identity in Turkey could be coupled with a hardcore nationalistic position epitomized by the vintage motto “one state, one nation and one flag”. The main argument is that the coexistence of the AKP’s tendency to “recognize” the presence of the Kurds in Turkey and its nationalist discourses/(practices is not simply a contradiction stemming from the party’s short term political electoral prospects but an essential and compatible component of its longstanding hegemonic project and political/ideological orientation.
Keywords: Islamic conservatism, hegemonic strategy, AKP conservatism, AKP Islamism, Kurdish question and AKP.

Continiuty and Change in Neoliberal Islamist Municipalism Since 1994
Ali Ekber Doğan

In terms of its ensuing results, March 1994 local elections was an important event which opened a new period for the history of both politics and municipalism of Turkey. As a result of elections, the cadres of Welfare Party (WP), that represented an Islamist line as a political actor, captured the administrations of cities (particularly Ankara, Istanbul), being the symbols of modernisation policies of secular Republic base of hegemony over wide rural population. That development also can be accepted as first steps of WP’s rise to majority share holder of political power after 1995 General Elections. While, the name, structure and programme of parties changed in the process from WP to Justice and Development Party (AKP), the domination of Islamist parties over the fields of municipalities and local politics has not been changed so much since 1994. That long-time domination caused important changes which redraw the socio-political parameters of Turkey from daily life practices to political positions, from embodiement of public policies to socialisation processes. In so much as, we can easily say that, mentioned domination was one of the main starting and supporting point of todays “new hegemony project”, which has rearranged state, politics and social life via AKP governments during 2000s. In this article, we will try to put forward the reasons for our evaluation about that 18 years as a unique period within the framework of the continuity and change of this municipalism. The urban social allience behind the Islamist municipalities, urban policies of them, the meaning of their policies in the angle of social reproduction of labour and capital, the conservative socialisation of neoliberalism with Islamic discourse and motifs are the major issues of this study.
Keywords: Period of neoliberal Islamist municipalism, local development, Islamist representation of space, conservative socialisation of neoliberalism, precarious publicity.

National Vision Movement at the Helix of Religion and Capitalism
Nazlı Akpınar – Sinan Araman

Even though its effect has differed in time, religion has been a core ideological apparatus of the reproduction process of capitalism. In the instance of Turkey; National Movement ideation, formed by Necmettin Erbakan around the concepts of material and spiritual development in the 70s, is an ideological and political movement referring to Islam. One may say that National Vision Movement approach, which has been rendered into a central power of political Islam after 80s and has been adopting Islamic values to modern-day society, has been made functional to add impetus to the accumulation of capital and to legitimise the intensified exploitation of labour. From this aspect, “Anatolian capital”, “Islamic capital”, “gren capital”, etc. conceptualisations make senses and reflect the social reality as long as they indicate the intersection points between the capitalist mode of material production and cultural/figurative reproduction. While flexible working hours, subcontracting and contract manufacturing, no union employment, shadow/informal employment, low wages policies, etc. conditions of intense exploitation prevail on the material aspect of this reality; religious values inserted into the service of the accumulated capital, and semantic worlds and styles formed by denominational organisations prevail on the spiritual aspect. Thus, material and spiritual elements perform and transform each other over new basis. Those economic and social relations have been rendered into a basis of a powerful hegemony by the political Islamic parties.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) represents such a process.
Keywords: National vision movement, the Welfare Party, fair order, İslamic capital, political İslam.

Iran, Islamism, Globalization and Protest Movement
Farhang Morady
Translators: Akın Sarı, Selime Güzelsarı

Over 30 years after the Iranian revolution, the nature and character of the Islamic Republic remain the subject of much controversies. The range of debates include medieval Islam, fundamentalism, anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism. Iran’s political economy has essentially remained the same since the inception of the Islamic Republic, having taken an uneven form, incorporating the old mode of production to modern capitalism. The key area in this process has been the modern oil industry and its relations with the state, which continue to play a vital role in Iran’s political economy. This unevenness is reflected in political, social and cultural areas and religion has not been immune from this process: the original ideas have been presented anew to accommodate to global economic and political transformation. Indeed, events following the 2009 elections in Iran demonstrated that the Islamic Republic is not a homogenous body, but rather presents itself in different ways according to its roots within social classes. The protest movement illustrates that divisions within the ruling establishment of the Islamic Republic does not represent either a 7th-century medieval ideology nor a radical regime with widespread support: rather it is an authoritarian state modernism.
Keywords: Islamic Republic of Iran, İslamic revolution, protest movement in İran, green opposition in Iran.

Monetary Theory of Marx: The Difference between “Fictitious” and “Real” Capital?
Gökçer Özgür – Hüseyin Özel

It is argued that a division of labor, not a divergence, between “real” and financial, “fictitious” capital in Marx and that they work in a complementary way. But the introduction of money as a store of
value and financial capital creates two theoretical problems for the Marxian approach. First, the possibility of intertemporal transfers of value from future to the present causes the problem of the transformation of values into production prices to become more complex. Second, the uncertainty introduced by the existence of money as a store of value increases the probability of financial instability. This symbiotic relationship, and the analytical problems it introduces, between two forms of capital in a Marxian framework is discussed.
Keywords: Capital, Money, Credit, Value, Crisis