Issue 35/36 – Ideological Map of Turkish Right

Editors: Fuat Özdinç – Özgür Mehmet Kürküt

Islamism and Islamic Movement in Turkey
Mehmet Kemal Coşkun

Islamism as a liberation ideology is a historical phenomenon. Therefore, Islamism is nothing but a sort of expression of social power and class relations. Thus, it is articulated with various ideologies in different time periods. The base of this articulation lies on the power and class relations that Islamism reflects. In this framework, the present article posits that Islamism and Islamic movements in Turkey are articulated with an ideology required by the interests of the class that it represents and this ideology is usually the dominant ideology of the period. At the present time, the social base of Islamist movements are the tradesmen, merchants and the capitalists such as small and medium size entrepreneurs. Briefly, depending on the demands of these classes, Islamism in Turkey can be articulated with various ideologies such as nationalism, Turkism, liberalism, conservatism,
constitutionalism etc.
Keywords: Islamism, Islamist Movement, Social Classes, Religious sects and Communities.

Bayonettes of Turkish Right: Mosque Architecture from “Nationalist-Conservatism” to Islamism
Bülent Batuman

Mosques have frequently been utilized as national symbols in Muslim societies and large scale mosques have been built by governments as state projects. In Turkey, however, it was only after 1950 that mosque architecture took on political meanings. For the major portion of the Turkish Right dominated by the “nationalist-conservative” worldview, mosque architecture comprised the reproduction of traditional forms. However, the architectural forms of mosques built under the AKP have pluralized considerably with even the Directorate of Religious Affairs searching for contemporary idioms in mosque architecture. Nevertheless, the AKP persistently reproduces classical Ottoman forms in colossal state mosques. This article argues that the ideological meanings produced by these mosques imitating classical Ottoman examples are significantly different than those built earlier. For the AKP, the classical mosque image is an instrument for rebuilding the nation in the form of millet. This image is globally applicable and is an ideological means to define a privileged status to the nation within global Islam.
Keywords: Architecture and ideology, mosque architecture, spaces of representation, nationalist-conservatism, Kocatepe Mosque, Çamlıca Mosque, re-Orientalism.

The Idea of Purity in the Ideological Map of Nationalism: The
Case of Ülkücü Youth in Germany
Emre Arslan

This study aims to approach the ideological map of nationalism by analysing the case of Ülkücü youth in Germany. They explain the process of contacting with Ülkücü organisations as a result of their aspiration of being free from the “dirt” and to reach a “pure” place, that indicates the importance of this idea in their ideological map. A critical analysis of the Ülkücü interviews shows that this idea has specific sources in their world-view and it is an incoherent rhetoric, which has to be solved with various techniques, rather than well working principal. Moreover, the concept of power seems to be central for the meaning of purity in the Ülkücü world-view.
Keywords: Nationalism, Idealist World-view, Purity, Power, Germany.

The Discursive Formation of Class: Nationalist and Anti-Communist Discourses during the First Years of 1947 Trade Union Movement
Görkem Akgöz

This article analyzes the nationalist and anti-communist discourses used during the construction of class identity in the first years of the 1947 trade union movement. The simultaneity of the processes of nation building and the expansion of the industrial proletariat characterized the early Republican period in Turkey (1923-1950). Working class identity, thus, was formed in close relation to national identity as the wide use of nationalist discourses within the trade union movement illustrates. However, explanining the process by which workers came to define themselves as “the Turkish workers” through the ideological capacity of the state would be too easy. The narrative of national identity replacing working class identity should give way to a through analysis of the role nationalism and anti-communism played in the cultural and political construction of working class identity and consciousness. The history from below approach deployed here allows us to understand the enabling as well as the limiting effects of the subjective conditions of working class formation.
Keywords: Nationalism, Anti-communism, Turkish trade unions, early Republican period, class formation, discursive practices.

Theology of Consumption or Exhaustion of Theology: Halal Food Example in Turkey
Deniz Parlak

If everyday life is interpreted as a single picture, social life then becomes the totality of the picture itself. Only a single piece that is pulled out of or inserted into this totality would reveal itself in the picture of everyday life. Within this context, it will not be of any difficulty to predict that everyday life practices have similar relationship with ideologies penetrating into social relations. If consumption, as the ideal of capitalist society, is added to the correlation between ideology and everyday life, then the destination of such correlation seems much more explicit. Within the Turkish context, the change of Islamic ideology in historical course, and the positions it has gained in each and every instances of social structure has had almost one-to-one correspondance with the everyday life practices of individuals. Consumption patterns of individuals, as one piece of everyday life
practices, have kept step with such changes. In fact, the last ring of this mutually feeding chain has been halal food, which has been the novel “contribution” of capital to the consumer society. This article intends to portray what kind of ring of transformation the quests for halal food has been meant within this whole chain.
Keywords: Pan-Islamism, comsumption, halal food, daily life.

A New Inspiration in Radical Opposition: Muslim Anti-Capitalists
Güneş Gümüş

Islamism has left its mark on the Turkish politics during the last quarter century. After 1980s Islamism in Turkey which developed its political identity under the leadership of Erbakan, has started off with the claim of being the voice of oppressed and sufferer on the political platform that the radical left has lost. However, it has lost the ethical and moral superiority thereby identifying with oppression, exploitation, corruption and injustice during AKP government. As a reaction to the history of Islamist transformation from an opposition movement to becoming powerful elites, the opposition elements inside the Islamic movement has appeared. During the AKP government these opposition elements have given birth to Muslim anti-capitalists through becoming clear and radical at the level of ideology and activity. Although Muslim anti-capitalists come from the Islamic tradition, they refer a break with this tradition through a totally different reading of Islam in terms of anti-capitalism. Muslim anti-capitalists put an utterly different political project than the classical route of Islamism through the interpretation of Islam as a reference to an egalitarian, radical movement. Since anti-capitalism and hostility to wealth are the basic units in the interpretation of Islam of Muslim anti-capitalists, let alone being in the same platform with traditional Islamism, this current corresponds to radical wing of the left spectrum on the basis of its ideology and practices.
Keywords: Muslim, anti-capitalism, islamism, left, right.

The Identity of Philosophy and Politics in Phiplosophy of Praxis and the Idea of State as Political Society plus Civil Society
Cihan Cinemre

This work is about the identification of philosophy and politics in the philosophy of praxis, developed by Antonio Gramsci and the new conception of state which is brought forth by it. In this work the new conception of relationship between philosophy and history proposed by Gramsci is investigated together with Karl Marx’s, Antonio Labriola’s and Benedetto Croce’s theories on philosophy and history, upon which Gramsci has built his own theory. At the base of Gramsci’s philosophy of praxis there exists three specific identifications. First one is the identification of philosophy with politics, which originates from the eleventh thesis on Feuerbach. The second is the identification of the structure with the superstructures, therefore forming a historical bloc and this was developed through Labriola’s thought. The third is the identification of the political society with the civil society within the state, which signifies a further development of Croce’s concept of the ethical State. This conception of state implies the tendency of hegemony to find its expression more in the private sphere of civil society than the government apparatus, starting from the nineteenth century. This is the novelty that bourgeoisie has brought forth to the history; protection of its rule in the political society with the will to conform that it has generated in the civil society. Another aspect of this phenomenon is the identification of the ruling ideas with the philosophy of the nonphilosophers. Therefore in the West where there is a well-developed and organised civil society, appropriate revolutionary strategy should be based on the reciprocal pedagogical relationship between the party leadership and the masses. Whereby this will elicit a counter-organizational activitiy against bourgeoisie’s in the civil society.
Keywords: Philosophy of praxis, renewed common sense, ethical state, modern prince, war of position, renaissance intellectual.

The Role of Psychology in Preserving of Capitalist Relations of Production: Individualism and Rationalism in Mainstream Ideologies of Work and Psychology
Baran Gürsel

Mainstream psychology plays an important roles in preserving the capitalist relations of production. In this text it is argued that psyhcology sustains these relations by holding two clusters of assumptions regarding to capitalist work. These assumptions are individualism and rationalism. Individualism is one of the main cultural elements of capitalist work. Its logic relies on a dichotomy between individual and society, and psychology reproduces this fiction by its conceptualization of isolated individual. On the other hand, rationalism is an indispensable element of capitalist work in order to maximize profit and efficiency. Through positivist efforts of objectivism, measurement, calculation and so on, mind became an idealized concept of the discipline of psychology and gained a superior position in the antagonism between matter/nature and mind.. In this article, this functional commonality between capitalist work and the discipline of psychology is understood within the framework of the concept of hegemony and possibilities for a counter hegemony using oppositional perspectives are discussed.
Keywords: Critical psychology, individualism, rationalism, ideology of work, hegemony.