Over the past decade or so, a number of secular critics and Muslim activists of the Islamist social movement in Turkey have described the political conflicts dominating Turkish social life in cultural terms, as a struggle between incompatible cultural orders. A rich variety of similes have been used to describe the clash and its protagonists: black and white Turks, Islamist untouchables, Turkey's Negroes, even transgendered secularists (Western souls in Turkish bodies). This narrative construction leads to a number of unhelpful generalizations, all of which serve to obscure the merging shades of grey between Islamists and secularists. It also overemphasizes the efficacy of the civilizing project of the Turkish state. The article argues that the term 'legislating virtue' better captures the complexity of contemporary political conflict.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Critique of Anthropology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2002|
- Civilizing project
- Construction of locality
- Orhan Pamuk
- Turkish fiction