Crisis management and the AK Party congress

Nowadays, all eyes are fixed on the relations between Turkey and the United States. Against …

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  • SETA PANEL Konuşmacı:     Elisabeth Özdalga     ODTÜ Sosyoloji Bölümü    Tarih: 25 Mart 2008 Salı Saat: 16.00 Yer: SETA, Ankara

  • Since 1960, nineteen Standby arrangements have been signed. With these agreements, significant progress has been made in Turkish economy: inflation has fallen to the lowest level since 1986, the public debt-to-GNP ratio has been falling, and interest rates have declined rapidly. IMF’s immediate goals concern exchange rate stability and balance of payments, and evaluations of IMF programs tend to concentrate on these two objectives. Yet, whether or not the IMF programs have positive effects on these short-term goals, what ultimately matters is that they induce economic growth and do not concentrate on incomes.

  • Current developments and recent social and cultural transformations under the forces of globalization indicate that the prophecy of traditional secularization thesis seems to have failed to capture the ongoing influence of religion. Proponents of secularization thesis established an unavoidable and casual connection between the beginning of modernity and the decline of traditional forms of religious life. Generally speaking theorists of secularization process argued that religion would lose its influence on social and political life once the society absorbs the values and institutions of modernization. For B. Wilson for example “secularization relates to the diminution in the social significance of religion”. L. Shiner on the other hand, argued that the culmination of secularization would be religionless society.

  • Turkey has a unique experience in state formation, in formulating state-religion relations, but some painful periods in its history regarding democratization. The military intervention on Sept. 12, 1980 suspended Turkey's fragile democracy and caused a breakdown in party politics by banning all political parties and sending their leaders to trial. The first election after the military coup in 1983 was a turning point in Turkish political history, and the election results and subsequent government policies under Turgut Ozal's premiership changed the course of Turkish political culture for decades to come. Ozal's center-right liberal-conservative Motherland Party (then called ANAP, now ANAVATAN) launched a liberalization and democratization policy in Turkey, which facilitated the expression of Islam in the public sphere to a greater degree than before. As part of its policy, the government deleted Articles 141, 142 and 163 of the Constitution to lift obstacles to freedom of thought. ANAP also adopted a free market economy through a large-scale privatization movement.