Turkey Today: A Nation Divided Over Islam's Revival
by Marvine Howe
Three-quarters of a century ago Mustafa Kemal Ataturk launched a sweeping Cultural Revolution in the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, abolishing the ... Show synopsis Three-quarters of a century ago Mustafa Kemal Ataturk launched a sweeping Cultural Revolution in the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, abolishing the Caliphate and Sufi orders and other Islamic institutions to create the modern secular Republic of Turkey. Most Turks and Turkish observers ignored signs of an Islamic revival and were stunned by the victory at the polls of the pro-Islamic party in 1994 and 1995. Marvine Howe, Ankara bureau chief for "The New York Times" before and after the 1980 military coup, returned to Turkey in 1995 to examine the rise of the Islamic movement. In "Turkey Today," she describes the multi-dimensional nature of Islam in Turkey, its roots and ramifications. Going beyond news reports, Howe introduces leaders of the Islamic movement, scholars and simply devout Muslims, who discuss their problems and goals. From the secular camp, she presents politicians, women, military, jurists and ordinary citizens, who articulate their concerns about the Islamic resurgence. She also gives a fresh look at the Kurdish question, presenting Kurds who range from those who have been completely assimilated to those who sympathize with guerrilla movement and those in between. In conclusion, Howe speaks of some of the people who are trying to bridge the gaps in this divided society.