The Headscarf Controversy in Turkey: Secularism versus Islamism


Author/Creator ORCID




Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication


Intercultural Communication Language

Citation of Original Publication


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Based on the headscarf conflict in Turkey, this thesis tries to determine whether the current governing party, the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi--AKP), as argued by the Turkish secularists, is an Islamist party following a hidden Islamic agenda or has become moderate with time. The secularists' fear of an AKP Islamic agenda not only has roots in the fact that since the establishment of the secular Turkish Republic in 1923, Abdullah Gl is the first politician with an Islamist background to become the president of Turkey but also that Gl's wife, Hayrnisa Gl, is wearing the headscarf. Secularists interpret this as meaning that Gl would change Turkey's constitutional laws to make Turkey become an Islamic country. However, this thesis asserts that the present AKP, when compared to its first years of governing, seems to pursue its agenda in a more pragmatic manner due to dynamic factors.