The Transformation in the Definition of Nation in Turkey and the Role of Diyanet in This Process

Saçmalı M. H.

Devlet: Gelecek ve Gelenek Arasında, İstanbul, Turkey, 21 - 23 December 2013, pp.60

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.60


From the beginning of the Turkish Republic to today, while the state considers everyone living in Turkey as a member of “Turkish Nation” officially, it accepts only those who speak Turkish, who do not demand another official language than Turkish, and who accepts the state Islam, as real members of the Turkish nation in practice. Any group outside of this category had been exposed to the state pressure, policies of assimilation, and exclusion in various forms. AK Parti changed this definition in practice through the project of “National Unity and Brotherhood”, and tried to make a transition from the exclusionary “Turkish nation” to the inclusive “nation of Turkey”. In this presentation, the role of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) in this transformation after 2009 will be dealt with. Together with the role of Diyanet in the Kurdish initiative, especially the changing language and discourse of the Friday khutbas will be the main topics of the presentation.