In this episode, we talked to Ceren Lord about her book Religious Politics in Turkey: From the Birth of the Republic to the AKP, in which she questions the view of the grassroots Islamist movements as natural challengers of the authoritarian secular state in a novel way based both on her archival research and the interviews she conducted with state officials, influential religious figures, and the employees of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (diyanet). What was the role of the ulema in the formation of the Turkish Republic? What kinds of alliances did the multiple state institutions form with religious groups and sects? Should we read the AKP regime as a continuity of or a rupture from the state tradition of the Republic?
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