Demokrat Parti’nin Laiklik Söylemi: Devletin Baskı Aygıtından Din Hürriyetine
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Secularism is one of the main controversial topics occupying country’s agenda in the last 30 years. The underlying reason of secularism being discussed as a heated agenda topic, not only in Turkey but all over the world, is the questioning of Enlightenment values, including nation states, by postmodernism. Also, political Islam, gradually expanding its area of influence today, is starting new discussion topics concerning secularism. Specific to Turkey, when the rise of political Islam with its level reached today and the secular reformation era in the country by the beginning of 20th century thought side by side, a striking contrast is evident. However, center-periphery paradigm, the dominant paradigm on secularism studies in Turkey, is mainly focused on Early Republic era. Yet, in order to apprehend the transformation in secularism, one has to look at 1950s, post Second World War years of multi-party system when a radical break took place in secularism. While harmonizing with the economic and political environment shaped by the new world order after the Second World War, a paradigm shift occurred in Turkey’s understanding of secularism. This shift would form the social base of the political Islamist ideology, which would attain a hegemonic position in future. When Democrat Party era is examined, it is evident that the transformation of secularism discourse cannot be addressed without considering the effect of Cold War and the class positions which the ruling party represents. In order to present secularism understanding of the period, which is socially contingent in a dialectical interaction, Party’s discourse is examined in three headings. Three rhetoric constituting DP’s secularism discourse are parts of a whole and in a mutual relation. DP’s secularism discourse, which is tri-partitioned as definition of secularism by putting freedom of religion and conscience in the center, criticism of the “oppressive” Kemalist understanding of secularism and conceptualization of religion as an ideological weapon in the fight against communism, constitutes an intricate and integrated structure. When DP’s discourse is elaborated with all its aspects, it can be concluded that the emergent “new” secularism is a product of social class struggles.