Chapter

Identity, Social Repression, and Public Policy

Binnaz Toprak

in The Future of Religious Freedom

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199930890
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980581 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199930890.003.0012
Identity, Social Repression, and Public Policy

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This chapter is anchored in the view that true individual freedom includes freedom from religion, or the liberty to live a life free of communal religious definitions of what is moral or proper. The chapter applies this framework in analyzing social repression in Turkey, particularly for men and women in Anatolian towns whose background sets them apart from the majority population. In-depth interviews reveal that social pressure to conform to Sunni practice has increased with the rise of the Islamist AK Party, particularly for Alevi, Roma, uncovered women, secular business owners, and non-conformist students. Such pressures include employment discrimination, ostracism, boycotts of businesses, and some instances of physical assaults. The chapter concludes with a recommendation that the government create an office to address complaints of discrimination.

Keywords: AK Party of Turkey; social repression; non-conformists; Islamist parties; secularists in Turkey; Alevi; Roma; Gulen Movement; freedom from religion

Chapter.  7025 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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