The Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies has released a new issue of its series of strategic notebooks titled 'The Turkish Dilemma: From Secularization to Islamization,' by Sayed Abdel-Meguied, the chief of Al-Ahram's bureau in Turkey.
The issue examines the state of secularism in Turkey in the face of what it calls a wave of Islamization of the Turkish state and society led by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The author argues that secularism has become part of the fabric of life of Turkish society, and warns of the dangers of attempts to uproot it from the society. He also says that these attempts will last as long as Erdogan is president of the country.
The study gives a historical background that concludes that that secularism is not an invention brought to Turkey by Mostafa Kamal Ataturk, but is rather a result of many factors of life in Turkey in the past two decades.
The second part of the study tackles the era of Necmettin Erbakan, prime minister of Turkey from 1996 to 1997, who sowed the seeds of political Islamization. The third part of the study examines the rise of Erdogan's party, Justice and Development (AKP), since the 2000s.
In his final conclusion, the author says that even though the changes in the last two decades to the society and the state have been deep, its existence is conditioned on the presence of Erdogan himself.