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Pro-violence sermons of a secular state: Turkey’s diyanet on islamist militarism, Jihadism and glorification of martyrdom

journal contribution
posted on 17.11.2022, 22:23 authored by Ihsan YilmazIhsan Yilmaz, O F Erturk
The literature on martyrdom has not, so far, systematically analysed a constitutionally secular state’s extensive use of religion in propagating martyrdom narratives by using state-controlled religious institutions. This paper addresses this gap in martyrdom literature. In addition, even though some studies have analysed how martyrdom narratives have been used for political purposes in Turkey for mythmaking and building a collective memory, a religious institution’s active use by the state for the purposes of mythmaking and collective memory building has not been studied. This paper shows that the contents of the Friday sermons, that reach at least 50 percent of the country’s adult males every week, have moved from Turkish nationalist understanding of militarism and martyrdom to more radical, Islamist and actively pro-violence interpretations that actively promote dying for the nation, homeland, religion and God. The sermons also emphasise that new generations must be raised with this pro-violence religious spirit, which is also novel.








Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal