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Religion in creating populist appeal: Islamist populism and civilizationism in the friday sermons of turkey’s diyanet

Yilmaz, Ihsan, Demir, M and Morieson, N 2021, Religion in creating populist appeal: Islamist populism and civilizationism in the friday sermons of turkey’s diyanet, Religions, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.3390/rel12050359.

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Title Religion in creating populist appeal: Islamist populism and civilizationism in the friday sermons of turkey’s diyanet
Author(s) Yilmaz, IhsanORCID iD for Yilmaz, Ihsan orcid.org/0000-0001-8409-3045
Demir, M
Morieson, N
Journal name Religions
Volume number 12
Issue number 5
Article ID 359
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2021-05-18
ISSN 2077-1444
Keyword(s) AKP
Arts & Humanities
DISCOURSE
Diyanet
ELITES
Erdogan
FOREIGN-POLICY
Friday sermons
Islamist civilizationism
Islamist populism
JUSTICE
LEGITIMATE
PARTIES
PEOPLE
POLITICS
populism
religion
STATE
Turkey
Summary Drawing on the extant literature on populism, we aim to flesh out how populists in power utilize religion and related state resources in setting up aggressive, multidimensional religious populist “us” versus “them” binaries. We focus on Turkey as our case and argue that by instrumentalizing the Diyanet (Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs), the authoritarian Islamists in power have been able to consolidate manufactured populist dichotomies via the Diyanet’s weekly Friday sermons. Populists’ control and use of a state institution to propagate populist civilizationist narratives and construct antagonistic binaries are underexamined in the literature. Therefore, by examining Turkish populists’ use of the Diyanet, this paper will make a general contribution to the extant literature on religion and populism. Furthermore, by analyzing the Diyanet’s weekly Friday sermons from the last ten years we demonstrate how different aspects of populism—its horizontal, vertical, and civilizational dimensions—have become embedded in the Diyanet’s Friday sermons. Equally, this paper shows how these sermons have been tailored to facilitate the populist appeal of Erdoğan’s Islamist regime. Through the Friday sermons, the majority—Sunni Muslim Turks are presented with statements that evoke negative emotions and play on their specific fears, their sense of victimhood and through which their anxieties—real and imagined—are revived and used to construct populist binaries to construct and mobilize the people in support of an authoritarian Islamist regime purported to be fighting a “civilizational enemy” on behalf of “the people”. Finally, drawing on insights from the Turkish case, we illustrate how the “hosting” function of the civilizational aspect plays a vital role in tailoring internal (vertical and horizontal) religious populist binaries.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/rel12050359
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 2204 Religion and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30151844

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.