Discursive challenges to secularism in Turkey
If the Justice and Development Party (AKP) supports Ataturk, secularism, and democratic values, why do secularists question their future in Turkey with an AKP led government? The root cause is an identity battle between secular and pious Turks who are fighting a protracted battle over the socially constructed idea of 'secularism.' Whoever wins either maintains or creates a new secular 'reality.' Field research indicates that the pious identity is utilizing three discourses - non-verbal, written, and verbal - to challenge the institution of secularism and the secular identity. This thesis utilizes narrative analysis, representational force, and narrative terror to analyze the three discourses. The results show that the AKP through its non-verbal discourse, historians through their written discourse, and some pious Turks through their verbal discourse are changing both the secular institution and the nature of secularism in Turkey. The secular identity is erased piecemeal in this process.