Atlantic Literature


British lawyers warn of human rights violations in Turkey

Report alleges serious setback for democracy as 40,000 removed from jobs and police and media figures imprisoned. Turkey’s government is inflicting “systematic human rights violations” on its judiciary, police and media, according to a scathing report by senior British lawyers that was commissioned by one of president Erdogan’s exiled opponents.

The critical, 95 page-long survey alleges that the AK party government has interfered to produce “supine” courts, censored websites, restricted freedom of expression, stifled corruption investigations and subjected detainees to degrading treatment. 

Full text of the report available here

The Gülen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam

This is a book about an Islamic movement, the Gülen Movement, that is rooted in a moderate version of Islam and that promotes interfaith and intercultural dialog and global peace.  Based on interviews with supporters of the movement in Turkey and in the U.S. and visits to Gülen-inspired schools, hospitals, newspapers and relief organizations, the book describes a movement that has millions of supporters in Turkey and that has spreadto over 100 countries on five continents.

The Politics between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Gülen Movement in Turkey: Issues of Human Rights and Rising Authoritarianism by Fait Muedini

The article examines the rising tension between two Islamic movements in Turkey: The Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet Movement within the context of increased human rights abuses by the government in Turkey. The author argues that Gülen and Hizmet are a continued concern for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and AKP because of Hizmet’s social services, primarily in the realm of education. Furthermore, their influence in public ranks further troubles Erdogan. However, it seems that because of Hizmet’s disinterest with electoral politics, along with an absence of other challengers to the ruling government party’s electoral success, Erdogan and the AKP will continue to hold political power, at least for the short term. Furthermore, this case illustrates Erdogan’s willingness to carry out increased authoritarian actions, as well as a willingness to violate the human rights of civil society actors in Turkey.



Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey(Religion, Culture, and Public Life)

While Turkey has grown as a world power, promoting the image of a progressive and stable nation, several choices in policy have strained its relationship with the East and the West.  Providing historical, social, and religious context for this behavior, the essays in  Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey examine issues relevant to Turkish debates and global concerns, from the state's position onreligion to its involvement with the European Union.

The Constitutional System of Turkey: 1876 to the Present

While providing an analysis of Ottoman-Turkish constitutional developments since the first constitution of 1876, this book focuses on the present constitutional system of Turkey based on the Constitution of 1982. This Constitution, a product of the military regime of 1980-1983, strongly reflects the authoritarian, statist and tutelary mentality of its military founders, as well as their deep distrust for civilian politics. Even after sixteen liberalizing amendments since 1987, it has not been possible to completely liquidate this illiberal spirit, hence Turkey’s need for a totally new, liberal, and fully democratic constitution.

Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds 

“A sharp, spirited appreciation of where Turkey stands now, and where it may head.” —Carlin Romano, The Philadelphia Inquirer

In the first edition of this widely praised book, Stephen Kinzer made the convincing claim that Turkey was the country to watch—poised between Europe and Asia, between the glories of its Ottoman past and its hopes for a democratic future, between the dominance of its army and the needs of its civilian citizens, between its secular expectations and its Muslim traditions.

Yes, I Would...: An American Woman's Letters to Turkey

Yes, I Would... comprises a series of imaginary letters written to Lady Mary Montagu, whose famous Embassy Letters were written in 1716-1718 during her stay in Turkey as the wife of the English ambassador. The author uses themes dear to Lady Mary, such as culture, art, religion, women and daily life, to reflect on those same topics as encountered during the author's past 30 years of travel in Turkey.

Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty

A provocative manifesto for an interpretation of Islam that synthesizes liberal ideas and respect for the Islamic tradition. From furious reactions to the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad to the suppression of women, news from the Muslim world begs the question: is Islam incompatible with freedom? With an eye sympathetic to Western liberalism and Islamic theology, Mustafa Akyol traces the ideological and historical roots of political Islam.

Secularism and State Policies toward Religion: The United States, France, & Turkey

Why do secular states pursue different policies toward religion? This book provides a generalizable argument about the impact of ideological struggleson the public policy making process, as well as a state-religion regimes index of 197 countries. More specifically, it analyzes why American state policies are largely tolerant of religion, whereas French and Turkish policies generally prohibit its public visibility, as seen in their bans on Muslim headscarves.

Wrestling with Free Speech, Religious Freedom, and Democracy in Turkey:

The political trial of Fethullah Gülen, a moderate Turkish religious leader, helped to greatly expand civil liberties and strengthen democracy in Turkey. The trial began in 2000 in an Ankara state security court (now disbanded) and ended in 2008 in an appeals court in Gülen's favor. This book explores Gülen's trial, examines the evolving process of Turkey's efforts to enter the European Union, and discusses ways that the EU's insistence on expanding civil liberties in Turkey and reforming the judicial system affected the outcome of the trial (and vice versa).

Turkey: A Modern History

This revised edition builds upon and updates the twin themes of Turkey's continuing incorporation into the capitalist world and the modernization of state and society. It begins with the forging of closer links with Europe after the French Revolution, and the changing face of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. In his account of the period since 1950, Zürcher focuses on the growth of mass politics; the three military coups; the issue of Turkey's human right's record; integration into the global economy; the alliance with the West and relations with the European Community; and much more.