Religious Struggle in Turkey

Religious Struggle in Turkey

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For decades the Anatolian Muslims had been denigrated and persistently stigmatized as reactionaries and often called bumpkins by the Turkish press and media controlled by the Secular Republican elite. The language they used for Anatolian Muslims was offensive and even more derogatory than that used by some European Orientalists. There was a period, when Anatolian Muslims were not allowed to enter the capital Ankara with their normal traditional dress lest they spoil the image of the Modern Turkish Republic. In spite of this the resilience of the Anatolian Muslims succeeded to preserve the soul of their nation and its Islamic identity against the onslaught of the Secular Western Culture. At the same time, they raised a generation of Imam Hatip and Higher Islamic Institute graduates, like the author of this book, who played an important role this struggle. By the declaration of Inkilab- Hurüf, in 1928, Arabic script was outlaw. And anything written in old Ottoman script was strictly banned. To use that script had become a criminal act. This made millions of people in Turkey illiterate and ignorant over night. This also, meant the ban on one thousand years of their past history, culture and literature. This also, meant to remove the collective memory of the nation. Tragedy of such a magnitude is rare in the history of nations. Herein lies the importance of this book. It is, but a small part of Sadik Albayrak’s larger research work. It will be no exaggeration to say that the such research works of the graduates of Imam Hatip Schools and Islamic Higher Institutes in Turkey have played a most important role in bridging the gap between the past and the present of Turkey. In the result of this, people in Turkey once again have begun to look their past with respect and to their future with more confidence…


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