The nature of the relationship between religious communities and civil society in Turkey : the case of the Fethullah Gulen community
Keyman, E. Fuat
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This thesis addresses the question as to whether or not religious communities can be defined as part civil societal organization within the context of democratization efforts in Turkey. The Fethullah Gülen Community will be the case study of this thesis. Theoretical debate on civil society will be examined to provide an insight into the relations between religious communities and civil society and to clarify the basic definition of "civil society." The historical background of modern Turkey, that is, the Ottoman Empire will be analyzed with the objective of shedding light on the question of civil society debate in modern Turkey. The thesis will also present the historical context in which Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and Nurculuk emerged. The analysis of Said Nursi will provide important insights to understand the Fethullah Gülen Community, one branch of the Nurculuk. Finally, this thesis will dwell on the Fethullah Gülen Community in relation to the notion of civil society and conclude that it cannot be defined as part of civil society in the ideal sense of the term.