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Islamist Views on Foreign Policy: Examples of Turkish Pan-Islamism in the Writings of Sezai Karakoç and Necmettin Erbakan

In the case of Turkey, competing foreign policy perspectives have always represented a central issue in the ideological clash between Kemalism and Islamism, revolving around the definition of Turkey’s identity and its future in the international arena. This paper analyzes the foreign policy writings of two dissimilar figures of Turkey’s political Islam, namely Necmettin Erbakan and Sezai Karakoç, both considered central for the development of the Islamist ideology in Turkey. This study explores their texts and detects similitudes revealing their common connection with Turkey’s expression of the Pan-Islamist trend that reemerged during the Cold War. The analysis of these two authors concludes by pointing out the nationalist element characterizing Turkish Islamism –and Turkish Pan-Islamism– in comparison with analogous non-Turkish expressions of this ideology.

Islamist Views on Foreign Policy Examples of Turkish Pan-Islamism in


The National Outlook movement (NO, Milli Görüş), to which several political parties were affiliated throughout Turkey’s political history, stood for decades as the main representative of Islamism in the country. The national identity envisioned by Milli Görüş had very important implications for the field of foreign relations. During the two decades between the 1960 and the 1980 coups, for the first time in Turkish republican history, new circumstances allowed a free debate on foreign policy issues to emerge.1 The 1961 Constitution allowed a “liberalization of the political spectrum,”2 and the translation of many foreign ideological texts, including the Islamist ones, affected the Turkish context.3 Religion became more visible and important within the country’s political process.4 For most Turkish Islamists, both inside and outside the NO, belonging to the Turkish nation was ideologically subordinate to their belonging within the transnational Islamic community, glorifying Turkey’s leading role due to its Ottoman legacy notwithstanding. The Kemalist project of cutting ties with the Muslim world to bolster the Republic’s Western orientation was for the Islamists a violence inflicted on the genuine identity of the Turks as members of the umma (the community of Muslim believers), forerunners of the Muslim world and heirs to the Ottoman State. Therefore, foreign policy became a crucial symbol of the divergence between Kemalists and Islamists in Turkey. Foreign policy became one of the most evident examples of the clash between the two camps,5sometimes emerging as tension among different institutions.6 The transnational integrity of the umma, the theoretical prerequisite of political Islam’s approach to international relations,7 whether it projects a unified Islamic state or just enhanced cooperation among Muslim countries, is also the precondition for the elaboration and the spread of the ideal of Pan-Islamism throughout the history of Islamist thought.

Describing disunity as the main weakness of the Muslim world, the Pan-Islamism that emerged during the last decades of the Ottoman Empire generally promoted the mobilization of a unified Muslim world and loyalty to the Caliph, with the intention of a final political integration to face the Western powers as one entity

This paper demonstrates, through the writings of Turkish Islamists Sezai Karakoç and Necmettin Erbakan, the two authors’ belonging within a neo-Pan-Islamist trend. By finding the elements of this trend in their texts, it attempts to show how Turkey’s Islamists elaborated their vision of the world order and their approach to foreign affairs in light of the new Pan-Islamism of the 1960s, whose major exponents outside of Turkey were the Pakistani Abul A’la Maududi and the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb. This analysis detects in Karakoç and Erbakan’s articles the West-Islam dichotomy that underlies the new Pan-Islamism that emerged during the Cold War, as did a new conceptualization of umma. Together with the reference to the umma, this dichotomy is both a link with the old Pan-Islamism and a constant point of emphasis for these authors. Consequently, I observe the ideology expressed in the authors’ texts as constructed in opposition to other ideologies and “outgroups” that were present in Turkey and which they labeled “Western-made.” This opposition is explicitly revealed not only through their choice of topics and the specific meanings they attach to them, but also by the discursive strategies they used to mark their distinctions from the others.8 

The choice of Karakoç and Erbakan for this analysis is intended to observe the presence of renewed Pan-Islamist ideas in Turkey both inside and outside the NO parties. The paper suggests the importance of Karakoç’s ideas for Turkey’s Islamism, especially in terms of international vision. In this regard, comparing his thoughts to those of Erbakan can confirm the impact of this thinker on the political activity that emerged from Turkey’s Islamist environment. Moreover, the two figures are here taken as the two champions of those ideas during the Cold War era in Turkey. The different roles played by the two, Karakoç being an intellectual –though also founder of a small party– and Erbakan a politician, delineate the differences in the emphasis they give to certain aspects of the Islamist discourse. Nevertheless, the comparison remains valuable as they represent two different but linked areas of Turkey’s Islamist sphere. Erbakan was a policy-maker and a party leader, whose action was necessarily dependent on the practice of politics stricto sensu. In contrast, the figure of Karakoç is rather that of an independent ideologue who contributed over time to the shaping of Islamism in Turkey, moving from the sphere of literature into the broader political sphere, with the less pragmatic, but certainly unrestrained attitude of a political thinker. This article identifies Karakoç as a key thinker for the elaboration of foreign policy-related views in contemporary Turkish Islamism. For this reason, and because they have been less studied than those of other Turkish Islamist authors, Sezai Karakoç’s political works are here chosen for a comparison with the texts produced by Erbakan on similar issues. Analyzing these two different figures jointly allows for a comprehensive look into Turkish political Islam’s approach to foreign affairs and its Pan-Islamist tradition. 

More importantly, by considering the writings of the two authors in question, this paper aims to show how Turkish Islamism, as demonstrated in particular by the study of Turkish Pan-Islamism, has been characterized by a nationalist element that differentiates it from analogous expressions of political Islam around the world. Even if Turkish Islamists recognized the umma as the supreme nation of all Muslims, the abovementioned glorification of Turkey’s Ottoman legacy was often linked to a claim for Turkish leadership in the Muslim world. Consequently, despite the various Pan-Islamist initiatives built by Saudi Arabia between the 1960s and the 1980s –from the establishment of international organizations to financial support to Muslims in conflict against non-Muslims9– Turkey’s Islamist authors have tended to build a distinct discourse, in which Turkey is to emerge as the sole suitable leader of the Muslim umma, and there is no reference to any existing state-led initiative. According to some Turkish scholars like Menderes Çınar and Burhanettin Duran, Turkey’s political Islam has never been completely separate from nationalism.10 This could be a reason why Turkish Islamist discourse, exemplified by the views developed by the two figures analyzed here, developed foreign policy ambitions that included Turkey’s predestination as leader country. This “Islamic nationalism” emerged in Turkey in the period between the first and the third coup of the Republican era (1960-1980) and continues to characterize Turkey’s political Islam. 

In conclusion, this article includes Karakoç and Erbakan in the camp of Cold War Pan-Islamism, utilizes the analysis of their writings to demonstrate the distinctiveness of Turkish Islamism and Pan-Islamism in relation to others, and identifies the effects of nationalism on the communication of the Pan-Islamist message in Turkey.



Pan-Islamism and Its Incarnations in the Turkish Context

The concept of Pan-Islamism has been usefully defined by Sheikh as: “the ideational subscription to a unification, or integration, of Muslim peoples, regardless of divisive antecedents such as language, ethnicity, geography and polity.”11 For Landau,12 the need for a central authority –possibly the Caliph– and obedience to this authority, have historically been among the crucial elements of the Pan-Islamist doctrine. Accordingly, Pan-Islamism has been considered a fundament of the Ottoman Sultan and Caliph Abdulhamid II’s policies13 in the late 19th century. To be sure, the idea of the umma, born at the beginning of Islam’s history, returns to be key to Muslim political discourse during the colonial era of the nineteenth century, “in the face of the challenge posed to Islam by the West.”14 Describing disunity as the main weakness of the Muslim world,15 the Pan-Islamism that emerged during the last decades of the Ottoman Empire generally promoted the mobilization of a unified Muslim world and loyalty to the Caliph, with the intention of a final political integration to face the Western powers as one entity. After the abolition of the Caliphate, any idea of a political integration or a unified Muslim state –the latter being already considered unrealistic by influential Ottoman Pan-Islamists16– was abandoned as a tactical goal, although the idea remained as a remote utopia not officially rejected by Islamist thinkers.17 The first, Caliphate-centered Pan-Islamism lost strength and Islamist writers started giving more emphasis to a call for religious solidarity among Muslim communities, both before and after WWII. However, within the framework of the Cold War, that call for solidarity started growing into a call for “an alternative form of non-alignment,”18 as Mandaville notices in the 1960s works of the internationally known Pakistani Islamist Abul A’la Maududi. This adaptation of Pan-Islamism to the Cold-War context, though maintaining or reinforcing its previous anti-Western features, endowed it with new political meaning and more feasible goals, such as the formation of Muslim international organizations, aiming not at an old-style Caliphate, but an “Islamic bloc” in the international arena. A corresponding evolution towards this kind of Islamic “Third Worldism” was visible also in the Turkish context, in which the Islamists started to reemerge as a political force during the 1960s and established the first NO party in 1970 among changing social and political circumstances.19

Throughout the decades of the expansion of Turkish political Islam, the Islamist discourse on international affairs embraced a rather wide range of issues, several of which emerged as preeminent topics

In the writings of Turkish Islamists, it is possible to notice the new features of this Cold War Pan-Islamism, or “neo-Pan-Islamism.” Whereas the key element of Muslim solidarity and unity in spite of Western-made state borders or linguistic/ethnic differences was maintained, the priority was no longer to seek liberty from colonialism or to keep a Caliphate alive, but to encourage the alliance of all independent Muslim states as a homogenous bloc to oppose equally Western-made capitalism and communism. It was during this phase that anti-communism and anti-Zionism became important components of the envisioned Muslim union and of the consequent foreign policy imagined by these thinkers. Also, from the international economic viewpoint, as Atasoy explains, in those years Turkish Islamists’ “national view is reminiscent of the dependency theory of the 1970s, which imagined that national development requires de-linking from the world capitalist system,” the difference being their belief in a Muslim common market.20 Moreover, as the Caliphate lingered in cultural memory as a distant utopia, the multi-party era Turkish Pan-Islamism emerged by insisting on the responsibility of Turkey as the natural leader of the Muslim world.

Not only can Erbakan be included in the list of Turkey’s Pan-Islamists, he arguably deserves a place among the most important ones, considering his role within the NO as well as in Turkey’s democratic institutions

Throughout the decades of the expansion of Turkish political Islam, the Islamist discourse on international affairs embraced a rather wide range of issues, several of which emerged as preeminent topics. These topics, discussed below, were addressed not only within the NO and the political parties comprised in it, but also inside the wider Islamist discourse taking place in the Turkish language. For this reason, it is here possible to explore the comparable approaches to foreign affairs made by two different voices of Turkey’s political Islam. These two authors are the most important representatives of the new Pan-Islamism emerging in Turkey at the time, within the general reappearance of the Islamist ideology. 

The first one is Sezai Karakoç (born in 1933), mainly known as one of Turkey’s most important contemporary poets. However, Karakoç’s work exceeds the field of poetry and literature, as for many years he published a large number of articles –successively collected in books– that pushed his work and his figure into the political sphere. His influence on a whole generation of Turkish politicians has been widely recognized, especially as it is considered a “source of inspiration”21 by many members of today’s Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Former President of the Republic Abdullah Gül acknowledged this in a 2010 documentary about Karakoç.22 Although other prominent Turkish Islamist intellectuals –the most important in this regard being Necip Fazıl Kısakürek– had written about the “union of Islam” (or “Islamic union”),23 and made analogous suggestions about a transnational Muslim bloc, Karakoç emerges as the one who expressed himself more frequently on such ideals as well as on actual foreign policy issues. Though embracing the idea of a united Muslim nation based on the umma, Kısakürek, often considered the most important Islamist intellectual of modern Turkey, largely flirted with nationalism – as well as with Turkey’s nationalist party the MHP.24 In the same years, Karakoç remained colder both toward nationalism and toward parties in general. For this reason, though both Kısakürek and Karakoç can be taken as representative of the Maududi-style new Pan-Islamism,25 I chose Karakoç for this analysis. While Karakoç, as we will see, equally invests Turkey with the role of leader of the Muslim world, he expresses less attachment than Kısakürek to Turkish nationalism and more apprehension about the condition of the umma as a whole.26 In this regard, Karakoç appears particularly interesting, both because his political ideas have been less studied than Kısakürek’s, and because he is described as a key architect of an ante litteram, Huntington-style clash between the West and the “civilization of Islam,” on which he constructs a Pan-Islamist vision of the contemporary world.27

The second author is a politician, namely the founder and lifelong leader of the NO, Necmettin Erbakan (1926-2011). He being the de facto guide of the NO parties even when he was not occupying any official post within them, Erbakan’s writings can be considered quintessential to the ideology of those parties. The pamphlets and collection of speeches signed by Erbakan, as well as his memoirs, reveal fundamental correspondences in the programs of the NO parties until the 1990s. Not only can Erbakan be included in the list of Turkey’s Pan-Islamists,28 he arguably deserves a place among the most important ones, considering his role within the NO as well as in Turkey’s democratic institutions. For Erbakan and his parties, Islam becomes “a foreign policy principle,” with an Islamic Union representing a future solution for both the external and internal problems of the country.29 An analysis of Karakoç and Erbakan’s texts confirms that both authors maintained a high degree of consistency vis-à-vis international relations questions throughout the decades from the 1960s to the 1990s. A comparison between the ideas of these two figures, who never took part in the same political organization, reveals strong commonalities that suggest the existence of some uniformity about foreign affairs stances within Turkey’s wider Islamist discourse. 

In the following sections, I will proceed by considering the three preeminent cases that can exemplify the position of these Islamist authors, namely the creation of renewed relations with Muslim countries, the association with the European Economic Community and, conclusively, the Cyprus question. Although these three cases are highlighted here as the main foreign policy topics considered by the authors, it would be incorrect to assume that they neglected other relevant issues such as the fate of Muslim and Turkish communities abroad or the Palestinian question. 

Erbakan is remembered, among other things, for his role as Deputy PM during the 1974 Turkish intervention in Cyprus and for the creation of the D-8 international organization for development cooperation among its eight Muslim member states

While the creation of stronger ties with the Muslim world is the core tenet of both authors’ worldview, meant to overcome the Kemalist idea of nation30 and linked to Ottoman-style Pan-Islamism, their stances about the European Economic Community (EEC) and Cyprus are directly linked to specific issues of the post-1960 coup era, including in both cases a high symbolic value correlated to identity matters. The consolidation of ties with the EEC, established with the 1963 Association Agreement, though having economic contents, symbolized a successful political achievement towards the completion of Turkey’s westernizing trend initiated with the Tanzimat reforms in the 19th century, and pursued by Kemalism in the 20th century.31 The Cypriot crisis, comprising the inter-communal violence of the 1960s and the 1974 military intervention that caused the de facto partition of the island, produced an unequaled emotional impact on Turkey’s electorate.32 The perception of the “national” bond with Turkish Cypriots was possibly heavier within Islamist discourse than elsewhere, because, within that discourse, the idea of “nation” encompassed not only the ethnic, but also the religious element.



Karakoç and Erbakan’s Idea of Nation and Civilization

Sezai Karakoç was born in 1933 in the southeastern town of Ergani, near Diyarbakır. In the 1960s, he started publishing, along with his most successful poems, the articles that later proved him an influential political thinker. The fundament of Karakoç’s thought was the idea of “resurrection” or “revival” (diriliş) of the Islamic civilization, a notion after which he founded and named the Diriliş review. In 1990, he also founded the Diriliş Party, which has, to date, never participated in elections.33 Karakoç’s idea of civilization as something that undergoes a cycle of rise, fall, and resurrection, is based on religion.34 Whereas, in his view, western civilization has developed by distancing itself from spirituality and by espousing materialism, Islamic civilization has adopted divine truth and preserves spiritualism as its core. According to this dualistic vision, this fundamental difference infuses all of the cultural aspects as well as the scientific production of the two opposed “black” and “white” civilizations.35 Spiritual values, in Karakoç’s doctrine of revival, underlie the basis of material prosperity as well. In Karakoç’s view, the unity of the Muslim world is a condition for the needed revival of Islamic civilization. In a world divided between the capitalist and the communist camps, he envisions an Islamic “third bloc” stemmıng from this civilizational revival.

Then Deputy Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan hosts ambassadors from Muslim countries for İftar, the dinner for the month of breaking the fast in the month of Ramadan, August 1977.  AA PHOTO /  KADİR ŞENGÜNThen Deputy Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan hosts ambassadors from Muslim countries for İftar, the dinner for the month of breaking the fast in the month of Ramadan, August 1977. | AA PHOTO / KADİR ŞENGÜN

The resurrection of Islam, says Karakoç, must be the global aim of all Muslims. This resurrection, he specifies, is the rebirth of the people of Islam, not its principles, for they were never dead and can never die.36 The Islamic nation conceptualized by Karakoç is the sole home for the Muslims, as it reemerges naturally against the artificiality of state borders imposed by the West to prevent the Middle Easterners (“we, the Middle Easterners”) from finding their own identity.37 This self-understanding is a rediscovery of a “natural union”38 that has never disappeared, but needs to be recognized firstly by its own members. Its existence is demonstrated by “geographic, historical, cultural, religious and economic conditions,” and it will be impossible for the Muslims to achieve a liberation from external forces without acknowledging their being part of this entity.39 For Karakoç, the technological superiority of the West is insufficient to convert the whole world to its ideals without recourse to strength of force. This is because the West lacks sincere spiritual values and its materialism has led it to a wrong idea of nation based on elements such as race or language. The “nation (millet) of Islam,” Karakoç says, “is based on belief and on conscience;” it is the community of those who believe in the prophetic revelation and the unicity of God.40 Islam is an “open nation,” writes Karakoç, contrasting it to Judaism: “this nation is a blessed nation. The Quran is its fundamental law. His symbol is the crescent,” and it brings everyone together, “Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Blacks, Indians,” with no discrimination, in a fraternal fight against the enemies of Islam.41 Following this idea of nation, the first and fundamental step for achieving a global renaissance of the Islamic civilization is the creation of a large Islamic bloc against both Western and Russian imperialism. According to Karakoç, the people of Turkey are part of this wider nation, but the Republic has turned away from the Middle East, its own “natural and historical geopolitical habitat.”42 Turkey must break the artificiality of the region’s current borders and recognize its Middle Eastern identity: “we must reestablish cultural and natural ties with the people of the Middle East; we must share with them the responsibility of being Middle Eastern.”43 
Necmettin Erbakan began his political career in 1969, when he was elected deputy of Konya in the Turkish parliament, later founding the first NO party, the MNP (Milli Nizam Partisi, National Order Party). He took part several times in coalition governments, and with the electoral rise of his RP (Refah Partisi, Welfare Party) in the first half of the 1990s, he became Turkey’s Prime Minister in 1996. In the field of foreign policy, he is remembered, among other things, for his role as Deputy PM during the 1974 Turkish intervention in Cyprus and for the creation of the D-8 (Developing 8) international organization for development cooperation among its eight Muslim member states.44

Necmettin Erbakan’s thoughts on foreign relations can be observed in texts ranging from pamphlets, to interviews, to public speeches reported by newspapers. Moreover, Erbakan was the unrivaled historical leader of the National Outlook parties and the first promoter of their ideology. Because of this, it is possible to take into account the texts produced by his parties’ programs or election manifestoes as being in harmony with his ideas.

In his writings, Erbakan always establishes references to the practical, often economic, advantages of applying “national,” “spiritual and moral” values to the policies he envisions. In his view, all the policies he proposes are justified by a return to the true spirit of the Turkish nation, which of course maintains Islam as its core characteristic. In this sense, it is necessary to understand the correspondence of what he calls “national values” with Islamic values. The policies Erbakan promotes in his general discourse are usually presented along with legitimizing allusions to an assumed common orientation of the people of Turkey towards those policies (e.g. a possible Turkish membership in the European Economic Community “does not comply with the will of the nation”45). This is part of the dualism characterizing Erbakan’s discourse: he frequently divides policies that are in harmony with the people’s “nature” from those that are against it. Using this logic, he constantly refers to “imitators” (taklitçiler), i.e. all those politicians and intellectuals that led or intend to lead Turkey towards foreign-born, alien ideologies. In foreign policy, he argues, these alien doctrines have aimed at the Westernization of Turkey, preventing the country from taking advantage of the leadership role and material benefits it would obtain if it were to take the reins of the Muslim world, as permitted by its history, culture and religion, in a legitimate and natural way. As in the case of Karakoç, the clear-cut split between good and evil, Islamic and Western civilization, “we and they,” serves to position the affiliation of one group in contraposition to another. This partition lays the foundations for the Pan-Islamic visions consequently depicted by Erbakan, and suggested by Karakoç. Erbakan’s references to a link between the promoted policies and –implicitly or explicitly– Islamic principles at the base of national identity, can be seen also as an ideational attempt to involve the poorer or peripheral strata of Turkish society, while, vice versa, an indignant description of “imitators” reveals hostility towards the country’s “Westernized” elites whom he depicts as blindly pursuing Europeanization.46 Turkish foreign policy makers do not share or understand “the anguish of the peasant,” “the problems of Turkey.” Consequently, following the logic of Erbakan’s discourse, these elite “representatives” of Turkey are “disconnected from the Turkish people” and that is why, in Erbakan’s view, Turkey’s foreign policy has been unfruitful.47 

In Karakoç's view, the realization of an all-encompassing Islamic Union would have led Turkey and the other Muslim states to an independent foreign policy within the "İslamic bloc" to liberation from Western intrusions, to internal peace and prosperity, and to the failure of "the imperial dream that Israel and its supporters intend to realize in the Middle East"

When he considers the “essential” cultural differences between Eastern and Western civilizations, in a dualist good/evil split that is similar to that designed by Karakoç, Erbakan relates those differences to two conflicting conceptions of righteousness (hak, meaning justice, right, verity; a term with strong religious connotations, versus a secular, Western notion of “right”). In Erbakan’s view, Westerners base their concept of “right” on pillars such as strength, majority, privilege and material interest. Conversely, the Islamic civilization builds its hak on such values as equality of rights, fraternity, justice, and agreement.48 In his book Milli Görüş (National Outlook) of 1975, Erbakan introduces the question of foreign policy by implicitly referring to that deep-rooted incompatibility, which stems from the values of hak and justice (adalet) that are an expression of “our historical character and honor.”49


Turkey within an Islamic Bloc

Karakoç compares Turkey to an apple that has been picked from a tree to be grafted into another;50 a return of Turkey to the Middle Eastern sphere will again strengthen it and the whole region. For the author, the Westernization of Turkey has been the equivalent of a “self-colonization,”51 which has led the country to a foreign policy “without doctrine,” a soulless attitude based on a mere rejection of the Ottoman heritage.52 The general fear characterizing Turkish foreign policy, in Karakoç’s view, has prevented it from fulfilling the country’s duty as a member (and former leader) of the Islamic nation. For Karakoç, this failure has occurred every time Turkey has sided with the Westerners.53 In his view, the figure of Sultan Abdülhamid II, whom he calls a “political genius,” could have been exemplary for the pursuit of a truly “national” Turkish foreign policy after the First World War, when the artificially formed Muslim states forgot their belonging to the greater Islamic nation.54 After the Second World War, he says, Turkey wasted opportunities that the Ottomans had not had, e.g. when the new African states gained independence and needed a “leader” to guide and protect them in the international arena. Turkey had the historical responsibility of becoming that leader: “we were the most natural leader; we were responsible. We could have been the voice and the protectors of every oppressed people. We would have succeeded through a patient, constant, planned and conscious foreign policy.”55 For these reasons, Turkey should “utilize the opportunity given by history” and combine its foreign policy with a vision of breadth (genişlik) to be sustained by the “doctrine of Islam” at once “original, history-based and realistic.” For Sezai Karakoç, Turkish foreign policy must be united to an “ideological perspective,” without which the country risks being “swallowed by Europe.”56 

The final goal of the foreign policy envisioned by Karakoç would then be a collaboration with other Muslim states for the creation of an Islamic “bloc,” “pact,” or “union,”57 to establish a “real third world”58 or a “fourth world”59 (in distinction from the Non-aligned Movement) as an alternative to both the capitalist and the communist camps. For Karakoç, the emergence of such a bloc is necessary and spontaneous, but the active commitment of Muslim people and leaders is also a needed condition. In his book Sütun, a collection of articles originally published the 1960s, Karakoç explains the possibility of an “Islamic Common Market,” as, he says, “Islam has a specific vision of economy;” “it is neither communist, nor capitalist, nor does it derive from a compromise. It emerges from our worldview, it provides for development in liberty, it values private property and free enterprise […] and it is not against human nature; it opposes the capitalist oppression against labor.”60 Karakoç reiterates and elaborates this issue in the following decades, in Sûr and Yapı Taşları ve Kaderimizin Çağrısı II. The intellectuals of the Muslim world, he says, did not understand the importance of an “Islamic Pact,” an “Islamic Bloc,” or an “Islamic Common Market.” They “turned away from their culture, civilization and mores;” therefore, “it is not possible to expect any farsighted foreign policy vision” from a ruling class that bent itself to “foreign ideologies.”61 In the wake of the Gulf War, Karakoç published an article addressing Muslim leaders and urging them to finally found an effective “Islamic Defense Pact,” made even more necessary by the gradual Western occupation of the Middle East that he claims to have been predicting “for thirty years” at the time of writing.62 For Karakoç, the Muslim governments should transform the Organization of the Islamic Conference into an “effective, real, military, economic and cultural Union.”63 In Karakoç’s view, the realization of an all-encompassing Islamic Union would have led Turkey and the other Muslim states to an independent foreign policy within the “Islamic bloc,” to liberation from Western intrusions, to internal peace and prosperity, and to the failure of “the imperial dream that Israel and its supporters intend to realize in the Middle East.”64 When Karakoç imagines addressing the leaders of the Muslim states, he reminds them that the nation of Islam (“our nation”) is indeed one, in spite of the divisions imposed from outside: “this nation is one nation. This homeland is one homeland. It has been and it will always be so. The current situation is temporary.”65

Karakoç’s style reinforces itself the ideological framework of its writings. The dualism between the two “white” and “black” civilizations, between good and evil, common in ideological texts, is a constant element of Karakoç’s discourse.66 There is in his writings a reiteration of contrapositions between “us” and “them.” This contraposition reflects the distinction he underlines between Western civilization (including both capitalism and communism) vs. Islamic civilization, liberation vs. oppression, and the “return to Islam” vs.complete extinction.67 Karakoç’s solemn language often drifts into fervent invocations to the Muslim community.68 Frequent references to “nature” and “history” serve to emphasize not only the righteousness, but the inevitability for a Muslim to choose the Islamic –and Islamist– camp.

Erbakan’s idea of an Islamic Union is then analogous to that of Karakoç, as they both refer to Turkey’s historical background and its consequent leadership responsibility as the heir of the Ottoman State

An early indication of Erbakan’s views on foreign policy can be found in his book of 1971, Turkey and the Common Market (Türkiye ve Ortak Pazar), which consists of two parliamentary speeches given by Erbakan in 1970 on the topic of relations between Turkey and the European Economic Community. As Erbakan deals with this question, he supports the perspective of a common market among the Muslim countries, within which Turkey would be quickly strengthened by new economic opportunities. This “Islamic Common Market” would be based on “historical and cultural ties.”69 It is within the framework of the National Salvation Party (MSP), founded in 1972, that Erbakan’s vision of an “Islamic Union” (İslam Birliği) takes a more definite shape, including projects of establishing Pan-Islamic international organizations.70 Throughout the electoral campaign of 1977, Erbakan frequently expressed his idea of Turkey as a “Leader Country” in the Muslim world.71 His idea of an Islamic Union is then analogous to that of Karakoç, as they both refer to Turkey’s historical background and its consequent leadership responsibility as the heir of the Ottoman State. Nevertheless, it is possible to recognize a stronger nationalistic emphasis on the role of Turkey and its material interests in Erbakan’s rhetoric. Turkey’s material interests are consistently central in Erbakan’s discourse, this being another difference with Karakoç. Yet, among the perpetual slogans and tenets of the National Outlook party, we find the construction of material development on a foundation made of spiritual and moral values.72 In Erbakan’s view, within the framework of the NO ideology, these values, consisting of the Islamic values constituting the core of Turkish identity, should also be the basis of a foreign policy “with a (strong) personality” (şahsiyetli).73 According to Erbakan, if Turkey followed its own national values and character, it would easily succeed in obtaining economic development and independence.74 The country’s foreign policy, says Erbakan, needs to follow “our values,” leaving aside the alien ideas of “imitators” that want to maintain Turkey’s dependence on Western interests.75 

Karakoç condemns the possible Turkish accession to the European “Common Market,” describing it as an “extension of world capitalism,” to which some people with a strong “inferiority feeling” could not find any possible alternative

On behalf of his political movement, Erbakan writes about the necessity of restoring those international relations, “which have been neglected until today, with our neighbors sharing with us historical and cultural ties.”76 Thus, it is not surprising to find, in the NO parties’ texts from the 1970s to the 1990s, recurring proposals for the creation of Islamic international organizations as alternatives to Turkey’s membership in Western alignments. For instance, the RP’s election manifesto of 1991 expresses the idea of making Turkey a “Leader Country” within the framework of the “Just Order” (as the RP called its overall set of policies and goals). The manifesto envisioned that this new order could be represented on the global plane by international organizations such as an “Islamic Common Market,” an “Islamic Common Defense Organization,” and an “Islamic Development Bank.”77 As NATO and the UN had failed to achieve their goals effectively, the main NO newspaper the Milli Gazete claimed in 1995, an Islamic UN (İslam Birleşmiş Milletleri) and an Islamic Pact for Defense (İslam Savunma Paktı) are needed. So is an Islamic Common Market (İslam Ortak Pazarı) and an Islamic Scientific and Cultural Cooperation Organization (İslam İlim ve Kültür İşbirliği Teşkilatı).78 Erbakan argued frequently that Turkey is destined to be the leader of the Muslim world, as it is the only country with this potential, due to its “economic strength, geographic position, and historical background.”79 A stable rapprochement to the Muslim world, says Erbakan, will also increase Turkey’s economic power, as those countries (especially the Arab oil producers) could become significant importers of Turkish goods.80 



The EEC as Tool of Domination

In Karakoç’s articles of the 1960s and 1970s, the main concern about a possible unification of Europe is that if the Europeans were to achieve a complete integration, it would be even more difficult for the Muslim world to emancipate itself from their domination. Karakoç says that a united European state, integrated both economically and politically, is an old idea that, if finally concretized, would create new problems for the Middle Eastern countries.81 For this reason, it is necessary to accelerate the process of integration and eventual unification among the Muslim states, in order to avoid bowing to an even stronger European imperialism.82 Thus, Karakoç also touts the ideal of a European Union as an example of a “unity ideal”83 that is useful to observe as the Islamic civilization necessitates a similar project. Obviously enough in Karakoç’s thought, the place of Turkey is outside any possible European political union, as inclusion would contradict the country’s natural stand within the Middle Eastern and Muslim framework. For him, the economic and political unification of Europe is meant to protract the Western continent’s “world hegemony.”84 

Sezai Karakoç, President of the Exalted Revival Party (Yüce Diriliş Partisi), speaks during the party’s 3rd congress in Ankara, on May 29, 2016.  AA PHOTO / ABDÜLHAMİD HOŞBAŞSezai Karakoç, President of the Exalted Revival Party (Yüce Diriliş Partisi), speaks during the party’s 3rd congress in Ankara, on May 29, 2016. | AA PHOTO / ABDÜLHAMİD HOŞBAŞ

In a piece originally published in the 1980s, Karakoç condemns the possible Turkish accession to the European “Common Market,” describing it as an “extension of world capitalism,” to which some people with a strong “inferiority feeling” could not find any possible alternative.85 However, he says, Turkey’s industrial development has begun to reverse this sense of inferiority, necessitating a “psychological reckoning” with the Common Market. Europe has begun to fear the entrance of Turkey into other markets such as the Middle Eastern one. The Common Market must not be afraid of these developments: they are normal in the context of global competition, towards which Europe should adopt a more flexible strategy “taking into account the framework of natural data,” as Turkey’s trading behavior is certainly not a real threat for its economy.86 Europe should stop worrying about Turkey and “accept its potential to occupy the place it deserves in the world economy:” the right place for Turkey is rather the “Islamic Common Market.”87

A similar dichotomy is visible when Erbakan deals with the question of Turkey’s relations with the European Economic Community. When commenting on the formal Turkish application for EEC membership in an interview of 1990, Erbakan declares: “I see this application as a form of treason that is completely against our history, against our understanding of civilization, against our culture and, most importantly, against our independence.”88 This vehemence, as in Karakoç’s view, implies an understanding of Turkey’s foreign policy as a constant, dramatic choice between an unnatural and unjust dependence on the West and the “bright future” of Turkey to be sought “within its historical background” and its moral-spiritual values.89

Erbakan’s central assumption regarding the European Economic Community is its being mainly a political (rather than economic) project for the reestablishment of Europe’s world hegemony after its decline following the end of Second World War.90 In Erbakan’s view, the Common Market was born as a “Catholic union,”91 meant to exploit Muslim countries like Turkey as labor sources or “touristic paradises;” in sum, to colonize them and inhibit their economic development.92 A section of an interview with Erbakan, published in 1991 in his book Turkey’s Fundamental Issues (Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri), is titled: “The European Union Has Only One Goal: The Triumph of the Cross against the Crescent.”93 

All these references rehearse once again the abovementioned civilization-based dichotomy, between the West and Islam, in which Christianity is considered a fake religion, a falsely religious name for the West’s materialism and its irreligious civilization. In a display of consistency upheld from the 1970s to the 1990s, the main concern about Europe conveyed by Erbakan was the possibility of a dissolution of Turkey’s sovereignty and identity within the framework of the Christian European single state planned by the West. “It is not possible,” he argues in a speech held in 1970, “to allow the dissolution of this Muslim nation inside a Christian community.”94 As in Karakoç’s understanding, the European project threatens to “swallow” Turkey and destroy its core values and its independence for the sake of Western domination over the Muslim world. In 1991, in a public speech, Erbakan accuses those in favor of Turkey’s membership in the EC of planning to “leave the millennial Islamic world” and merge into “one state with those Christians.”95 In his writings, Erbakan conveys a general fear of European supranational regulations, which, in his view, are meant to affect Turkey’s sovereignty so deeply that the country’s identity will be erased and replaced with a Judeo-Christian one. Israel itself aims at membership, he argued, so Turkey would be reduced to a mere province of a “Great Israel.”96

The same Judeo-Christian alliance that pushed for Turkey’s adhesion to the EU, Erbakan says in 1970, is showing a similar “crusade mentality” in relation to Cyprus

For Erbakan, the role played by Zionism is fundamental to understanding the goals of the European project. In his opinion, the hegemonic plans of the EC/EU are decided and coordinated by Zionist interest groups dominating the world: the inclusion of Turkey –the “head of the Muslim world”97– in the European market and political community would finalize the Zionist plan to rule the world. To explain this plot, Erbakan describes Zionists as occupying the top tier of a hierarchical structure in which Europeans and other Westerners are immediately below them, employed in the service of capitalism. A third layer is needed, he affirms, and it is made of “slaves and workers:”98 this is the layer into which the Zionists want to put the Turks and other Muslims. Entering the European common market (becoming a “Zionist toy”99) would destroy Turkish industry and degrade its economy to that of a colonized country, wasting its sovereignty and its own “national and spiritual values” in a “cosmopolitan environment.”100 In his memoirs, Erbakan compares Western imperialism to a voracious crocodile whose brain is global Zionism.101



Cyprus: Ultimate Proof of Muslim-Christian Incompatibility

In the 1960s, inter-communal violence between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots exploded, along with the system of power-sharing government that had been decided with the Zurich and London agreements of 1959. In his articles, Karakoç highlights the deep emotive impact of the news of violence suffered by the Turkish minority in Cyprus on Turkey’s public opinion. The whole country seems unified, he says, as every compatriot talks about it, “at home, on the bus, at work, in the streets.”102 In his highly vivid style, he describes the everyday life of a Cypriot Turk as a constant “heart attack,” as “every night comes scarier than the previous one.” Cyprus is compared to crucified Jesus asking God why he has forsaken him.103 Karakoç accuses Turkey’s government of this abandonment and affirms the necessity of an active, evidently “paternal,” Turkish role in this matter. In Karakoç’s view, negotiation must be carried out with Greece only, as it is the instigator of Cypriot disorders, and this must be done in an assertive and determined way, by discussing not only the status of Cyprus, but also that of the Aegean Islands. This is an example of the independent and assertive foreign policy imagined by Karakoç. In a 1964 article, republished in the book Farklar, he states that the coexistence of Turkish and Greek Cypriots within the same political entity is impossible, and that a project of taksim (partition between two states) is “completely realistic.”104 In defending this thesis, Karakoç quotes British historian Arnold J. Toynbee, whose theories about the incompatibility among encountering world civilizations were appreciated and often quoted by the author.105 Starting from Toynbee’s statements about the impossibility of a common Turkish-Greek state in Cyprus, he assumes that the logical consequence of this observation would be the partition of the island.106 In addition to this, Karakoç believes that religion is a fundamental element in the Cyprus dispute, and the solution he suggests tends again to be Pan-Islamic. Another article of Farklar, i.e. a comment on the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople in January 1964, demonstrates this. According to Karakoç, the reopened dialogue between the Catholic and the Orthodox Church expressed through that meeting was clearly a sign of the foundation of a “political union.” “Against whom? Certainly against the Muslims.”107 The aim of such a union will be to create a confederation of churches operating coordinately in matters of foreign policy, a union against which all Muslims must be prepared to fight “a World War on the spiritual plain.”108 In Karakoç’s view, this perceived pan-Christian alliance –as the massacres suffered by Turkish Cypriots in December 1963 seemed to affirm– has started to claim Muslim victims on behalf of a “Crusade Spirit.”109

An analysis of Karakoç and Erbakan’s texts on foreign policy or world order shows the emergence of a Turkish neo-Pan-Islamism circulating in and out of political organizations

On the Cyprus question, Erbakan similarly expresses a consistently and overtly inflexible position. The rights of Turkish Cypriots must be protected at any cost, and no compromise should be accepted.110 The same Judeo-Christian alliance that pushed for Turkey’s adhesion to the EU, Erbakan says in 1970, is showing a similar “crusade mentality” in relation to Cyprus.111 It is important to consider that the MSP was part of the coalition government that in July 1974 opted for military intervention in Cyprus. Since then, the Cyprus question became an opportunity for the NO parties to claim credit for the very popular decision of sending the army to the island. In 1990, in the interview published in Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, Erbakan declares that during the 1974 two-phased operation his party’s aim, as a precondition for peace enforcement, was the complete control of the island. This objective, he says, was justified by Turkey’s role as guarantor upon the whole island and by the presence of “many brothers” in southern Cyprus.112 

Erbakan’s idea of an incompatibility between Greek and Turkish Cypriots is evident and rather explicit. A clear-cut separation is necessary, he says, as the two communities should “live in different places.”113 That is why, for him (as for Karakoç), the solution is represented by a partition (taksim) of the island into two independent states. A federal solution is, in Erbakan’s view, insufficient.114 In the same interview, as in his memoirs, Erbakan reaffirms that “there is no such thing as a Cyprus question”115 anymore, i.e., that since the military intervention, “the Cyprus question is over.”116 According to him, the taksim was a de facto reality and just needed to be legalized internationally along with the recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. 

As he considers this issue, Erbakan’s writings are filled with a Turkish nationalist language that is certainly not exclusive to the NO’s discourse on Cyprus. Yet, a more peculiarly Islamist discourse emerges and intertwines with the nationalist one in Erbakan’s memoirs. There he introduces the topic by explaining the Muslim nature of the island, and basing this claim on the island’s annexation to the Umayyad Caliphate in the 7th century, as well as the Ottoman conquest of 1570, which “saved the island” from the Catholic force represented by the Venetians.117



Foreign Policy and Turkish Pan-Islamism 

An analysis of the two authors’ texts on foreign policy questions reveals significant commonalities, far more than differences. The main differences between the two authors’ ideological contribution to Turkish Islamism can be traced back to the different roles of the two figures, one an intellectual and the other a politician. Erbakan, though expressing the Pan-Islamic idea of all-Muslim alliances, does not talk explicitly of the uselessness of state borders. And, unlike Karakoç, Erbakan always refers to the material development of Turkey as the ultimate, practical outcome of the abovementioned foreign policy visions.

As regards commonalities, in spite of Karakoç’s eschewing of Erbakan’s parties, it is possible to identify a common Pan-Islamist discourse pervading the writings of both these influential figures. The authors construct their reasoning upon a similar dualism dividing the world into incompatible civilizations. In their view, the Muslim world is home to the highest human virtues, while, on the other hand, the West is responsible for the oppression suffered by the nation of the Islam. The West-Islam civilizational divide is, then, together with the idea of a global umma, the precondition for Erbakan and Karakoç’s world vision. 

It is evident that not only Karakoç’s, but also Necmettin Erbakan’s thought is based on a sort of reverse Huntingtonian position, putting the concept of civilization at the center of its Islamist foreign policy discourse. The ideas of both Karakoç and Erbakan about a civilizational contraposition between Islam and the Western world represent a connection with the early 19th century Pan-Islamism. The fundamental reference to civilization that their world order visions have in common binds them to each other. More than others, they stand as bridges from early Pan-Islamist tradition to today’s civilizational discourse in the AK Party’s foreign policy.118 Erbakan, as the founder of the political movement from which the AK Party eventually evolved, uses this Huntingtonian idea in his discourse as party leader. Karakoç, given the abovementioned influence acknowledged by AK Party officials, emerges as the Islamist intellectual who reasoned the most on this civilizational divide and its foreign policy consequences both in his writings published in Islamist reviews and within his collections of articles. An analysis of Karakoç and Erbakan’s texts on foreign policy or world order shows the emergence of a Turkish neo-Pan-Islamism circulating in and out of political organizations. More specifically, the similitudes between their thoughts also suggests an influence of Karakoç’s ideas on the National Outlook movement as well as on today’s AK Party, whose foreign policy discourse, to say it with Ardıç, is still characterized by a civilizational discourse.119

Starting in the Cold War years, both Erbakan and Karakoç presented the Turkish version of the renewed Pan-Islamist ideal emerging at that time. They both proposed a transnational Islamic union, based on history, geography, and culture, as the ideal third bloc in the international arena. They both presented the idea of a completely independent foreign policy as the only viable option for their country, and they emphasized its compliance with the “real desires” or “the nature” of the people. For both, Turkey had to reclaim its historical and natural role as the leader of the Muslim world, a manifest destiny that Europe, with Israel and the U.S. on its side, wants to break by attracting the country into its sphere of influence. 

These anti-Western positions echoed the resentment that had been accumulating since the end of the Ottoman Empire, and were favored on the social level by the discontent of the new urbanized poor that saw identification with Europe and the West as a characteristic of the rich elites

If one considers the context in which these messages were elaborated, or re-elaborated, by the two authors in question, it is useful to wonder why they were attractive to their readers and to whom they were directed. In the years between the first and the third coup d’état (1960-1980), there was in Turkey a re-emergence of Islamist groups, linking back to the old local religious brotherhoods and representing at the same time the Turkish version of more modern foreign Islamists like the Muslim Brothers. These groups though, differently from Islamist movements of other countries, oscillated significantly between political Islam and Turkish nationalism. Despite the very real influence of foreign political Islam, as proved by references to foreign religious thinkers in Turkish Islamist texts, as well as by translations and contacts with foreign Islamist groups, Turkish Islamism maintained a significant distance from analogous phenomena in other Muslim countries. This difference was due to the pervasive influence of Turkish nationalism on Turkish Islamism. According to Duran, the nationalist element functioned for Turkish political Islam both as a vehicle, allowing it to enter institutions, and as a wall, limiting Turkish Islamists’ influence abroad.120 The idea of Turkey as the head of the Muslim world is an example of this nationalist-Islamist intertwining. However, even though this characteristic of Turkish Islamism makes it different from non-Turkish expressions of political Islam, one can find in the writings of two eminent Islamist thinkers that the anti-Western attitude among Turkish Islamists was not reduced by their distinctiveness in relation to their foreign counterparts. The nationalist feature of their religious ideology did not work against their anti-imperialistic and Pan-Islamic stances, but rather reinforced it. 

While Saudi Pan-Islamism was originally led by the Saudi government as a Cold War counterweight to Egypt’s Arab nationalism, Turkish Pan-Islamism developed within the circles of Turkish political Islam. Therefore, differently from the KSA’s government, these circles lacked the power to engage in high politics and, during the Cold War, were entwined with Turkey’s tradition of nationalism. This combination of Turkish nationalism –including exaltation of the Turks’ imperial past– and utopian Islamism led to foreign policy visions of Turkey as a great power in the international arena and the natural leader of the umma. As a demonstration of this different kind of Pan-Islamism, in the texts of Erbakan and Karakoç –representing the intersecting camps of Islamist political organizations and Islamist intellectuals respectively– Turkey is described as the legitimate leader of an envisioned anti-Western coalition of Muslim states united in the name of Islamic Third Worldism. From their point of view, this was the righteous and spontaneous combination of nationalism as the exaltation of the Turkish people and Pan-Islamism as call for the unification of the umma, against both the West and the communist threat. 

The inclusion of nationalist references and aspirations is a key element that distinguishes Turkish Islamism from 
non-Turkish expressions of the same ideology, and this difference appears even clearer when it comes to foreign policy aspirations and Pan-Islamist discourse

These anti-Western positions echoed the resentment that had been accumulating since the end of the Ottoman Empire, and were favored on the social level by the discontent of the new urbanized poor that saw identification with Europe and the West as a characteristic of the rich elites. By adopting a “contingent approach” to the rise of Islamist movements, Delibaş argues that the rise of fundamentalist groups can be explained as a reaction against the failures of the secular state, “which is perceived as corrupt, [and] unable to solve economic and social problems,” mass-urbanization being one of them. It is also evident that this Islamist trend in Muslim societies included a vision of the West as a major source of oppression and sufferance for the idealized umma.121Therefore, anti-imperialistic discourses –such as those produced by political leaders like Erbakan and religious intellectuals like Karakoç– could appeal significantly to these groups of people in the context of mass-urbanization, and political liberalization and fragmentation occurring in Turkey before 1980. The nationalist element functioned, to say it with Duran, as a “vehicle” for Turkish Islamism, not only to survive in the multi-party era, but also to facilitate the Islamist appeal towards the electors and to promote Islamist ideas among them as the “true values” and role of the Turkish nation, leader of the umma and heir of the greatest Muslim empire. The inclusion of this reference to the greatness of the Turkish nation helped to communicate and spread the Islamist and Pan-Islamist message and depict the secular élites as traitors loyal to the West.




To conclude, the analysis of Sezai Karakoç and Necmettin Erbakan’s ideas in relation to foreign affairs and an Islamist world order reveals them as major representatives of Turkish Pan-Islamism. Through the study of their writings one can identify some key topics that have been of crucial importance for Turkey’s foreign policy and for Turkish Islamist discourse on foreign affairs. Moreover, elements like the exaltation of the Ottoman imperial past and the importance of Turkish people in Islamic history, helped the authors to declare Turkey’s destiny as leader of the Muslim world. This particular and utopian aspiration about a Turkish state managing to unify an international bloc of states on the sole basis of religious affiliation, combined with some delusional claims about Christian or Zionist plots to rule the world, was the product of a mixed nationalist-Islamist vision of foreign policy that distinguished Turkish Pan-Islamism from the Pan-Islamism produced, for instance, by Saudi Arabia during the Cold War. As regards concrete outcomes, this particular strand of Turkish Pan-Islamism led to the unsuccessful experience of the D-8, created by Erbakan in the 1990s as a Turkey-led Pan-Islamic organization, and never reaching its expected goals because of the economic, geographical, historical, and political distance among its Muslim-majority member states.122 The D-8 experiment demonstrated the concrete limits of an Islamist foreign policy in general and Turkish Pan-Islamism in particular. The inclusion of nationalist references and aspirations is a key element that distinguishes Turkish Islamism from non-Turkish expressions of the same ideology, and this difference appears even clearer when it comes to foreign policy aspirations and Pan-Islamist discourse. 




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  2. Ersin Kalaycıoğlu, Turkish Dynamics: Bridge across Troubled Lands, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 102.
  3. Kalaycıoğlu, Turkish Dynamics: Bridge across Troubled Lands, p. 102.
  4. Çelik, Contemporary Turkish Foreign Policy, p. 58.
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  6. Barry M. Rubin and Kemal Kirişci, Turkey in World Politics: An Emerging Multiregional Power, (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001), pp. 104-105.
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  11. Naveed S. Sheikh, The New Politics of Islam: Pan-Islamic Foreign Policy in a World of States, (London: Routledge, 2003), p. 16.
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  22. Documentary by director Ensar Altay titled “Gün Doğmadan” [Before Sunrise], (2010), retrieved from
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  24. Michelangelo Guida, “Founders of Islamism in Republican Turkey: Kısakürek and Topçu,” in Mohammed A. Bamyeh (ed.), Intellectuals and Civil Society in the Middle East: Liberalism, Modernity and Political Discourse, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012), pp. 118-119.
  25. Sena Karasipahi, Muslims in Modern Turkey: Kemalism, Modernism and the Revolt of the Islamic Intellectuals, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2008), p. 189.
  26. Turan Karataş, “Sezai Karakoç: Bir Medeniyet Tasarımcısı” [Sezai Karakoç: A Designer of Civilization], in Tanıl Bora and Murat Gültekingil (eds.), Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce, Cilt 6, Islamcılık [Political Thought in Modern Turkey, Vol. 6, Islamism], (İstanbul: İletişim, 2005), pp. 981-982.
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  29. Hasret Dikici Bilgin, “Foreign Policy Orientation of Turkey’s Pro‐Islamist Parties: A Comparative Study of the AKP and Refah,” Turkish Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3 (2008), pp. 407-421.
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  32. Hale, Turkish Foreign Policy, 1774-2000, p. 174.
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  35. Sezai Karakoç, Sûr: Günlük Yazılar III [The Trumpet: Articles III], (İstanbul: Diriliş Yayınları, 2010), p. 59.
  36. Sezai Karakoç, İslamın Dirilişi [Islam’s Resurrection], (İstanbul: Diriliş Yayınları, 2000), p. 11.
  37. Sezai Karakoç, Sütun: Günlük Yazılar II [The Pillar: Articles II], (İstanbul: Diriliş Yayınları, 1999), pp. 35-36.
  38. Karakoç, Sütun: Günlük Yazılar II, pp. 112-114.
  39. Karakoç, Sütun: Günlük Yazılar II, pp. 111-112.
  40. Sezai Karakoç, Dirilişin Çevresinde, [About the Resurrection], (İstanbul: Diriliş Yayınları, 2000), p. 118.
  41. Karakoç, Dirilişin Çevresinde, pp. 122-124.
  42. Sezai Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I [Differences: Articles I], (İstanbul: Diriliş Yayınları, 2011), p. 25.
  43. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, p. 26.
  44. These were Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
  45. Necmettin Erbakan, Türkiye ve Ortak Pazar [Turkey and the Common Market], (İzmir: İstiklal Matbaası, 1971), p. 20.
  46. Necmettin Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri [Turkey’s Fundamental Questions], (Ankara: Rehber Yayınları, 1991), p. 26.
  47. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 55.
  48. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, pp. 90-92.
  49. 49. Necmettin Erbakan, Milli Görüş [National Outlook], (İstanbul: Dergah Yayınları, 1975), p. 229.
  50. Karakoç, İslamın Dirilişi, p. 25.
  51. Karakoç, İslamın Dirilişi, p. 20.
  52. Karakoç, Dirilişin Çevresinde, p. 192.
  53. Karakoç, Dirilişin Çevresinde, pp. 193-194.
  54. Karakoç, Sütun: Günlük Yazılar II, pp. 115-116.
  55. Karakoç, Dirilişin Çevresinde, pp. 194-195.
  56. Karakoç, Dirilişin Çevresinde, p. 197.
  57. Karakoç, Sütun: Günlük Yazılar II, p. 117.
  58. Karakoç, Sütun: Günlük Yazılar II, p. 110.
  59. Sezai Karakoç, Yapı Taşları ve Kaderimizin Çağrısı 2 [Building Stones and the Call of Our Destiny 2], (İstanbul: Diriliş Yayınları, 1999), p. 23.
  60. Karakoç, Sütun: Günlük Yazılar II, p. 45.
  61. Karakoç, Sûr: Günlük Yazılar III, p. 89.
  62. Karakoç, Yapı Taşları ve Kaderimizin Çağrısı 2, pp. 197-199.
  63. Karakoç, Yapı Taşları ve Kaderimizin Çağrısı 2, p. 200.
  64. Karakoç, Sütun: Günlük Yazılar II, pp. 235-236.
  65. Karakoç, Yapı Taşları ve Kaderimizin Çağrısı 2, p. 200.
  66. Van Dijk, “Ideology and Discourse Analysis.”
  67. Karakoç, Dirilişin Çevresinde, p. 197.
  68. Karakoç, Yapı Taşları ve Kaderimizin Çağrısı 2, p. 202. “Muslims, be aware, unite, be one hand, one body;” “I warn you […] and the whole world of Islam, the great nation of Islam. I blow the trumpet (sûr, a reference to the trumpet announcing the Day of Resurrection in Sura Yā Sīn of the Quran) of awakening and resurrection.”
  69. Erbakan, Türkiye ve Ortak Pazar, p. 39.
  70. Bahar Bakır, “Necmettin Erbakan,” in Ali Faik Demir (ed.), Türk Dış Politikasında Liderler: Süreklilik Ve Değişim, Söylem ve Eylem [Leaders in Turkish Foreign Policy: Continuity and Change, Discourse and Practice], (İstanbul: Bağlam, 2007), pp. 365-366.
  71. Milli Gazete, May 11, 1977.
  72. Delibaş, The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey: Urban Poverty, Grassroots Activism and Islamic Fundamentalism, p. 79.
  73. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, pp. 82-84.
  74. This can be linked to the objective of a national “heavy industrialization,” which was one of the main points of the MSP program in the 1970s, declaredly aiming to make Turkey more independent and to reduce emigration.
  75. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 84.
  76. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 84.
  77. 1991 Genel Seçimi Refah Partisi Beyannamesi [Welfare Party Manifesto for 1991 General Election], (Ankara, 1991), p. 168.
  78. Milli Gazete, December 12, 1995.
  79. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 29.
  80. Erbakan, Milli Görüş, p. 266.
  81. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, pp. 50-51.
  82. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, p. 51.
  83. Karakoç, Sûr: Günlük Yazılar III, pp. 92-93.
  84. Karakoç, Sûr: Günlük Yazılar III, p. 79.
  85. Sezai Karakoç, Çağ ve İlham IV – Kuruluş [Age and Inspiration IV – Foundation], (İstanbul: Diriliş Yayınları, 2009), p. 37.
  86. Karakoç, Çağ ve İlham IV – Kuruluş, pp. 38-39.
  87. Karakoç, Çağ ve İlham IV – Kuruluş, p. 39.
  88. Karakoç, Çağ ve İlham IV – Kuruluş, p. 27.
  89. Karakoç, Çağ ve İlham IV – Kuruluş, p. 33.
  90. Erbakan, Türkiye ve Ortak Pazar, p. 16.
  91. Erbakan, Türkiye ve Ortak Pazar, p. 52.
  92. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 44.
  93. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 42.
  94. Erbakan, Türkiye ve Ortak Pazar, p. 21.
  95. Milliyet, (October 13, 1991.)
  96. Milliyet, (October 12, 1991.)
  97. Erbakan, Milli Görüş, p. 252.
  98. Erbakan, Milli Görüş, p. 253.
  99. Erbakan, Türkiye ve Ortak Pazar, p. 63.
  100. Erbakan, Milli Görüş, pp. 262-264.
  101. Necmettin Erbakan, Davam [My Cause], (Ankara: Milli Gazete Ankara Kitap Kulübü, 2013), p. 118. “Zionism is similar to a crocodile. Its upper jaw is America, its lower jaw is the European Union. The brain is Zionism, the body is formed by the collaborationists.”
  102. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, p. 33.
  103. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, pp. 33-34. In Karakoç’s own words, “We can adapt his [Jesus’s] sentence to today’s Cypriot situation” as “Turkey, Turkey, why have you forsaken me?”
  104. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, pp. 80-81.
  105. Aydin and Duran, “Arnold J. Toynbee and Islamism in Cold War–Era Turkey Civilizationism in the Writings of Sezai Karakoç.”
  106. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, pp. 79-80.
  107. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, p. 53.
  108. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, pp. 53-54.
  109. Karakoç, Farklar: Günlük Yazılar I, p. 54. “In Cyprus the Crusade Spirit, which haunts even Christmas, their most sacred day, has spilled Muslim blood, has killed children and women with the support of the whole Christian world.”
  110. Erbakan, Milli Görüş, pp. 233-234.
  111. Erbakan, Türkiye ve Ortak Pazar, p. 52.
  112. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 72.
  113. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 72.
  114. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 76.
  115. Erbakan, Davam, p. 170.
  116. Erbakan, Türkiye’nin Temel Meseleleri, p. 77.
  117. Erbakan, Davam, pp. 155-156.
  118. Nurullah Ardıç, “Civilizational Discourse, the Alliance of Civilizations and Turkish Foreign Policy,” Insight Turkey, Vol. 16, No. 3 (2014), pp. 101-122.
  119. Ardıç, “Civilizational Discourse, the Alliance of Civilizations and Turkish Foreign Policy.”
  120. Çınar and Duran, “The Specific Evolution of Contemporary Political Islam in Turkey and Its ‘Difference’,” p. 23.
  121. Delibaş, The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey: Urban Poverty, Grassroots Activism and Islamic Fundamentalism, pp. 16-17.
  122.  Berdal Aral, “An Inquiry into the D-8 Experiment: An Incipient Model of an Islamic Common Market,” Alternative: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 4, No. 1 (2005), p. 2.

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