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  • Author: Erdem Dikici
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Recently, there has been a growing body of literature on the multifaceted relationship between religion, politics and security in both national and global contexts, with a special emphasis on church-state relations and/or secularism. Various aspects and influences of religion on a variety of thematic issues occupy columns, journals and books. However, one might argue that the same does not apply for the study of religious freedom. The violation of religious freedom is a phenomenon that has been observed not only under authoritarian regimes or Third World countries, but also in democratic and so-called civilized nations. Authoritarian regimes, restrictive state policies, intolerant and hostile societies as well as security-oriented (inter)national political legitimations have tried to control, restrict or suppress the rights of religious groups and minorities and religion per se in the public sphere. In The Future of Religious Freedom, the different reasons for controlling religion through restrictive laws and policies are elaborated from a variety of perspectives.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Law
  • Author: Markar Esayan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: On August 5th, 2013, an Istanbul court reached its verdict in the Ergenekon coup plot trial, handing down various prison sentences to 247 defendants, including the former Chief of Military Staff and several high-ranking members of the military's command. Although the Supreme Court of Appeals has yet to make a final decision on the 6-year legal battle, the Ergenekon trial has already become part of the country's history as a sign that anti-democratic forces, many of whom date back to the final years of the Ottoman Empire, no longer have free reign. Notwithstanding its limited scope and other shortcomings, the court's decision marks but a humble beginning for Turkey's acknowledgement of the dark chapters in its history, as well as a challenging struggle to replace the laws of rulers with the rule of law.
  • Topic: Government, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Anne Sofie Roald
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Muslim Minorities and Citizenship: Authority, Communities and Islamic Law In her comparative study, Ghoncheh Tazmini investigates the Russian revolution of 1917 and the 1979 Iranian revolution to identify patterns of continuity and change, including attempts at reform. At first, both revolutions might appear entirely different. In Russia, the Tsarist monarchy was replaced by socialism, whereas in Iran political Islam prevailed. However, Tazmini convincingly shows that both revolutions had related roots: the people's opposition to Western-inspired, autocratically enforced modernization that was endorsed by the Russian Tsars and Iranian Shahs. Moreover, in Vladimir Putin and Mohammad Khatami, she argues, both countries saw reformers with a similar outlook. By adopting beneficial Western practices without 'Westernizing' their countries, Putin and Khatami overcame the “antinomies of the past.” After the introduction, chapters two, three, and four discuss the experiences of modernization in Russia and Iran under the Romanov tsars and Pahlavi shahs. Both Peter the Great (in the 18th century) and Reza Shah (in the 20th century) sought to catch-up with developed European countries. To this end, they embarked on ambitious modernization programs, which were continued by their successors. In this context, Tazmini shows that the Russian and Iranian modernization programs only partially followed the European example. While embracing outward signs of modernity such as modern industries, state-society relations remained traditionally autocratic. Tazmini rightly grasps this as “modernization without modernity” in an attempt of “modernization from above.” Modernization from above is described as a “double helix” of economic modernization on the one hand and authoritarian political stagnation on the other hand. She notes, “Whilst both countries aspired to converge with the West by meeting its material and technological achievements, they ended up diverging by retaining the autocratic foundations of the ancient régimes.” Chapter five examines the people's opposition to the modernization from above, which resulted in the 1917 and 1979 revolutions. Tazmini argues that the contradiction inherent to modernization from above – economic development versus political stagnation – made people lose confidence in their respective state institutions. This provided the ground on which “ideological channels and fateful 'sparks' culminated in revolution” that replaced the Romanov and Pahlavi monarchies with communism in Russia and an Islamic Republic in Iran.
  • Topic: Islam, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Aysegul Cimen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Principles of Islamic International Criminal Law: A Comparative Search As one of the major components of the Islamic state, Islamic law has drawn considerable attention from different scholars both in the East and West. Particularly, comparative studies on the historical evolution of Islamic law and its application in modern legal systems are some of the major topics in the last two decades. Peters' Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from Sixteenth to Twenty-First Century, Millers' Legislating Authority: Sin to Crime in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, Hallaq's Shari'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations, and Naim's Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a are some of the prominent books in the field.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Law, Islam, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kemal Özden
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this book, the author focuses on Muslim people's social and legal situation and their legal attitudes from various points of view.
  • Topic: Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United Kingdom, Turkey
  • Author: Iara Lee
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Palestinians in Gaza have suffered under an illegal siege—first imposed by Israel in 2005 and strictly enforced since early 2009—which Amnesty International has called “a flagrant violation of international law.” Hundreds of civilians, the representatives from dozens of countries, attempted to deliver much-needed material to the Gazan people by the Gaza flotilla. The passengers on board—including elected officials, diplomats, media professionals, and other human rights workers—joined the flotilla as an act of civil disobedience and because they believe there is no decent justification for preventing shipments of humanitarian aid from reaching people in crisis. Israeli military launched a nighttime assault with heavily armed soldiers who shot and killed nine civilians and seriously injured dozens more. What happened to the flotilla is happening to the people of Gaza on a daily basis. It will not stop until international law is applied to all countries, Israel included.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Law
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Taha Özhan
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Palestinians in Gaza have suffered under an illegal siege—first imposed by Israel in 2005 and strictly enforced since early 2009—which Amnesty International has called “a flagrant violation of international law.” Hundreds of civilians, the representatives from dozens of countries, attempted to deliver much-needed material to the Gazan people by the Gaza flotilla. The passengers on board—including elected officials, diplomats, media professionals, and other human rights workers—joined the flotilla as an act of civil disobedience and because they believe there is no decent justification for preventing shipments of humanitarian aid from reaching people in crisis. Israeli military launched a nighttime assault with heavily armed soldiers who shot and killed nine civilians and seriously injured dozens more. What happened to the flotilla is happening to the people of Gaza on a daily basis. It will not stop until international law is applied to all countries, Israel included.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Ali Göksu
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey is still highly dependent on foreign energy resources and the supply of electricity is still not sufficient to meet current demand. Therefore, attracting local and foreign investments is vital in order to ensure supply security and establish a competitive and transparent market in the future. In this respect, fundamental regulatory changes have been made in the Turkish electricity market, previously dominated by the state. However, Turkey still lacks a sufficiently attractive energy market for foreign and local investors. It is the duty of the Turkish government to render attractive energy market conditions and regulatory environment for investors. This article looks into the structure of the Turkish electricity market. Various issues under the current system which may facilitate or hinder investors will also be evaluated, along with recommendations to improve the current market conditions.
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ville Päivänsalo
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: American political philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002) became world-famous when his A Theory of Justice (1971) was published and soon translated into several languages. His other main treatises, Political Liberalism (1993) and The Law of Peoples (1999), have also inspired plenty of discussion. To put it briefly, the mature Rawls's chief goal was to construct fair terms for peaceful coexistence among the citizens of a liberal democratic society, religious and non-religious alike, as well as among liberal and decent peoples. Rawls was able to analyze theological ideas skillfully—as can be seen for example in his Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy (2000) and Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy (2007).
  • Topic: War, Law
  • Political Geography: New York, America
  • Author: Shireen T. Hunter
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Is Islam particularly inimical to modernity, and the two are never to be reconciled? Many westerners and Muslims alike would argue that this is the case. Yet the more pertinent question; is religion in general and modernity incompatible and irreconcilable? There is a basic tension between all religions which rely on revelation as the primary source of knowledge and on God as the source of law and ethics, and modernity which privileges reason as the main source of knowledge and posits the source of law and ethics in human beings. An objective and unbiased reading of Islam shows that it is no more inimical to modernity than any other religion. Rather some of its aspects, including its emphasis on the importance of reason, its injunction that there is no compulsion in faith, and its frequent reference to people and their rights makes a reconciliation between Islam and modernity possible.
  • Topic: Islam, Law