Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This article reviews recent government efforts to address the “Alevi issue” and identify their successes and failures. It demonstrates that the “Alevi openings” constituted paradoxical processes: tracing various components of the “openings” through news media, it shows that, on one hand, they enabled the “Alevi issue” to be brought to public attention. On the other hand, once Alevis were made more visible in public, non-sympathizers could mobilize their representation for their own ends. These empirical findings have profound theoretical implications. They show that “discursive claims of democratization” at the state level do not necessarily result in democratic mechanisms, which can resolve the demands of a pluralistic civil society. The author argues that what she calls the “tutelary secularism” in Turkey, in other words, the management and disciplining of religious groups, continues under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule. This model not only fails, but also produces new sources of conflict in Turkey.

More information Original publication




Journal article


Taylor & Francis

Publication Date



16 (1)


80 - 96