The inadequate Islamic grappling with the Kurdish issue

Authored by: Christopher Houston

Routledge Handbook on the Kurds

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138646643
eBook ISBN: 9781315627427
Adobe ISBN:


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In late 1994, I came to Istanbul as an inexperienced fieldworker to investigate the policies and practices of the Istanbul Greater Municipality and a number of other local councils for my doctoral thesis, all of which had been won in elections that year for the first time by the Muslim-friendly Refah (Welfare) Party. The new mayor of the city was Tayyip Erdoğan, now President of the Turkish Republic. Then, as now, councils were “secondary” political institutions in a Republic disinclined to consider any federal system of regional or state parliaments that might require distribution of centralized administrative responsibilities and powers. Indeed, despite intermittent discussion both in Parliament and amongst civil society organizations concerning modification or even annulment of the 1982 junta-designed constitution, any proposal (then as now) to decentralize rather than concentrate political power through constitutional reform received short shrift.

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