Islamic Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism in Turkey: Is it Possible?
Sociology Anadolu University Eskisehir, Turkey
Department of Journalism Anadolu University Eskisehir, Turkey
This paper examines Islamic capital in Turkey and questions whether Islamic capitalism can be understood in terms of Weberian Protestant ethic. Turkish modernization process is mainly based on the economic development of society as well as the dominant carrier of the society. Economic development is supported by the social and cultural background by means of secular understanding. Secular mentality of the state and social institutions strain with conservative and more dominantly Islamic interpretation of economics and development strategies. Since 1950?s conservatism had been part of politics in Turkey. Devlopment strategies in Turkey had been changeable in accordance with political parties. On the one hand right wing parties in general and particularly religious-nationalist, rightist-conservative parties in Turkey have been modernist, developmental and on the other hand they had conservative-nationalist understanding of economics. During the late 1970?s and after 1980 coup, governments had sprouted Islamic tendencies. With the late 1980?s Islamic capital accumulation has started to articulate in neo-liberalism and become the carrier of neo-liberal economic policies. The ruling Adalet ve Kalk?nma Partisi (AKP- Justice and Develpment Party) can absolutely be considered as conservative in terms of politics but neo-liberal in terms of economics. AKP, during its governance backs up conservative/Islamic industrialists and businessmen significantly. AKP carries former Islamic understanding of capitalism which is religious-nationalist, although its effort in articulating leading capitalist world economies. This paper claims that even there exists some kind of conflict between Islam and capitalism, there is a spirit of capitalism in Turkish-Islamic capitalism.