The Middle East in Transition
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The Middle East in Transition

The Centrality of Citizenship

Edited by Nils A. Butenschøn and Roel Meijer

The violent transitions that have dominated developments since the Arab Uprisings demonstrate deep-seated divisions in the conceptions of state authority and citizen rights and responsibilities. Analysing the Middle East through the lens of the ‘citizenship approach’, this book argues that the current diversity of crisis in the region can be ascribed primarily to the crisis in the relations between state and citizen. The volume includes theoretical discussions and case studies, and covers both Arab and non-Arab countries.
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Chapter 2: Remapping citizenship in Turkey: law, identity, and civic virtue 1980–2014

Basak Ince


This chapter scrutinises the evolution of the legal, identity and civic virtue aspects of citizenship in Turkey from 1980 to 2014. The chapter addresses the issue how citizenship, as defined during the single-party period on the basis of a one religion (Sunni Islam) and one language (Turkish) – withstood the various changes that Turkey has undergone, especially as a result of internal factors such as 1980 military intervention, 28 February 1997 and 27 April 2007 memorandums, and the increasing resistance against Prime Minister Erdo_an. It also delves into the way it might be affected by more recent external factors such as the impact of globalisation and the possibility of being drawn into the European Union. Because citizenship is so complex an issue in a society as ethnically diverse as Turkey, this chapter, by examining the shifting meaning of citizenship between the period 1980–2014, will help bring to the fore theoretical and historical issues at stake in contemporary notions of citizenship as such in the Middle East.

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