Event Details

This event will focus on new perspectives on Islam and neoliberalism that have emerged in Turkey since the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002.

Book Launch & Discussion


with Prof. Tahir Abbas, Royal United Services Institute, London

moderated by Selcuk Gültasli, Journalist, Brussels

Tuesday, 20th June 2017 at 12:30

Dialogue Platform, Rue Montoyer 31, Brussels 1000

Free and public event. Light lunch will be served. Registration required

During the “Arab Spring” Turkey was presented as a role model for Muslim countries. However with fundamental domestic changes in recent years, the country once hailed as the ‘source of inspiration’ is getting closer to more classical Middle Eastern regimes where democracy scarcely exists, if any.

Placing the period within its historical and contemporary context, Tahir Abbas argues that what it is to be ethnically, religiously and culturally Turkish has been transformed. In his book, he explored how issues of political trust, social capital and intolerance towards minorities have characterised Turkey in the early years of the 21st-century.

In his presentation, Prof. Abbas will be focusing on how a radical neoliberal economic and conservative outlook has materialised, leading to a clash over the religious, political and cultural direction of Turkey as these conflicts define the future of a nation.

About the speakers

Professor Tahir Abbas is a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. Previously, he was a Professor of Sociology at Fatih University in Istanbul and Senior Research Officer at the Home Office and Ministry of Justice in the UK. Before joining RUSI in mid-2016, he lived and worked in Istanbul for six years. His recent books are Contemporary Turkey in Conflict (Edinburgh and Oxford University Press, 2016), Muslim Diasporas in the West  and Political Muslims.

Selcuk Gültasli is a journalist who worked as Brussels representative of Zaman daily since 2001 until his paper was violently confiscated by the Turkish government last year and was eventually banned after the botched coup of July 15th. He is now a freelancer. Between 1999 and 2001, Mr. Gultasli worked as the diplomatic editor of the Turkish Daily News, the only English newspaper of Turkey at the time. He used to host the TV program “European Desk” on the national tv channel STV between 2008 and 2015.


The participants will have the opportunity to buy the book at the author’s discounted price of €10.