n Journal for Islamic Studies - Nurettin Topçu and Necip Fazıl Kısakürek : stories of 'conversion' and activism in Republican Turkey

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0257-7062



In the 1940s, Islam started to re-emerge in the Turkish public sphere after the secular reforms of the Kemalist revolution. Two public intellectuals, Nurettin Topçu and Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, played a decisive role in modelling Islamic activism in the new Republican environment. This paper will focus on these two intellectuals' activism and personal stories of intra-faith conversion, as well as their encounters with the Naqshbandi Sufi order, which survived the official ban on religious orders because of its informal structures and practices. On the one hand, the Naqshbandi practices inspired in these two authors a new methodology to propagate religion within the strict limits of secular Turkey. On the other hand, the new 'modern' intellectual environment also forced Islamist intellectuals to change their way of advocating religiosity through academically accepted standards and values.

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