Taming political Islamists by Islamic Capital: the passions and the interests in Turkish Islamic society
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This dissertation seeks to explain the moderation of the Turkish Islamic party since the end of 1990s. It is hypothesized that in a relatively open and pluralist political system, like Turkey, Islamic entrepreneurs may rely on the power of capital to motivate political Islamists to adopt more liberal and marketoriented programs favorable to business interests. Political Islamists enjoying financial support, in turn, may strengthen Islamic business interests in politics, and further moderate their radical and anti-system behavior. In Turkey, the Islamic financial and business groups have been more liberal and less repressed by the secularist state than their Islamist counterpart in politics. The Islamic capitalists also have been more independent of the state and less fearful of vi extending political rights to the Islamist movements than their secularist, statesponsored competitors. I argue that growing Islamic business interests in Turkey since the mid-1990s have had taming effects on the political Islamists. The Islamic capitalists have steadily grown in strength and influence in the globalization process. Their drive for markets, profits, political stability, and rule of law played a role in transforming the earlier, fundamentalist stance of the political Islamists into a more liberal posture at the end of 1990s.