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february, 2022

23feb20:0021:30Virtual EventCivilization SG: Cold War Origins of Civilizational Thinking in Turkeyİslam Medeniyeti Mecmuası (Journal of Islamic Civilization), 1967-1982

Group Details

The Civilization Study Group brings together and examines different aspects of the ongoing debate on the concept of civilization in the Islamic intellectual field in Turkey. We seek to explore both the genealogy of the concept of “Islamic Civilization” as it developed since the 1960s, and the emergence and evolution of the notion of civilizationism as a political ideology since the  1990s. The goal is to develop and present different aspects of this debate at the MESA 2022 conference, and later in a workshop toward the publication of a volume of collected essays.

Event Details

İslam Medeniyeti (Journal of Islamic Civilization, JIC) is an Islam-based Turkish periodical published by the association of Higher Islamic Institutes’ students and alumni between 1967 and 1982. It was initially intended to be a popular Islamic monthly comprising short (2-7 pages) articles along with poems and topical news on every issue. Authors who regularly contributed to the journal were mostly students, alumni, or professors of Higher Islamic Institutes founded in the 1960s and the 1970s in different parts of Turkey. Along with its regular contributors, the JIC published articles and poems of significant figures of the Islamic intellectual movement in Turkey such as Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, Nurettin Topçu, Ali Ulvi Kurucu, Said Çekmegil, Mahir İz, Osman Turan, Mehmet Aydın and Ali Bulaç. Besides, translated articles from non-Turkish Muslim intellectuals as well as non-Muslim European intellectuals appeared on almost every issue of the journal. The content of the journal informed not only religious policies but also social ones as these people swarmed the Diyanet (Directorate of Religious Affairs), civil bureaucracy and actively participated in the Islamic political movement. The JIC could be seen as the platform within which the ruling Justice and Development Party’s current policies were first articulated, especially concerning the revival of Islamic civilization through education reforms and transfer of funds to civil initiatives, associations, and endowments. Given that it was affiliated with a religious educational institution, it is not surprising that Islamic education and the status of Islamic sciences were among the most recurrent issues in the journal. In addition, its articles point out important and interesting observations concerning Orientalism as an academic discipline, the East-West dichotomy, and Muslims’ position within these debates. The concept of “Islamic civilization”, which became the exact title of the journal, acquired its significance in these debates where the authors respond to Orientalist works and ideas as well as Western-oriented secular modernization.

Virtual Event Details

Event has already taken place!


Event Coordinator: Talha Köseoğlu
Moderator: Alev Çınar
Enes Ateş
Gizem Zencirci
Seda Baykal
M. Nergiz Altınsoy
İsmail Yazıcı
Fatma Murat Elmacıoğlu
Ayşe Ayten Bakacak
Kadir Can Çelik
Elif Asude Kaplan
Kadir Yavuz Emiroğlu
Seydi Şeker
Beyza Çubukçu
Zeynep Önal
Ferzan İdeli


(Wednesday) 20:00 - 21:30 Event starts at 08:00 P.M. TR, 09:00 A.M. PST


Alev ÇınarProject Coordinator