Cover Osteuropa 10-12/2018

In Osteuropa 10-12/2018

Consonance or enforced conformity?
The state and religion in Russia and Turkey

Elisabeth Özdalga

Deutsche Fassung


In Russia and Turkey there is an unholy alliance between the laicistic state and the religious bodies. In Russia, the state is laicistic in theory, and the Orthodox church has retained a certain degree of autonomy. In reality, the state and church leaderships often speak with one voice, and the church has placed itself at the service of the authoritarian regime. However, in the multi-ethnic state of Russia, there is space for other religions. In Turkey, by contrast, the ruling AKP has taken over control of the Presidency for Religious Affairs, thus undermining the laicistic order. Since Turkey is neither a homogeneous nation state, nor a state in which the entire population is of the same denomination of Islam, the politicised religious authority is polarising society with its programme oriented to Sunni Turks.

(Osteuropa 10-12/2018, pp. 81–94)