ESI report: Islamic Calvinists. Change and conservatism in Central Anatolia (19 September 2005)
En el Harén de Estambul (In the harem of Istanbul), Carla de la Vega (novel from 2009), A form of capitalism that has been qualified as Islamic Calvinism
At the beginning of the 1980s, with Turgut Ozal's government, a new conservative bourgeoisie with strong religious believes was born. They were coming from the deepest Anatolia and became rich thanks to thriving furniture, textile and food businesses. They are the so-called Anatolian Tigers, where their industries follow the guidelines from Islam and pray five times a day. They have achieved to combine the Koranic beliefs that do not allow them to use loans with interest, with a form of capitalism that has been qualified as Islamic Calvinism (Islamic Calvinists. Study realized by European Stability Initiative. 19th September 2006). These are the people who vote for the moderate Islamists from the AKP.
Hürriyet, 30.01.2006, The comparison of Kayserians with Calvinists is very true
Abdullah Gül: "The name of this concept is Calvinism in Christianity. In different religions it has different names. They compare the sociological situation in Kayseri to this. They explain it in this way. It is very true."
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Kai Strittmatter, 13.06.2006, Rewarding pious diligence
Kayseri's entrepreneurs are an excellent case study into - of all things - [Max] Weber's theses on Protestants: pious und ascetic, yes, but also diligent, frugal, solidary and investing with an eye for the future.
A big howl went through the country when ESI’s report was published: On one end of the spectrum, die-hard seculars who would not have it that pious people can be economically successful and on the other end religious fundamentalists who suspected a clandestine Christian proselytization effort. Kayseri’s entrepreneurs, however, understood the praise. No one less than Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül – prominent son of the city – declared himself a proud Islamic Calvinist.
BBC Radio 3, Aasiya Lodhi, 13.03.2006, Turkish toil brings new form of faith
The new entrepreneurialism sweeping across the province is providing an unlikely catalyst for a remarkable religious transformation. A new form of Turkish Islam is emerging here, one which is pro-business and pro-free market, and it's being called Islamic Calvinism. …
Critics say it's a Western conspiracy to Christianise Islam, but others have passionately argued in its favour, holding it up as a model for how Islam and modernity can co-exist. One of its most prominent defenders has been Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullah Gül, himself a native of Kayseri and the son of an entrepreneur. He sees no contradiction in the term and argues that Turkey can provide a lasting template for a new kind of modern Islam. "The most important thing to ask", he says, "is what kind of modernism do we want? Are you living in this world, or are you dreaming? The people of Kayseri are not dreaming - they are realistic, and that's the kind of Islam we need.
Bugün, 03.02.2006, Calvinism debate and Weberian analyses
The ongoing discussion has started to focus on an important central theme. If our elites put their prejudices aside, adopt an objective perspective and base their arguments on sound knowledge, important conclusions can be drawn. These conclusions will be important for Turkey, the Islamic world and the West.
On 2 February 2006, between 17:00 and 17:45, on Mithat Bereket's prominent Manset ["Headline"] programme, Gerald Knaus (ESI President) discussed the findings of ESI's Islamic Calvinists report and clarified the questions that ensued from the debate in the press in the past months. Please see some photos from the discussion.
Hürriyet, Özdemir İnce, February 2006, ESI and Islamic Calvinists (eight op-eds)
However, ESI's report uses religion for political and economic purposes. It turns the realities upside down for the sake of Nakshibendis, Nurcus and the AKP government. That is the reason why I have deep suspicions about ESI's national and international links … the report published by ESI reveals the games which Turkey is subject to as well as the role played by NGOs in these dangerous games.
Kayseri Akın, Hamdi Altuntaş, 01.02.2006, Criticizing without knowing
I don't think the report of the European Stability Initiative has even been read by some commentators. The target audience of the report is the Europeans who are sceptical about Turkey's EU membership; in other words Turkey's interests are at stake. In my view the report makes an unbiased evaluation of the Anatolian reality. In fact if you read the report carefully you will see that the term "Islamic Calvinists" to define Kayseri was not put forth by the people who prepared the report. The term is the way people of Kayseri described themselves when the people who prepared the report asked them.
Kayseri Akın, Hamdi Altuntaş, 28.01.2006, No need for concern
Kayseri was deemed worth investigating – if anything this is a long due effort. … Let's talk about the identification with Calvinism. Those who put forth the association of Kayseri's success with Calvinism are searching for the source of this success. It is not right, in my view, to associate the concepts put forth with missionary aims or attempts to distance us from our religion. Thinking this way is merely a reflex with no grounds that some circles revert to. We shouldn't shy away from being appreciated. Neither should we feel uncomfortable about our appreciated qualities being termed in different ways. Kayseri tries to embrace the real Islam. Kayseri is a city where people work for this world as if they will never die and work for the afterlife as if they will die tomorrow. [this is a reference to the words of Prophet Muhammed: Hiç ölmeyecekmiş gibi dünya için, yarın ölecekmiş gibi de ahiret için çalış]
Yeni Şafak, Davut Dursun, 24.01.2006, Islamic Calvinists...
Now, in Turkey, it is this report which is being debated.
The report tries to tell Europeans "there is nothing to be afraid about; this is not a clash between Anatolia and the West". The question the report probably tries to answer is: Can one be at once religious, rich/entrepreneurial, and European?
Milliyet, Taha Akyol, 27.01.2006, Islamic Calvinists!
Many movements which the Kemalist tradition in Turkey think are fundamentalist contain the dynamics of sociological modernism similar to the [Calvinist movement]. There is a reason that they are more liberal, open to the world and economic rationalists than the statist secularists.
Hürriyet, Cüneyt Ülsever, 25.01.2006, Is Islam compatible with capitalism?
The study challenges the common assumption, which is to Turkey's detriment, existing both in Turkey and the West- and instead sketches a positive portrait.
The report sheds light on developments that even Ankara from time to time is blind to, whether you call it Anatolian Tigers or Anatolian lions...
ATV, Ali Kirca, 18.01.2006, Siyaset Meydani
On 18 January 2006, between 23:30 and 03:30, on Ali Kirca's widely followed Siyaset Meydani programme on ATV, the concept of "Islamic Calvinists" was debated - with ESI's report serving as the basis. Please read some excerpts from the intense and at times heated discussion.
Referans supplement, 19.10.2005, Turkish translation of ESI Kayseri report
Radikal Newspaper, Funda Özkan, 13.10.2005, Is Kayseri an Exception for the Other Turkey?
The message to Europeans is that "yes, there is a segment in Turkey (predominately in Istanbul) that is more European than most Europeans. As you always note, this segment is a minority. However, the conservatism is no different from the conservatism of towns in Germany and Austria. Therefore, don't be afraid.
Sabah Newspaper, 09.10.2005 News
Abdullah Gül explained that EU Commissioner responsible for Enlargement, Olli Rehn, had handed him a report which stated that Kayseri's successful industrialization was rooted in the lifestyle that can be termed "Islamic Calvinism".
Referans Newspaper, David Judson, 26.09.2005, European conservatives should meet "Anatolian Calvinists"
The traditional "clash of civilisation" arguments explain that Islam is fatalistic, against change and against risk. According to this report, the Kayseri example is evidence that such opinions and assumptions are groundless.
Hürriyet Newspaper, Gila Benmayor, 14.10.2005, Olli Rehn went to Kayseri with this report
The aim of this report is to demonstrate the transformation in Turkey to Europe. Not the change in the west of Turkey but that in the heartland of Anatolia. "Because" says Knaus, "in the minds of the European, the belief is that Anatolia is resistant to change, radically conservative, and undeveloped…" The important conclusion of the ESI report is that: "Though the lifestyles are conservative and religious, there is a passion for rapid growth and modenisation…"
CNN Turk, Eyüp Can, 10.10.2005, Referans Noktası
ESI Senior Analyst Verena Knaus and David Judson discussed ESI's report with anchorman Eyüp Can on CNNTurk's Referans Noktası Programme.
Hürriyet, 12.02.2006, Cartoon: Aah, so you are a Calvinist Muslim...
CNNTurk, Gürkan Zengin, 7 pm "Editor" Programme
(Olli Rehn) says Kayseri is the heart of Anatolia and he wants to go to Kayseri and get to know this developing Anatolian city that has undergone such an important jump. In the meantime the report of the European Stability Initiative talks about Kayseri as Anatolia's strongest voice on the road to the EU. Let´s look at the details of this report: what renders this city such a success? What is it that makes its economy so strong? … The report prepared by ESI looks at Kayseris development from a different perspective. According to the report, Kayseri is the best example demonstrating that Islam and western values can coexist without problems in Turkey, and Kayseri is the best answer to those who oppose Turkey's EU membership because of cultural, religious and social differences.
- Der Spiegel, Maximilian Popp, "Ausrotten der Tiger" ("Wiping out the tigers") (1 April 2017)
- WirtschaftsBlatt, Eva Konzett, "Islamische Calvinisten: Erdoğans ökonomisches Basislager" ("Islamic Calvinists: Erdogan's economic base camp") (29 May 2016)
- L'Économiste, Ali Aouzal, "Origines et processus de l'essor économique turc" ("Origins and processes of the Turkish economic growth") (19 February 2015)
- Global Investor, "Rise of the Anatolian Tigers" (27 August 2014)
- The Telegraph, Colin Freeman, "Don't be too hard on Turkey's Islamists – they are just the sort the West should want" (6 June 2013)
- World Bulletin, John Feffer, "Turkey: Stealth superpower" (4 June 2013)
- Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Thomas Fuster, "Die frommen Aufsteiger von Kayseri" ("The pious self-made men of Kayseri") (30 April 2013)
- The Hindu, "Anatolian Tigers drive Turkey's silent revolution" (28 April 2012)
- Lainformacion.com, Yasemin Ergin, "Estos son los genios detrás del milagro económico de Turquía" ("These are the geniuses behind the economic miracle of Turkey") (19 April 2012)
- MinnPost, Yasemin Ergin, "Meet the people behind Turkey's 'miracle'" (17 April 2012)
- Today's Zaman, Ümit Kurt and Oğuz Alyanak, "What lies behind the AKP's success?" (27 December 2011)
- Today's Zaman, Yonca Poyraz Doğan, "To see junta leader Evren in the dock would be massive catharsis for Turkey!" - Interview with Kerem Öktem - (18 April 2011)
- Today's Zaman, Emine Kart, "Vying for global markets, Konya business circles tired of clichés about their city" (29 November 2010)
- Haber X, "Anadolu mucizesi" ("The Anatolian wonder") (19 October 2010)
- Süddeutsche Zeitung, Kai Strittmatter, "Das anatolische Wunder" ("The Anatolian wonder") (19 October 2010)
- Süddeutsche Zeitung (interview with Turkish president Abdullah Gul), Christiane Schlötzer and Kai Strittmatter, "Wer sich zur Welt öffnet, muss mit verschiedenen Religionen leben" ("If you open up to the world, you have to live with different religions") (16 October 2010)
- GazetePort, Handan Öz, "Protestanlaşan İslam (ı) Protesto mu?" ("Is Islam prostest by becoming more protestant?") (28 July 2010)
- CBS News, John Feffer, "Turkey, a Stealth Superpower?" (14 June 2010)
- Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Thomas Fuster, "Islam und Kapitalismus – eine türkische Symbiose" (9 May 2009)
- Hakimiyet, Abdülkadir Etöz, "İslâm ve Kalkınma" (4 October 2008)
- Eurasia Insight, Nicholas Birch, "Turkey: 'Muslim Calvinists' in Anatolia show how piety can blend with modernity" (24 July 2008)
- Haberbu, "La Repubblica: Türkiye, İslam ve Turbo-Kapitalizm Mucizesi" (24 July 2008)
- La Republica, Marco Ansaldo, "Il miracolo della Turchia: Islam e turbocapitalismo" (21 July 2008)
- The New York Review of Books, Christopher de Bellaigue, "Turkey at the Turning Point?" (27 September 2007)
- La Vanguardia, Ricardo Ginés, "Capital de un calvinismo islámico" (29 August 2007)
- Middle East Report, Kerem Öktem, "Harbingers of Turkey’s Second Republic" (1 August 2007)
- Der Standard, Barbara Frischmuth, "Erdogan verstehen, Pamuk lesen" (23 July 2007)
- ARD (Germany) Europamagazin, "Kayseri – die Hochburg der 'islamischen Calvinisten'" (21 July 2007)
- Ö1 Mittagsjournal, Katja Arthofer, "Erdogans Reformkurs lockt Investoren" (19 July 2007)
- Asian Business Leaders, "Turkey story 'The Rejuvenation of the 'Mother of Europe'' and interview with ESI founding president Gerald Knaus: Turkey can be the next Spain" (in Chinese) (May 2007)
- Today's Zaman, Joost Lagendijk (op-Ed), "Secularist paranoia raises tension across Turkey" (9 May 2007)
- Prospect Magazine, Gerald Knaus (opinions) "Islamic Calvinists" (January 2007)
- Deutschlandfunk, Gunnar Köhne, "Das andere Bild der Türkei. Das anatolische Kayseri auf dem Weg nach Europa" (8 November 2006). This feature is also available as MP3-download.
- La Vanguardia, Ricardo Ginés, "Para los empresarios de la Anatolia Central crear empleo es ser un buen musulmán" (28 August 2006)
- New York Times, Dan Bilefsky, "Turks Knock on Europe’s Door With Evidence That Islam and Capitalism Can Coexist" (27 August 2006)
- International Herald Tribune, Dan Bilefsky, "'Protestant work ethic' in Muslim Turkey" (11 August 2006)
- DIE ZEIT, Charlotte Wiedemann, "Republik contra Religion" (10 August 2006)
- Der Standard, "Es ist hilfreich, die Türkei mit Spanien zu vergleichen" (Interview with ESI President Gerald Knaus) (22 June 2006)
- Süddeutsche Zeitung, Kai Strittmatter, "Der Lohn des frommen Fleißes" (13 June 2006)
- Le Figaro, Jeanne Lhoste, "Le succès des «calvinistes islamiques» de Kayseri" (24 May 2006)
- Капитал, Мая Богданова, "Анадолските ислямски тигри/Верена Кнаус: Другата Турция" (14 April 2006)
(Capital, Maya Bogdanova, "Anatolian Islamic Tigers/Verena Knaus: The other Turkey" - Interview with ESI Senior Analyst Verena Knaus)
- BBC Radio 3, Aasiya Lodhi, "Turkish toil brings new form of faith" (13 March 2006)
- ABHaber, "İslami Kalvinizm BBC'de" (13 March 2006)
- Vatan, "Kayseri'ye Calvin gerekmez ticaret genimizde var'" (22 February 2006)
- Zaman, Emin Fuat Keyman, "Küresellesme, Islam ve Türkiye (II)" (17 February 2006)
- Zaman, Emin Fuat Keyman, "Küresellesme, Islam ve Türkiye (I)" (16 February 2006)
- Sabah, Mehmet Ali Kılıçbay, "Jean Calvin ve Kalvinizm" (12 February 2006)
- Bugün, Bekir Karlıağa, "Calvinizm tartişmalari ve weber'ci çözümlemeler" (3 February 2006)
- Vatan, Haşmet Babaoğlu, "Müslüman Kalvinistler yerine Batılı Kalvinistleri tartışsak!.." (3 February 2006)
- Radikal, Mustafa Akyol, "Kavganın yerine düşünce" (3 February 2006)
- Hürriyet, Hadi Uluengin, "Kusur kalsın" (2 February 2006)
- Kayseri Akın, Hamdi Altuntaş, "Bilmeden eleştirmek" (1 February 2006)
- Hürriyet, Hadi Uluengin, "Protestanlığa giriş" (1 February 2006)
- Hürriyet, Hadi Uluengin, "Protestan sorun" (31 January 2006)
- Radikal, İsmet Berkan, "Şimdi model Calvinizm mi yani?" (31 January 2006)
- Hürriyet, "Kayserililer'e Kalvinist benzetmesi çok doğru" (30 January 2006)
- Aksam, Serdar Turgut, "Türkiye ortaçağı nihayet yakaladı" (29 January 2006)
- Kayseri Akın, Hamdi Altuntaş, "Endişeye mahal yok" (28 January 2006)
- Sabah, Ali Kırca, "Kalvinizm 'Meydan' daydı!" (28 January 2006)
- Milliyet, Taha Akyol, "İslamda yenilenme" (28 January 2006)
- Aksam, Süleyman Arioğlu, "Kalvinizm İslam diniyle bağdaşmaz" (27 January 2006). Also available in English: "Islam is not compatible with Calvinism"
- Referans, Eyüp Can, "Türkiye'nin Calvin'i Fethullah Hoca mı?" (27 January 2006)
- Sabah, Mehmet Barlas, "Olayın sırrı Calvin'de mi gizli?" (27 January 2006)
- Milliyet, Taha Akyol, "Müslüman Kalvinistler!" (27 January 2006)
- Referans, Haber Merkezi, "İslami Kalvinistler Raporu'nun İslam'ın reformuyla ilgisi yok" (27 January 2006)
- Zaman, Ali Bulaç, "İslam Kalvinistleri" (27 January 2006)
- Hürriyet, Ertuğrul Özkök, "Türkiye'nin 'Calvin'i kim" (26 January 2006). Also available in English: "Who is Turkey's 'Calvin'"
- Hürriyet, "Müslüman Protestan merkezi Kayseri mi" (26 January 2006)
- Hürriyet, Cüneyt Ülsever, "İslam kapitalizm ile bağdaşır mı? (I)" (25 January 2006). Also available in English: "Is Islam compatible with capitalism? (I)"
- Hürriyet, Cüneyt Ülsever, "İslam kapitalizm ile bağdaşır mı? (II)" (26 January 2006). Also available in English: "Is Islam compatible with capitalism? (II)"
- Hürriyet, Cüneyt Ülsever, "İslam kapitalizm ile bağdaşır mı? (III)" (27 January 2006)
- Hürriyet, Ertuğrul Özkök, "AKP'ye zarar verir mi" (25 January 2006)
- Yeni Şafak, Davut Dursun, "İslami Kalvinistler..." (24 January 2006). Also available in English: "Islamic Calvinists..."
- Yeni Çağ, Arslan Bulut, "AKP''lilere ve Diyalogçulara içten bir uyarı: Hıristiyanlaşıyorsunuz!" (20 January 2006)
- Der Standard, "'Ösis' im anderen Anatolien" (26 November 2005)
- Aksiyon, Zafer Özcan, "Akla ve paraya ihtiyacı olmayan şehir: Kayseri" (14 November 2005)
- Knack, "Anatolische Tijgers" (2 November 2005)
- Radikal, Murat Belge, "Islam'ın Kalvenistleri!" (30 October 2005)
- Milliyet, Serpil Yilmaz, "Kayseri ve İslami Kalvinistler" (20 October 2005)
- Radikal, Funda Özkan, "Soros olsa olsa Kayserilidir" (20 October 2005)
- Hürriyet, Sadi Özdemir, "Kayseri´de kadının ölümü kekten, erkeğinki çekten" (19 October 2005)
- Radikal, Funda Özkan, "Boydak Avrupalının ezberini bozdu" (15 October 2005)
- Turkish Daily News, Gila Benmayor, "How well do you know Kayseri?" (15 October 2005)
- Hürriyet, Gila Benmayor, "Olli Rehn bu raporla Kayseri'ye gitti" (14 October 2005)
- Radikal, Funda Özkan, "Öteki Türkiye'de Kayseri istisna mı?" (13 October 2005)
- Austria Today, "'Expert cites dilettantish nature of Austrian diplomacy on Turkey" (10 October 2005)
- Sabah, Yayin Tarihi, "Risk alamadığımız için vergileri düşüremiyoruz" (9 October 2005)
- Zaman, Sahin Alpay, "Islamic Calvinists" (8 October 2005)
- Hospodarske Noviny, "Reformy u zacaly Turecko menit" (5 October 2005)
- Hospodarske Noviny, "Turky ceká sloitı proces modernizace" (4 October 2005)
- Turkish Daily News, David Judson, "'Islamic Calvinism' a paradoxical engine for change in conservative Central Anatolia" (30 September 2005)
- Referans, David Judson, "Avrupa muhafazakarlari 'Anadolu Kalvinistleri' ile tanismali" (30 September 2005)
- ORF, "Die anatolischen Tiger" (27 September 2005)
- profil, "Allah und das Kapital" (September 2005)