In Turkey, religion and secularism have informed long contested social and political issues, which has led to the emergence of pockets of secluded conservative religious communities, such as the Menzil Community. An interesting aspect of such communities is their social and settlement structure, which can examined through the forms of housing and secluded communities that they have built in urban areas. Interestingly, the demand for religious-based settlements and housing in Turkey has increased in recent years. This increase is closely related to both historical and contemporary phenomena and events. Today, with the establishment of a government by a ruling group with a positive view of religion and the growing religious middle class, the number of these unique spatial settlements has increased and these spaces have gained a more modern appearance. One of these notable spatial settlements is the Menzil Community settlement in southeastern Turkey. This study focuses on the founding mission of the Menzil village as a homogeneous religiously based settlement through specific requirements, facilities and practices, and the functional differentiation experienced with growth, institutionalization and rationalization. This study explains the religious-homogeneous spatial settlement and otherworldly-secular changes through in-depth interviews with the members of the Menzil group, who, despite their resistance, show unique signs of worldliness/secularization, and the data to be obtained through their activities. A critical question in this study is how secluded faith based urban settlement navigate their otherworldly ethos with the pressures of secularity associated with urban spaces.
Research Assistant, Sociology, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey Abu Bakarr Bah
Presidential Research Professor of Sociology, Sociology Department, Northern Illinois University, Illinois, United States
COMMUNITY, SECULARISM, FAITH, SETTLEMENT
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