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Saban Taniyici, "Transformation of Political Islam in Turkey: Islamist Welfare Party's Pro-EU Turn," Party Politics, 9 (July 2003),463-483.

First Paragraph:
The Islamist Welfare Party (WP) in Turkey recently changed its decades-old policy of hostility toward the European Union (EU) and began strongly to support Turkey's accession to the Union, thereby raising doubts about the inevitability of a civilizarional conflict between Islam and the West. 1 This change was part of the party's broader image transformation which took place after its leaders Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan,2 was forced by the Turkish political establishment to resign from a coalition government in June 1997. The Constitutional Court (CC) later banned the party in January 1998. The same party elite immediately founded another party that adopted a fundamentally different image from the old one. The new Virtue Party (VP), formed by the same elite and with the same organizational structure, no longer viewed the EU as a 'Christian Club', but as an institution embodying universal democratic values. When the VP was outlawed by the CC in June 2001, the VP elite founded two new parties, the Justice and Development Party (JDP) and the Felicity Party (FP). Although they differ on several issues, so far both parties support Turkey's membership in the EU.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Islamist parties and their EU policies since 1970
Table 2: Percentage of votes in Turkish parliamentary and local elections (1983 99)

Last Paragraph:
Despite their differences on a number of issues, the elites in both parties have similar views on the importance of democracy, basic human rights and freedoms, and on the role of the EU in the realization of these in Turkey.