We draw on Turkey–a Muslim-majority country governed by the pro-Islamist Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi–AKP) for the past two decades–to examine some underexplored implications of the supply-side theory of religion. The longevity and shifting nature of AKP rule provide a unique opportunity to observe the subtleties involved in the noticeable strengthening of Sunni Islam’s religious monopoly in a Muslim society. Results from a series of public opinion surveys conducted between 2010 and 2020 show that the AKP rule has caused the religious segment of Turkish society to consolidate around AKP and secular sections to consolidate around the opposition, leading to a significant polarization within the country. We argue this is because hegemonic religious policies may create crosscutting effects which both increase and decrease religiosity. The findings also have political implications that are undertheorized in the supply-side literature.
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- supply-side theory of religion