University of Leicester
2021GokmenDPhd.pdf (1.79 MB)

“What Is Your Difference?” A Look from Inside to Islamic Banking in Turkey

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posted on 2021-10-14, 10:09 authored by Gokmen Durmus
This thesis explores interpretations of Turkish Islamic bankers with regard to the Islamic Banking phenomenon in Turkey. It attempts to understand religion’s impact on financial institutions in special banks. The case of Turkey distinguishes it from other countries in two ways: first, Turkey is a secular country; it is ruled by secular laws and has never been governed in line with religious law. Second, even though the majority of the population claims to be Muslim, at around 99 per cent, the share of Islamic banking is limited just to 5 per cent of the total banking sector.
The research leans towards an interpretivist approach. It adopts case study as a methodology and benefitted from the use of a qualitative approach. Research material was collected via semi-structured interviews, observation, and documental analysis. Thirty-one Islamic banking professionals participated in interviews in five different major Turkish cities. The data collected during the field study was analysed through thematic analysis and the results represented in three separate chapters.
The study revealed that there appear to be three levels -the macro, meso, and micro- in the Islamic banking phenomenon. Institutional theory helped to understand the business environment of the phenomenon at the macro-level. This included legitimacy, institutional logics, isomorphism, and other concepts underlying the challenges to the Turkish Islamic banking sector. It also covered future projections of Islamic banking. The meso-level unveiled organisational explorations of corporate culture, HRM, and miscellaneous issues. Finally, the micro-level was concerned with the individual identities of Islamic bankers. The findings explained according to themes such as belongingness, spirituality, and work-life balance.



Geoffrey Lightfoot; Donald Egginton

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Business

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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