Religious populism features prominently in the global political landscape. This contribution focuses on this particular type of populism, and the political strategies employed by religious populist actors, with a focus on the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party, AKP) under the leadership of Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. Although there is an established literature on religious populism, there are still dynamics that need to be studied further. How religious populists outflank their rivals, especially those with relatively conservative ideologies and understandings of nationalism, remains unanswered, for example. In this study, I investigate how the AKP, as a religious populist party, has competed with and distinguished itself from other mainstream and conservative Turkish political actors and movements, and their respective nationalist ideologies: (a) the secular political establishment, including the Kemalist Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (Republican People’s Party), (b) the tradition(s) the party was originally part of but is no longer viable, the Milli Görüş (National Outlook) movement, (c) other popular religious movements that have a claim to power (such as the Gülen, or Hizmet, movement), and finally (d) ultranationalist segments and parties such as the Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi (Nationalist Action Party), each of which has their own interpretations of citizenship and nationalism.