Taha Parla and Andrew Davison
Offers a new interpretation of the political content, significance, and consequences of Kemalism, the founding and still official political ideology of the modern Turkish Republic.
"This is an iconoclastic essay by a prominent political scientist and a talented and knowledgeable U. S. colleague. The thrust of their argument is that Kemalism, the official ideology of the early Turkish Republic (1923-1950), is not compatible with or favorably inclined toward liberal democracy, contrary to what most literature about Turkey claims. Instead, they suggested that this is a corporatist, partly fascist ideology, intolerant of dissent and opposition. They do not deny that Kemalism and its author Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, made great contributions to Turkish politics and society. But they argue that its time has passed. The association of Kemalism with fascism may sound harsh but should not be too surprising, since the Kemalist Republic developed at the same time that Mussolini was imposing his fascist regime on Italy. . . . No other comparable work exists. . . . Highly Recommended."
This book provides an informed analysis of the ideological content of Kemalismthe name given to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's party's political thought and practiceand the persistently official and semi-official, hegemonic ideology of the Turkish Republic, formally founded in 1923. Through a textual and contextual analysis of Kemalism in Atatürk's speeches and the official documents of the ruling Republican People's Party, Taha Parla and Andrew Davison offer fresh interpretations of the political, economic, social, and cultural goals of the Kemalist version of Turkish nationalism. They also provide an astute analysis of the power and authority that Atatürk and his colleagues believed were necessary to achieve their implementation, and of the institutions created in that process.
Kemalism as a democratizing and secularizing framework for modern governance is debated by illuminating Kemalism's emphatic and self-conscious, corporatist ideological core. The authors show how Kemalism's conceptions of society, national identity, the relationship between the state and Islam, and other fundamental political dynamics require a rethinking of its democratic, secular, and modernist reputation, and its prospects for, and barriers to, a more democratic Turkey within the Kemalist legacy.
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Taha Parla is professor in the Department of Political Science and International relations at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul.
Andrew Davison is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Vassar College.
6 x 9, 320 pages, notes, bibliography