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Turkey: between Empire and Republic, between Ottomanism and Kemalism

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  1. From Ottoman Empire to republic continuity or rupture?.
    1. New borders?.
    2. New demographic composition?.
    3. From late Ottoman Empire to early Republic.
    4. Centralization, the only common denominator between Empire and early Republic?.
  2. The construction of Turkish unity.
    1. The initial years.
    2. The rise of 'High Kemalism' from the 30's onwards.
    3. The nation as a focus of supreme loyalty?.
    4. Reactions to Kemalism and state responses.
  3. From the end of the Atatürk era to contemporary Turkey.
    1. From the democratic party rule to the first return of Kemalism.
    2. The 1960's : islamists finally enter the political picture.
    3. The 1970's period of uncertainty and coalition governments.
    4. The 1980 coup, the new rise of Islamist parties and the return of Kemalism.
    5. Change of heart or change of message?.
    6. Turkey between secularism and Islamism or on its way to democracy?.

Thus the purpose of this work will be to try and assess the claim of total rupture of Kemalism with the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and to examine the origins and nature of Turkish nationalism and its influence on the structure of Turkish society. The first chapter will treat the issue of rupture between the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey in order to see if there is continuity or not. The second chapter will deal with Ataturk?s nation building project (which I will describe and explore), with the problem of knowing if it was solely his creation or if it had more profound roots, and with the question of knowing if it really was a smooth uniformisation process as depicted, or if it was a more difficult process than usually described. Finally, the third chapter will attempt to show how the answers to those questions define an ongoing trend that can serve to illuminate and to give us a better understanding of the problems and perspectives of the political and social picture of Turkey in the 21st century.

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