geändert / updated: 17/04/08


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(Türkiye; 04-02; p.2)

What, may be asked, for a kind of state is that which with its about 70 millions inhabitants wants to become part of the EU?



The modern Republic of Turkey is the product of the will-power of the still highly appraised Mustafa Kemal, who had been honoured by the title "Atatürk", meaning Father of all Turks. He united his people after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent occupation of today's Turkish territory and eventually succeeded in the fight for independence in 1923. - From those days stem the animosities against the Greek which then occupied parts of the territory in the south-west.

Atatürk's political thinking is realised in different articles of the constitution, "Kemalism" so became his remaining legacy. It can be summarised by principles as follows:
• secularism: against the Ottoman tradition modern Turkey draws a strict line between state and religion - to put in context, one has to keep in mind that 99,8 % of the population are mostly sunnite Muslims;
• republicanism: political power is institutionalised in a non-feudal, therefore republican way and the institution established for that is the Great National Assembly, consisting of 550 seats;
• nationalism: the Turkish people and Turkish territory are one and indivisible - as a consequence Kurds cannot be seen as a people but at most a special part of the Turkish people;
• étatism: state-centrism which means that the state intervenes into and directs the economy;
• populism: the people is the sovereign;
• revolutionism: achievements based on state action not only have to be defended but constantly improved.

The armed forces have a pivotal role according to Kemal: they are obliged to defend the Kemalistic principles by law. Such, putsches of the military that occurred may be explained: not by some officers trying to push through their specific interests, but because leading officers regarded the Kemalistic-moulded order as jeopardised. Up to now, the armed forces putsched in 1960, 1971 and 1980. (read on here)

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