Generating Kemalism in the Antipodes: The Turkish State, AKP, and Cultural Politics in Australia

  • Banu Şenay
  • Christopher Houston


In both Europe and Australia, certain key institutions of the Turkish State have for decades been producers of what we call long-distance Kemalism — the propagation outside of Turkey of the core political ideology informing the nation-building project of the Turkish Republic since its institution in 1923. From the late 1970s onwards, when Turkish State authorities realized that most ‘guest-workers’ were now permanent settlers in the destination countries, a shift in policy occurred, encouraging Turkey-born migrants abroad not to return home but to contribute to the political and economic affairs of their country of origin from their new places of residence. Accompanying this strategic change, State efforts to inculcate a nationalist subjectivity in Turkish emigrants and a political project to secularize Turkish ‘civil society’ abroad became key components of its transnational policy, a task that was carried out, in the main, by its consular institutions and by the offices of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). Alongside activities aimed at mobilizing the (Turkish) diaspora, a second important component of the Republic’s ‘trans-Kemalism’ had been ‘diaspora dis-integration’, aimed at combating the perceived anti-Turkish influence of political or cultural ‘lobby-groups’ of non-Muslim or non-Turkish emigrants from Turkey, in particular those testifying to the traumatic experiences of the Greek, Armenian, and Kurdish communities there.


Political Identity Globalized World Military Coup Turkish Immigrant Turkish People 
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© Banu Şenay and Christopher Houston 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Banu Şenay
  • Christopher Houston

There are no affiliations available

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