At the Intersection of Competing Modernizations: Gezi as a Litmus Test for the Public Sphere

  • Hikmet KırıkEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change book series (PSCSC)


One way of understanding recent turmoil in Tukish politics is to look at it from the perspective of its peculiar modernisation with a telos of reaching contemporary civilisation. It has been societal transformation in the search for a new collective identity. Thorough interaction with traditional/Islamist view of modernization emerged two alternative visions of body politic. The first is the vision of the ‘authentic nation’, anticipated by the AKP. The second is the ‘reflexive nation’, which found its embodiment during the Gezi Protests. The resemblance between the visionary and alternative authentic version occurs in their adaptation of authoritarian politics fitted into the simple modernity. The reflexive interpretation challenges both by denouncing their authoritarian approaches as well as demanding more of individualism, freedom and participation.


Turkey Modernization Authoritarianism Authentic nation Reflexive nation 


  1. Bang, H.P. 2004. Culture Governance: Governing Self-Reflexive Modernity. Public Administration 82 (1): 157–190. Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Beck, U., A. Giddens, and S. Lash. 1994. Reflexive Modernization: Politics Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Beck, U. 1998. Democracy without Enemies, 19–32. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  4. Beck, U. 2000. What Is Globalisation. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, U., W. Bonss, and C. Lau. 2003. The Theory of Reflexive Modernization: Problematic, Hypotheses and Research Programme. Theory Culture and Society 20 (2): 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castells, M. 1998. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Vol. III. End of Millennium. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  7. Cornell, S.E., and M.K. Kaya. 2015. The Naqshbandi-Khalidi Order and Political Islam in Turkey. Current Trends in Islamist Ideology Topics. Hudson Institute, Downloaded at 30.09.2016.
  8. Durkheim, E. 1984. The Division of Labour in Society. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Durkheim, E. 1958. Professional Ethics and Civic Morals. Glencoe: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  10. Elias, N. 1994. The Civilizing Process: The History of Manners and State Formation and Civilization. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. Fenton, N.J. 2003. Counter Public Spheres and Global Modernity. The Public 10 (1): 15–32.Google Scholar
  12. Gellner, E. 1991. Islam and Marxism: Some Comparisons. International Affairs 67 (1).Google Scholar
  13. Gellner, E. 1994. Encounters with Nationalism, 81–91. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  14. Giddens, A. 1978. Durkheim. London: Fontana.Google Scholar
  15. Giddens, A. 1994. Living in a Post-traditional Society, in Beck, Giddens and Lash, 56–108.Google Scholar
  16. Göğüs, I., and S. Mannitz. 2016. The World Culture Entered Turkey: New Conflict Lines and the Challenges for Democratic Consolidation in Turkey. Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), Report No. 139.Google Scholar
  17. Günlük-Şenesen, G., and H. Kırık. 2016. The AKP Era: Democratisation or Resecuritisation? An Assessment of the Institutional and Budgetary Reflections. Research and Policy on Turkey 1 (1): 75–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Habermas, J. 1993. Modernity Versus Postmodernity. In A Postmodern Reader, ed. J. Natoli, and L. Hutcgheon, 91–104. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hobsbawm, E.J. 1990. Nations and Nationalism Since 1780. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Huntington, S.P. 1968. Political Order in Changing Societies. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Kazancigil, A. 1994. The Deviant Case in Comparative Analysis: High Stateness in a Muslim Society: The Case of Turkey. In Comparing Nations: Concepts, Strategies, Substance, ed. M. Dogan, and A. Kazancigil, 213–227. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  22. Keyder, C. 1993. Dilemma of Cultural Identity on the Margin of Europe. Review 16, 19–33.Google Scholar
  23. Köker, L. 2004. Modernlesme Kemalizm ve Demokrasi. İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları.Google Scholar
  24. Mardin, S. 1981. Religion and Secularism in Turkey. In Ataturk, Founder of a Modern State, ed. A. Kazancigil, and E. Ozbudun, 213. London: C. Hurst and Co.Google Scholar
  25. O’Donnell, G., and P. Schmitter. 1986. Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies. In Transitions from Authoritarian Rule, Prospects for Democracy, ed. O’Donnell et al. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Parson, T. 2005. The Action Frame of Reference and the General Theory of Action Systems: Culture Personality and The Place of Social Systems [extracts from The Social System]. In Contemporary Sociological Thought: Themes and Theories, ed. S.P. Hier, 11–22. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.Google Scholar
  27. Perlmutter, A. 1969. The Praetorian State and the Praetorian Army: Toward a Taxonomy of Civil-Military Relations in Developing Polities. Comparative Politics 1 (3).Google Scholar
  28. Political Vision of the Ak Parti (Political Vision of Justice and Development Party). 2023. Politics, Society and the World, 30 September 2012. Downloaded 21.09.2016.
  29. Salamone, S.D. 1989. The Dialectics of Turkish National Identity: Ethnic Boundary Maintenance and State Ideology. East European Quarterly 23 (2).Google Scholar
  30. Smith, A.D. 1991. National Identity. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  31. Soysal, M. 1969. Anayasaya Giris (Introduction to Constitution). Ankara: Sevinç Matbaası, Ankara Siy. Bil. Fak. Yay. no. 271, 287–89.Google Scholar
  32. Trimberger, E.K. 1978. Revolution From Above: Military Bureaucrats and Development in Japan, Turkey Egypt and Peru. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Books.Google Scholar
  33. Zola, D. Interview with Ulrich Beck
  34. Zurcher, E.J. 1995. Modernlesen Turkiye’nin Tarihi. Istanbul: Iletisim Yay.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations