Infusing the Young Spirits with the Motivation to Oppose and Counter Oppression: Revolution and the French Revolution



The Turkish scholarship in historiography and social sciences emerged from the cocoon of Kemalism, but for a long time they continued to bear and reproduce many of the premises, self-images, and self-representations of Kemalism. The Kemalist domination of this scholarship was disman- tled in the 1970s and 1980s by the new generation of historians and social scientists who were overwhelmingly left-leaning and influenced by the critical scholarship reigning in Europe and North America since 1968. Heavily critical of nationalism and the modernist paradigm, these left- leaning critical scholars had further and more urgent concerns and moti- vations for an encounter with Kemalism. Turkish socialism was also born from Kemalist origins and was heavily influenced by the Kemalist para- digm. For a long time, Turkish socialists perceived Kemalism as a progres- sive bourgeois ideology. They regarded the political agenda of Kemalism as positive and progressive in the course of history as it had struggled with and crushed religion, feudalism, reactionary forces, imperialism, and the domestic lackeys of imperialism.1 The new generation of socialists disagreed. The study of Mete Tunçay on the Kemalist regime published in 19812 was a breakthrough. Although Kemalism was considerably discred- ited among leftist circles during the 1970s, nevertheless many of its premises were retained and reproduced. Tunçay, in his critical reappraisal of Kemalism, set the fundamentals for the critical scholarship of Kemalism and the history of the Kemalist dictatorship. This study addressed a leftist audience3 and aimed to challenge the views and assumptions held within the left. It also attempted to reconstruct Kemalism as an authoritarian ideology far away from democratic and progressive ideals.


Political Culture Democrat Party French Revolution National Sovereignty Radical Party 
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Copyright information

© Doğan Gürpınar 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istanbul Technical UniversityUK

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