John Dewey’s Travelings into the Project of Turkish Modernity

  • Sabiha Bilgi
  • Seçkin Özsoy


The “struggle” to catch up with, and become part of, Western civilization in Turkey has a centuries-long history. Having a Western future in Turkey, however, means taking on a national identity that also sees Turkey in terms of lack (of Western qualities) and of “being behind.” The Kemalist project of the Turkish national elite was named after the military and civilian leader who sought to Europeanize the nation from the 1920s. In this project, the “West” stands as the destination point for “the nation.” Turkey has been running away from a “past” since the 1920s. There is no “present” between the “Western future” and the “never passing” past. In Ahiska’s words, “the present is denied in its heterogeneous experimental terms and reduced to a permanent crisis that the Turkish national elite has ‘struggled’ to evade from the very beginning.”2


State Elite Village School Secular School Multiple Modernity Turkish Nation 
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Copyright information

© Thomas S. Popkewitz 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabiha Bilgi
  • Seçkin Özsoy

There are no affiliations available

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