Browsing by Author "Alaranta, Toni"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-1 of 1
  • Alaranta, Toni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The study analyzes the effort to build political legitimacy in the Republic of Turkey by ex-ploring a group of influential texts produced by Kemalist writers. The study explores how the Kemalist regime reproduced certain long-lasting enlightenment meta-narrative in its effort to build political legitimacy. Central in this process was a hegemonic representation of history, namely the interpretation of the Anatolian Resistance Struggle of 1919 1922 as a Turkish Revolution executing the enlightenment in the Turkish nation-state. The method employed in the study is contextualizing narratological analysis. The Kemalist texts are analyzed with a repertoire of concepts originally developed in the theory of narra-tive. By bringing these concepts together with epistemological foundations of historical sciences, the study creates a theoretical frame inside of which it is possible to highlight how initially very controversial historical representations in the end manage to construct long-lasting, emotionally and intellectually convincing bases of national identity for the secular middle classes in Turkey. The two most important explanatory concepts in this sense are di-egesis and implied reader. The diegesis refers to the ability of narrative representation to create an inherently credible story-world that works as the basis of national community. The implied reader refers to the process where a certain hegemonic narrative creates a formula of identification and a position through which any individual real-world reader of a story can step inside the narrative story-world and identify oneself as one of us of the national narra-tive. The study demonstrates that the Kemalist enlightenment meta-narrative created a group of narrative accruals which enabled generations of secular middle classes to internalize Kemalist ideology. In this sense, the narrative in question has not only worked as a tool utilized by the so-called Kemalist state-elite to justify its leadership, but has been internalized by various groups in Turkey, working as their genuine world-view. It is shown in the study that secular-ism must be seen as the core ingredient of these groups national identity. The study proposes that the enlightenment narrative reproduced in the Kemalist ideology had its origin in a simi-lar totalizing cultural narrative created in and for Europe. Currently this enlightenment project is challenged in Turkey by those who are in an attempt to give religion a greater role in Turkish society. The study argues that the enduring practice of legitimizing political power through the enlightenment meta-narrative has not only become a major factor contributing to social polarization in Turkey, but has also, in contradiction to the very real potentials for crit-ical approaches inherent in the Enlightenment tradition, crucially restricted the development of critical and rational modes of thinking in the Republic of Turkey.