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The transformation of the nationalist ideology : the nationalist action party in turkey after the 1999 elections

Katırcı, Güldeniz
The main purpose of the thesis is to demonstrate whether or not the rapid rise and decline of radical nationalism between 1999 and 2002 elections may be related to an ideological identity crisis of the Nationalist Action Party. In this context, the focus will be on the transformation of the nationalist ideology, “nationalisms” in the Ottoman Empire, Kemalist/official nationalism, and transformation of Turkish nationalism to a political party ideology and its further transformation in Turkey. The reason for drawing such a framework is related to the fact that the developmental line of the nationalist phenomenon shows a three dimensional historical continuity line in influencing Turkish nationalism as a political party ideology. The possible ideological identity crisis in the NAP ideology, which has been visible between the 1999 and 2002 general elections, should be searched in the genetic categorical paradoxes and in the transformation of nationalism as a modern phenomenon, which have been influential upon all nationalism types emerged after it. The complex structure of the nationalist phenomenon, which started to be influential on the Ottoman Empire had influenced the developmental periods of “nationalisms” appeared in their original structure. Turkish nationalism, which had developed on the same line with Ottomanism, Islamism and Turkism, had inherited both the categorical paradoxes of nationalism and the emergence of “original” Turkish nationalism. Thus, Turkish nationalism, as a nation-state ideology, had been the carrier of these categorical inconsistencies, which had remained until the multi-party period and which were transformed to a political party ideology with the NAP in the 1960s. Therefore, throughout the thesis, the possible ideological identity crisis of the NAP ideology will be searched in its complex relation with the transformation history of political nationalism and its specific transformation in Turkey. At the end, the ideological statute of nationalism in the political spectrum will be questioned.