The populism of the village institutes: a contradictory expression of Kemalist populism

Aytemur, Nuran
This thesis analyzes the populism of the Village Institutes by comparing it with Kemalist populism. In this context it is worth to say that throughout the thesis populism is defined as government by the people and discussed in relation to democracy. In order to do so as a first step - the democratic structure and function(ing) of the Village Institutes are discussed with reference to their fundamental principles, organizational structure, and educational program. Secondly, the contradictory conceptualization of the “people” and the separation between the “intellectual” and the “people” is tried to be analyzed with reference to the writings of İsmail Hakkı Tonguç (who is called as the architect of the Village Institutes), the memoirs of the graduates of the Village Institutes, and indepth interviews made with their graduates. The question hereby is to what extent this understanding of populism involve in itself what can be called the “paradoxical elitism” of the populist ideology, which arises out of the tensive relation between “social-egalitarian” and “administrative-institutional” aspects of populism. It is claimed that despite the similarities with Kemalist populism, the Village Institutes shifted the emphasis from the “administrative-institutional” to the “social-egalitarian” aspect of populism and surpassed the boundaries of Kemalist populism by implementing democratic principles like “equality” and “self-government”, and encouraging participation and by attempting to create a new kind of intellectual through “education within work”. Keywords: The Village Institutes, Populism, Elitism, Kemalist Populism, Democracy.
Citation Formats
N. Aytemur, “The populism of the village institutes: a contradictory expression of Kemalist populism,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2007.