Religion and nation-building in the Turkish republic: a comparison of the high school textbooks of 1930-1950 and 1950-1960

Arı, Başar
The period from 1930 to 1946 constitutes one of the most important episodes of the history of Turkish Republic. It is the period in which the new regime was consolidated through a series of radical secularizing reforms, which aimed at weakening the role of religion in politics and society and confining it to the private sphere. In this period, the Kemalist regime tried to replace an identity based on religion by one based on the Turkish nation. It has generally been argued that the transition to multi-party regime and the subsequent coming to power of the Democratic Party in 1950 constitutes a serious break with the previous period by opening a greater space for religion in society. This thesis will try to study the construction of Turkish national identity through a comparison of the high school textbooks of the 1930 – 1950 period and 1950 – 1960 era.