The Legal, political and sociological roots of tutelary regime in single - party period

Ete, Hatem
This dissertation examines the political regime during the single party rule in Turkey between the years of 1923-1950 in relation to the concept of tutelage. The main argument supported in this work is that tutelary tendencies, contrary to the assumptions of Kemalist historicization, do not serve as segue to democracy, but rather make consolidation of democracy difficult, even impossible. In support, this dissertation provides a close examination of the Kemalist nation building process beginning from the Ottoman modernization process extending to the demographic engineering projects of the Republic. The examination reveals that tutelary tendencies are a reflection of the savior mission undertaken by the elite during the Ottoman-Republican modernization process. The political elite, in their mission to save and build the nation, not only ignored the political and social fabric of the time, but they insisted on radical interventions to the demographic fabric of the society in order to transform it to the nation they envisioned. During the execution of the nation-building project increasingly more authoritarian measures were legitimized by declared target of democracy. The social resistance to the radical interventions was suppressed by more authoritarian measures that were perceived as the cost of achieving democracy. The elite perceived themselves uniquely fit for deciding what is in the best interest of the people. Whether the aim of democratization was reached or not was also decided by the tutelary elite. Not wanting to let go of the power, they continuously invented new prerequisites to democracy. This cycle resulted in the persistence of the authoritarian regime. In the final analysis, this dissertation reveals that the tutelary tendencies of the avant-garde elite are the biggest obstacle on the path to democracy.


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Citation Formats
H. Ete, “The Legal, political and sociological roots of tutelary regime in single - party period,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2012.