ISSN: 1011-727X
e-ISSN: 2667-5420

Dankwart A. Rustow

Anahtar Kelimeler: Populism, Democracy, Modern Turkey


The two major legacies that Atatürk bequeathed to modem Turkey are a secure sense of national identity and a commitment to populism -a commitment that allowed the Turkish people to make a gradual and peaceful transition from traditional autocracy to modern democracy in only two generations. This achievement is more remarkable if it is viewed in the appropriate perspectives of history and geography. When Mustafa Kemal Pasha assumed his political leadership in 1919, the Ottoman Empire had suffered its final military collapse- along with the German Empire of the Hohenzollerns, the Austrian Empire of the Habsburgs, and the Russian Empire of the Czars. In the complex process of reorganization that followed, national independence was proclaimed in most parts of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. But the actual sequel typically was either outright colonial rule (Caucasus; Central Asia; the Middle East until the 1950s) or precarious independence in the shadow of one or more imperial powers (the Balkans between the World Wars and the Middle East since; and Germany and Austria under the post-World-War-Two regimes of occupation). Turkey alone has preserved its national independence within the boundaries proclaimed in Ataturk's National Pact (Misak-1 Millî) and avoided foreign occupation or involvement in the war.