Nationalism in Turkish Left

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Nationalism in Turkish Left

Post by SVANTEVIT on Sun May 13, 2012 9:19 am

Nationalism in Turkish Left: Three Sources, Three Turn Overs

Ecehan Balta

Nationalism is one of the most influential parts of dominant ideology on socialist left in
Turkey. It has been very hard for the left to constitute its own independent and
internationalist perspective in where determining ideological discussions are secularanti
secular, imperialismindependence etc at societal and political levels. The reasons of how
nationalism could leak this much into the socialist movement is very complex and hard to be
settled. The aim of this article is not to discuss the reasons, but to show the political
continuity and profoundness of nationalism in Turkish socialist left. To reach this aim, three
sources and three turn overs have been defined: the first source is the way of ‘solution’ of
national question in exUSSR which derives also from the uncertainties of Marxist theory on
national question. The second source is Sultan Galiyevism that influenced the Turkish
intellectuals of the same period. Third and latest one is circle of Türk Yurdu whose ideas
could have been directly related with Sultan Galiyev and others. The turn overs defined in
this article are Turkish Communist Party of Mustafa Suphi, Kadro Movement of 1930s and
Yön-Devrim Movement of 1960s. The belief behind this article is that if Turkish left could
define and develop a critical approach on the channels that nationalism have been leaked
into its history, it has a bigger chance to abolish nationalism from both theoretical and
political agenda and develop an internationalist consciousness and practice.

Nationalism, Democracy and the Left in Turkey
Author: Belge, Murat
Source: Journal of Intercultural Studies, Volume 30, Number 1, February 2009 , pp. 7-20(14)

The Turkish left, in both its 'Social-democrat' and 'Communist' manifestations, grew up in the garden of Turkish nationalism. And although in Turkey these two branches have quite different origins (unlike in many countries in Europe), the common point between them is their closeness to nationalism. In the last few years the nationalism of both social democrats and socialists has intensified, leading to a peculiar - in terms of leftist movements in most European societies - alliance between the Turkish left and the Turkish State and military. In this paper I trace the historical development of leftist politics in Turkey since the 1950s, noting both certain changes in ideology and political practice but even more strikingly much enduring continuity. The result in the present is a deep crisis of democracy in Turkey, partially produced by the Turkish left. Indeed, irrespective of European prejudices regarding Turkey's entrance into the EU, the open or secret opposition of the majority of leftist parties and groups to European integration is a key factor as to whether Turkey itself will genuinely continue its application. Why does the Turkish left resist the push by other social actors to join the EU? The answer is the close identification between the left and the institutions and ideology of Kemalism in Turkey, which has never been a liberal political practice.



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