Turkey between Democracy and Militarism: Post Kemalist Perspectives by ProQuest


Turkey between Democracy and Militarism: Post Kemalist Perspectives, by Ihsan Dagi, is reviewed.

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									      Book Reviews

      Turkey between Democracy and Militarism: Post Kemalist

      By İhsan Dağı
      Ankara: Orion Publications, 2008, 301 pp., ISBN 978-9944-769-19-8.
          “Turkey between Democracy and Mili-         establishment and reformist societal actors.
      tarism: Post Kemalist Perspectives” pro-        The following six chapters are devoted to
      vides a comprehensive picture of the strug-     the major political issues such as the Kurd-
      gle taking place in contemporary Turkey. It     ish question, EU integration, foreign policy
      consists of 13 chapters that deal with issues   and emerging anti-Americanism. Finally,
      ranging from militarism to Kemalism and         the author offers his assessment of political
      secularism, from nationalism to Kurdish         developments in Turkey.
      question, political parties and finally rela-
      tions with the West, particularly the EU             Dagi states upfront that the driving
      and the US.                                     theme of the book is a concern for “devel-
                                                      oping a post-Kemalist reading of contem-
          The book identifies the Kemalists/au-       porary Turkish politics” (p. 6), and analyses
      thoritarian elite and democratic periphery      throughout the book flow from this per-
      as the major protagonists of what Dagi calls    spective. One of the most interesting sec-
      the “grand struggle” for Turkey. Maintain-      tions of the book is chapter one, entitled
      ing an optimistic outlook, Dagi seeks to        “Nationalism and Its Victims”, which focus-
      demonstrate the existence of political will     es on the nature and formation of Turkish
      for change, a grassroots demand for deeper      nationalism, as well as nationalists’ percep-
      democracy and a quest for integration with      tion of the world and the nation state. Dagi
      the world on the part of peripheral forces      classifies Turkish nationalism into three
      that are encountering isolationist state        groups, namely, Kemalist nationalism, rad-
      elites in Turkey.
                                                      ical nationalism and popular nationalism,
          The book is organized thematically and      and claims that all these forms of national-
      divided into 13 chapters that provide read-     ism “share a culture that treat the state, not
      ers with an informed background about re-       the nation, as the supreme entity and view
      cent political developments. The first four     its survival as constantly at stake. Because
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