Articulating socialism with nationalism : a critical analysis of nationalism in the Turkish leftist tradition in the 1960s
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In this dissertation, it is argued that nationalism was one of the most important characteristics of the socialist movement in Turkey in the 1960s. When we look at the socialist movement in Turkey in this period, we encounter with the concept of nationalism, in other words, Turkish socialists’ deliberate attempt at articulating socialism with nationalism, presenting themselves as the real representatives of nationalism in Turkey. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the uneasy relationship between nationalism and the Turkish left in the 1960s in particular and between socialism and nationalism in general. The main issue of this study is to explore why and how the Turkish left of the sixties incorporated nationalism into its political discourses, strategies, and programs. One important concern of this study is to investigate the internal sources of the articulation of socialism with nationalism in Turkey. A ‘leftist’ variant of Kemalism, becoming a hegemonic discourse within the ranks of the Turkish left in the 1960s, played a very crucial role in the attempts of the leftist intellectuals of the period at accommodating nationalist principles within the idiom of socialism. Turkish left in the 1960s re-invented Kemalism as a progressive, anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and developmentalist outlook. This study, in this sense, argues that Kemalism (together with nationalism) as the founding ideology of the Republican regime has not just only been the basis of the mainstream political parties and movements, but can also be found, in certain forms and amounts, among the ranks of the different factions of socialist movement in Turkey. The sources of Turkish socialists’ engagement with nationalism cannot be fully grasped merely by reference to the Turkish context. Rather, it should be located within an international context and perspective. Turkish socialists were not alone in their efforts to reconcile nationalism with socialism. The history of the ideological and practical accommodation between socialism and nationalism from mid-19th century to the post-colonial era reflects a change from “socialization of the nation” to the “nationalization of socialism” and shows us how this relationship changed from hostility to affinity. Turkish socialists of the 1960s received an important part of their strategic and tactical inspirations from those international experiences. But, their main sources of inspiration were Stalinism and the Third Worldism of the post-colonial period. In this sense, this study analyzes Turkish left’s experience with nationalism also by reference to international experiences, with a special emphasis on the Third Worldist variant of the articulation of socialism with nationalism. The main primary sources of this study are the journals, papers, books, pamphlets, programs, regulations, congress reports and resolutions, election manifestos and other published documents, generated during the political activities of the main factions of the socialist movement in Turkey in the 1960s. These primary sources are evaluated within the general literature on nationalism, its Marxist interpretations, Third Worldism, economic nationalism, develomentalism, imperialism, dependency, and the concepts of imitation and uniqueness.
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