Turkish conservatism from a comparative perspective
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This thesis serves for the aim of understanding the Turkish conservatism by making comparative analysis and by focusing on the emergence of conservative attitudes. This study aimed to examine the role of conservatism in the modernization process of Turkish Republic. Modernization, or Westernization, has been one of the most discussed issues of Turkish politics. Since conservatism was associated with reaction against the modernization movements, it is important to look upon how radical changes were perceived by conservatives and what kind of responses were given to them in terms of understanding the modernization attempt of Turkey. Conservatism emerged in Europe as a reaction to the ideas and movements that became apparent with French Revolution. Since conservatism firstly emerged in Europe, it provided an example for the other conservative experiences. The significant examples of European conservatism are German, French, and British conservatisms. In order to explore the affinity between the Turkish and European conservatisms in terms of their initial phases, a kind of comparative analysis is necessary. Firstly, I explore the basic characteristics of conservatism and focused on the European conservatism by briefly giving the peculiar characteristics of three examples. Then in order to understand the Turkish conservatism I focused on responses of Turkish conservatism on modernization, change, nationalism and Islamism. Under the light of these, I compare Turkish conservatism with European conservatism. Under the framework of above procedure, this thesis indicates that, although there are similarities between European conservatism and Turkish conservatism on basic characteristics of conservatism, conservative experiences have been shaped according to peculiar historical, political, social and economic characteristics of each context.