The intellectual foundations of the Turkish National Student Union (MTTB), 1965-1980
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This thesis examines the intellectual foundations of the ideology of the Turkish National Student Union (MTTB) by analyzing the publications of this organization, once a paragon of Islamic youth activism in Turkey. It aims to scrutinize the place of the ideological orientation of the MTTB in the broader ideological spectrum of Turkish political thought. Through this analysis, this study questions some prevalent assumptions about the right-left wing distinction in Turkish political thought concerning the ideological position of the MTTB. To this end, it analyzes several key political concepts, namely revolution, order, conquest, and civilization, in the magazines published by the union between 1965 and 1980. The study reveals how the MTTB’s ideological position against the state, political order and national identity had undergone change over the years. It also discusses the influence of the intellectual context of time on the changing ideological configuration of the union. The analysis demonstrates that in the context of the Cold War, post-colonial visions of Islamist trends, mainstream conservative nationalist political thought in Turkey and the principles of Naksibendi order had shaped the ideological configuration and strategy of the MTTB in a way that it acquired a distinct Islamic identity with a strong emphasis of the Ottoman past as a righteous model of political order and civilization.