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Studies on the Histoircal Evolution of Turkish Political Model(1923-2013)

Author: WangJiaNi
Tutor: SunDeGang
School: Shanghai International Studies University
Course: International political
Keywords: Turkish Politics Political Model Middle East Democratization IslamicDemocracy Secularization/Laicism
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Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2014
Downloads: 188
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Abstract


Examining the historical evolution of political models in developing countries is animportant subject of comparative political science. In the Middle East, the politicalmodels of the regional powers, such as Turkey, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt andIraq, etc., are very different, which contribute to comparative political studies as awealth of case studies and materials. Upheavals in the Middle East since2010markedthe beginning of the political transition in Arab countries. Therefore, the comparativestudies of political models of Middle Eastern powers again become a major issue inacademic debate. And the debate on the peculiarity and universal applicability ofTurkish political model is one of the priorities of this academic debate.The research topic of this thesis is the historical evolution of Turkish politicalmodel from1923to2013. The Republic of Turkey has experienced four stages ofpolitical development since its establishment90years ago. The first one is radicalsecularization; the second is partisan struggle and military intervention; the third isidentity quest and the fourth is conservatives in power. The research reveals that theevolution of Turkish political model in the90years is mainly affected by fourrelations between government and the military, government and the religion,government and the society, government and the external. After combing andreviewing the developmental process of Turkish politics, we can safely come to thefollowing conclusions.First of all, Turkey combined politics and social ideologies by radical revolutionsand gradual reforms. Therefore, in the process from radical secularization to moderateIslamist, Turkish political model gradually became suitable for both its domesticconditions and developmental trends of the modern society. Turkish political modelcan be a reference for other Islamic countries in the Middle East where politicaltransition is ongoing. However, to copy Turkish political model is not a perfectsolution for Arab countries in transition.Second, the new understanding of Kemalism and democracy, the relation betweengovernment and military, the change in civil society s needs, the switch of secular defenders role, and the variation in Turks identity indicate that the Republic ofTurkey still is a secular state, that the society of Turkey maintains a religious nature,that the military continues influencing Turkish politics, that Kurdish issue still is amajor variable in Turkish political development, and that Turkish political model stillhas to adjust itself according to the turbulent situation in the Middle East. All theseissues are critical throughout the evolution process of Turkish political model.Last, Justice and Development Party, the Turkey s ruling party at present, is nottrying to return to Islam, but to promote liberalization on the level of individuals andis emphasizing that the laicism character of a state shouldn t be premised at theexpense of individual religious rights. They reflect the current Turkish Islamist party snew interpretation of the Turkish political model.

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