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SİYASAL / Journal of Political Sciences
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ISSN (Print) 2602-3598
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  • Women Against Women: The Limits of Public Visibility in the Early
           Republican Period

    • Authors: Pınar AYDOĞAN
      Abstract: It is evident that the modernization process in the early period of the Republic can best be observed through women who undoubtedly had been the main actors of the modern lifestyle that the Republic aimed to create. The changes made in many areas such as law, education, and clothing intended to increase women’s “public visibility”. In the Ottoman period, the existence of women was confined to the private sphere; yet, with the foundation of the Republic, women were now everywhere in society, taking on professional roles as “lawyers, doctors, teachers, pilots, bankers and members of the parliament”. This study will examine an article series titled “Women in Business Life” published in Vakit newspaper in 1929 involving women who were a part of the professional life of the respective period, most of whom were publicly known. The aim of this study is to make an analysis of the women’s movement in the Early Republican period within the framework of the concepts used by the women whose views were shared in the series, their personal experiences, and the relationship they established with women’s rights and nationalism. This study will focus on the points where the basic demands of first-wave feminism and the Republic’s approach to women’s issues/rights in the process of modernization and nation-statehood meet and/or diverge. The document analysis method was used in this study. The Vakit newspaper was scanned and analyzed for the period between March 1929 and May 1929 when the article series was published.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
  • Licco Amar’s (1891-1959) Universe and Times Intersecting With Alla Turca
           Life: Writing About Music in Turkey

    • Authors: Barış ÇATAL
      Abstract: There are several reasons for selecting Licco Amar for this study. Firstly, despite the independent contributions regarding the scientists who came to Turkey due to the Second World War, none of them reserves a special place for Licco Amar’s life in Turkey or his writings about music in Turkey. However, this article attempts to provide a perspective through what Licco Amar produced rather than directly dwelling on his life or his days in Turkey. This article focuses on nine articles of Licco Amar, which were published in three different periodicals in Turkey [Kültür Haftası (1936), Yurt ve Dünya (1943-1944), and Müzik Görüşleri (1949-1950)]. One of these articles was published in Kültür Haftası, four of them in Yurt ve Dünya, and four of them in Müzik Görüşleri. Licco Amar is aware that he is writing for the Turkish reader. As early as 1936, when he wrote his earliest article, it is observed that Amar’s writings have the aspect of introducing Turkish readers/music lovers to a musical culture with which they are not familiar. Secondly, his Yurt ve Dünya (1943-1944) and Müzik Görüşleri (1949-1950) articles can be distinguished in terms of the period they were written in. Amar’s Yurt ve Dünya writings addresses more ‘popular’ figures (such as Beethoven and Bach) in classical music genre. Of course, the traditional commemoration of these composers coinciding with the period in which these articles were penned was also influential.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
  • The Afrodit Case: The Popular Perception of Literature and Obscenity in
           Turkey at the Beginning of the Second World War

    • Authors: Sinan YILDIRMAZ
      Abstract: In 1939, Nasuhi Baydar, a Turkish Grand National Assembly member, translated Pierre Louys’ Afrodit. The novel was banned for obscenity, sparking widespread protests as well as public interest. The trials resulting from the novel’s banning were sometimes held in the presence of as many as 5,000 protestors. As the debates over the value of an obscene novel continued to rage, the scope for discussions widened, with the case becoming part of the ongoing struggle between “revolutionary modernists” and opposing “reactionaries.” Ultimately, the debate over the novel’s alleged obscenity transformed into “nothing but fuel for constructing communities.” Even amidst significant events like the 1939 Erzincan earthquake and the Soviet annexation of Finland, the Afrodit case dominated media headlines and completely captured public attention. After the acquittal of the book’s publisher, more than four different translations of the novel appeared on the market, significantly increasing its sales volume. Even before the acquittal, some pirated editions or other books using the same title were sold by street peddlers until midnight. This paper aims to demonstrate how Turkey’s intellectuals engaged in their political and ideological struggle during the Second World War by mobilizing the public over a trial regarding a piece of supposedly obscene literature.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
  • Local Negotiation of Change: Historiography of Modern Turkey and the Study
           of Provincial Anatolian Towns

    • Authors: Alexandros LAMPROU
      Abstract: The article reviews the scholarly bibliography on provincial Turkish towns during the Early Republican Period with a specific emphasis on the study of the negotiation of social change at the provincial level. The article discusses the strengths and limitations of a body of work published since the 1960s and evaluates their position and contribution in the historiography of modern Turkey. Up to the late 1990s and the opening of the State Archives of the Republican Period, a tendency occurred to overlook the study of provincial towns in favor of major cities and villages. Post-2000 historiography that addresses sociopolitical change increasingly produces works that consider provincial towns; nevertheless, space is mostly regarded as a necessary spatial container of the process under study and, as such, rarely receives critical engagement. The article considers the dominant periodization of the literature, which truncates the history of modern Turkey before and after 1923, as extremely limiting in scope. Thus, it suggests that the narrowing of the spatial– geographical perspective (going local) and the widening of the time frame beyond the 1923–1950 period are promising directions for the research on sociopolitical changes during the late Ottoman Empire and republican Turkey.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
  • How to Divide the “Indivisible Unity”' Debates on the Division of
           Turkey into Geographical Regions in the Early Years of the Republic

    • Authors: Gözde ORHAN
      Abstract: Although Turkey was officially divided into seven regions for the first time in the First Turkish Geography Congress (1941), both throughout the Ottoman Empire and following the proclamation of the Republic, many geographers, including Europeans made attempts to regionalize it. The Congress, being the one to settle on the standardization of geography education as well as zoning, gives valuable insight into the interactions between official history, geography, and national education in the modernization process. Nevertheless, the regional division began in the 1920s and discussions continued after the congress. An understanding of regional classification drawn by the natural boundaries of physical elements was preferred to make the spaces historically marked by different ethnic and cultural communities ordinary parts of a homogeneous whole and to comprehend, control, and recognize them entirely. This article problematizes the meaning and function of regional division in the political and ideological climate of the Early Republic. It reveals how modern geography is handled, on which criteria the geographical zoning is made, and the relationship of this initiative with the hegemonic historiography. This research analyzes texts on regional geography written by geographers and cartographers from the Republican era along with the records, negotiations, and decisions of the Congress.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
  • From an Unknown Territory to a Nation’s Motherland: An Analysis of the
           Memoirs of the Republic’s First Generation of Intellectuals

    • Authors: U. Ceren ÜNLÜ; Mehmet ERTAN
      Abstract: This article aims to analyze the memories and autobiographies of six intellectuals who witnessed and contributed to the foundation of the Turkish Republic and played important roles in the cultural policies of the era of the early Republic of Turkey. In the analysis, the sociological concept of generation is utilized as a conceptual framework. Characterizing a group of people that not only share approximating birth dates and locations but also have experienced similar historical moments or political and socioeconomic transformations as a generation, this article regards Şevket Süreyya Aydemir, Süleyman Edip Balkır, İsmail Hakkı Baltacıoğlu, Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu, Ahmet Emin Yalman and Hasan Âli Yücel as members of the same generation. An in-depth analysis of the memoirs and autobiographies reveals two common themes among these people’s memories: first, because they were born and grew up on the western side of the Ottoman lands, they were all strangers to Anatolia before World War I or the foundation of the Republic; and, second, all six intellectuals believed in the fact that the path of turning Anatolia into a modernized and secularized homeland passed through education. Their strangeness to Anatolia and the importance of education for its socio-cultural development were highly related because the transformation of Anatolia through education not only aimed to create a homeland but also ended the strangeness between these intellectuals and Anatolia.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
  • Reflections on “Centralization and the Civil Administrative Division”
           in the Nation-State Building Process during the Early Period of the
           Republic

    • Authors: Barış KANDEĞER
      Abstract: The founders of the Turkish Republic had in mind the idea and aim of building a modern nation-state and society. This idea and aim formed the basis of the approaches and policies adopted in the early period of the Republic. This paper aims to seek an answer to the question of whether there is a close relationship and a multidimensional interaction between nation-state building, centralization and administrative division in the early Republican period. The paper argues that the centralization approach and civil administrative division had multidimensional functions beyond the administrative function “for the construction of the nation-state in the early Republican period”. In this context, parliamentary debates, laws, draft laws and legal texts on the centralization and civil administrative division served as the main sources of reference and were analyzed as part of the study. In this framework, the basic approaches and policies adopted in the nation-state-building process of the early Republican period are presented, followed by an analysis of the role and functions of the laws and draft laws that constitute the basis for the centralization and civil administrative division in the construction of the identity of the “modern nation-state” in the light of parliamentary debates. The paper also draws attention to the conclusion that the founders of the Republic were engaged in a decentralist discourse and centralist action in the aforementioned construction process and that they adopted the centralization and civil administrative division as a constructive approach for the modern nation-state and society.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
  • Converting Wealth into Capital: Bank Savings Accounts, National Savings
           Movement, and the Kumbara (1929-1938)

    • Authors: Y. Doğan ÇETİNKAYA
      Abstract: The National Economy gained prominence as a dominating political and economic discourse after 1908. The National Economy was not merely a political project; it possessed significant economic and social dimensions as well. As an integral component of Muslim/Turkish nationalism, the National Economy had a social base. Historiography has often posited the National Economy as an endeavor to establish a national bourgeoisie. In contrast, the National Economy was also a demand of the emerging Muslim/Turkish bourgeoisie. A primary aspiration of this class was the establishment of a credit institution. Consequently, and not coincidentally, this class spearheaded the establishment of local banks. There was a need to mobilize a campaign to gather deposits in support of the National Banking. The necessity of converting savings and wealth into bank capital for the bourgeoisie led to the Savings Movement and the advent of the money box, kumbara. Promoting the use of local products and Savings Movement paved the way for a drastic increase in savings accounts, accumulated in banks. Consequently, national banks surpassed foreign banks in terms of deposits and the wealth in the hands of the public also turned into bank capital and was made available as credit to the Muslim/Turkish bourgeoisie.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
  • Considering the Wealth Tax in the Context of the Wealth Declaration
           Debates (1960-1984) in Turkey

    • Authors: Ebru Deniz OZAN
      Abstract: Wealth tax, which has been off the agenda since the 1990s, has come back to the global political agenda with the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the economic and social problems caused by the pandemic, wealth taxes were introduced in some Latin American countries and in the USA. International organizations such as the UN and the IMF suggested that a wealth tax should be considered as a solution. These discussions also came to the fore in Turkey. As a result of the global crisis and pandemic, Turkey, like other countries, faced financial problems and growing inequality. Although there has never been a general wealth tax in the history of the Republic of Turkey, the practice that comes closest to a wealth tax is the “Annual Wealth Declaration” that was implemented between 1960 and 1984. Throughout its implementation, the declaration of wealth caused controversy and was opposed or defended by different representatives of social classes. The aim of this study is to examine these perceptions about the declaration of wealth, by following the discussions in the press during those years, to clarify the arguments for and against the wealth declaration. The study also asks what the practice of the wealth declaration can tell us today, even though it was criticised, discussed, and then abandoned, in what could be described as a more appropriate social context, that is before the 1980s. The study aims to contribute, within a historical framework, to the discussions on the applicability of the wealth tax in Turkey.
      PubDate: Sun, 31 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +030
       
 
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