Author(s): Mehmet Devrim TOPSES

The researches on the Turkish modernization can become scientific only when they can analyze the issue together with its economic and class foundations. Because, the material pre-exists the ideologies, ideals, and beliefsat the center of the social structure.The personal will, tradition or the admiration for another civilization can be effective in shaping the modernization process. However, it is not enough just to explain the social history with the personal preferences or tradition. The economic and class elements shaping the personal will and tradition should be explored. The purpose of this article is to examine the modernization process of the early Republican period on a class basis. The Turkish modernization is a process of social change into a capitalist society under the leadership of the bourgeoisie. The economic and political struggle of the bourgeoisie against the feudal classes of the earlier periods necessarily brought a secular content to the Turkish modernization. On the other hand, another obstacle to the capitalist society structure is the large segments of society based on labor such as the peasants and workers. The efforts of the Turkish modernization to protect its political power from the large segments of the society based on labor in the early Republican period and later constitute its corporatist character. The reasons for the success or failure of the Turkish modernization today should be sought in its foundations, which are based on the bourgeoisie and aim for the private capital accumulation, rather than its secular character or desire to reshape the folk culture.


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