OFFICIAL HISTORY TRANSFORMATION OF THE EARLY TURKISH REPUBLIC: CHANGES AND CONTINUITIES REFLECTED IN THE TEXTBOOKS

Abstract

Author(s): Erin├ž Erdal YILDIRIM

InTurkey of the1930s;construction of a national and secular identity among the peoples was the core problem of the ruling cadre. Hence, official history was used as one of the major devices to install Turkish identity and collective memory to the nation which was shaped to adopt the official ideology of the Turkish Republic. From this viewpoint, education and especially history courses were instrumental in spreading the official ideology.

On the other hand, consolidation of the Republic an regime was witnessed in the 1940s. Namely, the years of Ismet Inönü’s presidency also known as “National Chief Era” was the time when confidence to the strength of the regime was established and the fear of regression almost disappeared among the ruling elite. This also affected the official perception of history. The clear break from recent pasts oftened, strong responses towards Ottoman and Islamic identity/culture were decreased and it was reconciled with the modernization process of Ottoman Turkish history through paying attention to “continuities” ratherthan “breaks”. In this context, regarding abone mentioned arguments, this research aims to present the changes and continuities in the formation of the official history during Ismet Inönü Era (1938–1950) of the Early Turkish Republic with specific reference to thehigh school history textbooks used in Atatürk and Inönü eras.

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