Search for new polities in Akçura, Gökalp and Mustafa Kemal in the transition from the empire into the nation state

The geographical contractions and land losses of the Ottoman Empire against the nationalisms of the nineteenth century transformed the structure of the political power and at the same time constituted a legitimate reason for the new political pursuits and intellectual inclinations. All these painful and severe experiences had a powerful impact over the identity politics of Turkey. At the end of this process, nationalism emerged as the identity desired and accepted by the political actors. Nationalism is also the most important theme of political westernization in Turkey. While it constituted a vague and imaginary idea in the writings of Akçura in 1904, nationalism evolved into a more distinct formulation and a possible ideology in the writings of Gökalp in 1913. Together with the declaration of the Republic in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal, it exhibited the first signs of becoming the real policy of the new nation state. This article tries to tackle the evident impact of nationalism in the transition from the empire into the nation state in the midst of shrinking borders, narrowing horizons and consumed identities in the light of Yusuf Akçura's "Üç Tarz-ı Siyaset," Ziya Gökalp's "Üç Cereyan," and Mustafa Kemal's "Milli Siyaset." Faruk DENİZ
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