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Turkish State, Turkish Society

Éditeur : Routledge Date & Lieu : 1990, London & New York
Préface : Pages : 312
Traduction : ISBN : 0-415-04685-8
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 145x230mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Eng. Fin. Tur. N° 4645Thème : Général

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Turkish State, Turkish Society

Turkish State, Turkish Society

Andrew Finkel
Nükhet Sirman


Turkey is turning to the West. As the nation develops, it has capitalised on its strategic position to extend its political influence into the arena of European affairs. Recent Turkish history presents a picture of a highly volatile state fluctuating between tentative democracy and military rule. However, wooing the West has necessitated reform. For its part Europe must deepen its understanding of the Turkish military and bureaucracy.
Turkish State, Turkish Society examines the causes and effects of the tension between Turkey’s formal constitution and the actual practice of power. The book analyses this tension from perspectives as diverse as that of Kurdish tribesmen, urban feminists, soldiers, and national and local administrators. It presents an expansive, detailed and highly colourful patchwork of the complex relationship between society and state in Turkey.

Andrew Finkel is a freelance writer.
Nükhet Sirman is Lecturer in Anthropology at Boğaziçi University, Turkey.


This book follows in the wake of a conference convened in May 1986 at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London on the theme 'Political Participation in the Turkish Republic’. The papers presented at the conference provided a starting-point but most of the material has been prepared subsequent to the meeting and reflects a great deal of co-ordinated and well-focused scholarship; the editors are grateful to the authors for their co-operation. The initial conference was made possible by funds granted by the Research Committee of the School of Oriental and African Studies and by The British Academy. The British Council also assisted, as did a number of the contributors, in providing travel funds. The editors are particularly grateful to Tony Allan, the Chairman of the School's Centre for Middle Eastern Studies from 1984-88, for providing encouragement and organisational facilities the entire length of the process from planning the conference to producing the printed page. They are also appreciative of the Centre's publications staff - headed by Diana Gur - for all they have done to facilitate the publication. In addition, they would like to thank Engin Akarh for lending moral and intellectual support. They would also like to thank Nora Sirman for help in the translation of two articles later commissioned for this volume. A final debt is to Caroline Finkel who read many of the articles in draft form with a critical eye for detail.

Andrew Finkel and Nükhet Sirman

Note: The material in this volume reflects the opinions of the authors and editors. Officials of the School of Oriental and African Studies, at which the conference on which this book is based took place and where the material appearing here was co-ordinated and edited, do not necessarily share the views expressed.



Andrew Finkel and Nükhet Sirman

The discrepancy between the formal constitution of political power and the actual way power is exercised within society is a well-established point of departure for political science. That what politics 'does' is not necessarily what it says or is enfranchised to do is not an insight confined to any one methodology. Politics and the discourse to which it gives rise may be the medium of dominant economic interests or manipulated by other types of social power (including the threat of legal or illicit violence). Although a mass political system may be formally structured to include moments of effective participation and to value the ideal of genuine discourse, politics is also about the pressures to minimise an active dependency on processes of accountability and legitimation.

This volume sets out to consider how a realm of public accountability is established in contemporary Turkish society. It examines the way in which communication, obligations and relations of power are established between the formal institutions of the Turkish state and its citizens. The chapters it contains consider the practical interpretation which political organisation gives to society and the way in which society responds to and influences that interpretation.

The overall premise is that the notion of political participation is an effective entry into the paradox of a formally defined political system and the actual conduct of state institutions. It touches upon the complexities of the individual's relation to authority and of a citizenry to public administration.

The need for a re-examination of the political participative processes in Turkey seems obvious enough. A volume on political participation in Turkey, which arose from a conference held in 1972, contained the following passage among its concluding remarks:
'Whichever combinations of parties govern Turkey in the next four years, it will be to [their] advantage to operate in a parliament whose power and prestige are strengthened through the experiences of the last two decades.


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