chapter  2
16 Pages

Outlining the origins and suggested meanings of Kemalism

This chapter provides certain crucial background information for investigating the contemporary Kemalist ideology. It helps to understand the Kemalist Revolution in a longer process of transforming the Islamic societies, it was a very radical break with the past, and counted among the great revolutions of the modern era. According to Kili, Kemalism represents an Enlightenment-originated emancipation project in Turkey. Contemporary Kemalist intellectuals analysed in this study conceptualised within the second phase of this overall chronology, whereas the Islamic critique of Kemalism in Turkey represents by strongly advocating the re-evaluation of the role of Islam in the communal identity formation of the Turkish nation. Thus, in the interpretations the fear that the Kemalist modernisation project could be reversed by Islamic forces aiming to re-build an intolerant theocratic regime in Turkey not as a genuine possibility but as an irrational fear or 'exclusionary device'.