Atatürk and the modernization of Turkey by Jacob M. Landau

By Jacob M. Landau

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In practice, however, the Kemalist regime fell short of its models. Practical necessity forced Mustafa Kemal to establish a mixed governmental system tinged with ad-hoc absolutism and futurist democratism that were more liberal in some aspects than many western democracies. Did Mustafa Kemal consider this unusual paternalist dictatorship merely a transitory phase on the road to total democracy? The two attempts at a multi-party system, in 1924 and 1930, are generally viewed as indications of the democratic tendencies of the new regime.

47 When hostilities did finally cease, they intensified their campaign for an etatist policy. Ziya Gokalp published a series of pro-statist articles; he summarized his position in these words: The new Turkey which has to introduce the latest and most developed techniques of Europe cannot afford to wait for the spontaneous rise of the spirit of enterprise among individuals in order to industrialize ( . . ). Only the state can achieve the task of introducing large-scale industry in every field. The Turkish state has the power to be an independent national state.

When launching attacks he made full usc of the information acquired, and usually succeeded in besting the Italians. Personality The contemporary reports by the British and Italian consuls describing Mustafa Kemal's 1908 visit can be regarded as objective primary sources, unbiased by internal Ottoman conflicts and unblurred by later events. J. Alvarez, British Consul in Tripoli, was very impressed. l 9 Even at this early stage, his listeners in Tripoli, some of whom probably did not understand Turkish (he used a translator for Arabic), were convinced by his arguments and enjoyed listening to him.

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