Turkey and the European Union (EU): Kemalism's Effects on the Road to the EU
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The thesis evaluates the importance of the Kemalist movement to the Republic of Turkey both during its early twentieth- century establishment and today, as Turkey pursues its overall goal, modernization, and its more specific goal, membership in the European Union. The thesis assesses Kemalisms original effect on the state-building process before and after the War of Independence its continuing effect on Turkeys modernization process and its potential to effect Turkeys acceptance into the European Union. The thesis argues that the Kemalist social and political ideology is still the best choice for Turkey and thus must be revitalized. Despite the many intervening powers interested in the Ottoman territories after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, the so-called sick man of Europe, emerged as a newly established republic. Led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey adopted Western norms to create a new society and nation-state. Kemalism, an essentially continuous, systematic process of national renovation, modernization, and renewal, has one overriding goal to raise Turkish society, politics, education, and institutions to the level of Western civilizations. To accomplish this, Turkeys nongovernment organizations must act, in keeping with Kemalism, to turn the country into one big school. The military, as designated by the constitution, is the protector of Kemalism and has the power, under certain conditions, to intervene in the political arena. In Kemalism, the dominant religion, Islam, is a private matter, a matter of ones conscience. The thesis concludes that a resurrection of purist Kemalist teaching is the best way to help Turkey exploit its strategic position as a bridge between the West and the East, between Europe and the East to gain full membership in the EU and achieve its national goals.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Humanities and History