SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Mr Cihan Celik

BA in International Relations (Bilgi University), MA in Political Science


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Mr Cihan Celik
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Thesis title:
The Nature of the Turkish Autoritarianism, 1930-1945
Year of Study:
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PhD Research

My research is intended to be a thematic analysis of the single-party years of the Turkish Republic. It starts out from the presupposition that the single-party Turkey was an authoritarian regime which shared many similarities with its contemporary authoritarian European states. These similarities such as the limitations on political and social pluralism, the utilization of personal charisma as a form of government, the building of a political religion by sacralisation of the ruling entity, and totalitarian traits of the regime will constitute the central themes that my research is focused on. Upon inspecting documents from the central institutions of the regime, such as the Prime Minister’s Office, scanning through newspapers which acted as mouth-pieces for the government and examining non-documental evidences such as the language deployed by the ruling elite, public celebrations, and parades, this research will try to discover the nature of the Turkish single-party experience. At this point of research, it stands out that the Turkish single-party rule is a potential candidate for being classified as a fascist or semi-fascist regime, with totalitarian tendencies, which tried to build a political religion that positions the dichotomy between the non-modern, eastern “past” and modern, western “now” in its core. Written with an inter-disciplinary approach, the research will heavily draw from the recent political science literature on fascism, authoritarianism and political religions.