LECTURE: The Formation of Turkish Republicanism

18 April 2018 19:00 to 21:00 | Ankara

The British Institue at Ankara, Tahran caddesi 24, 06700

A BIAA lecture by Banu Turnaoğlu (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge)

Discussant: Berk Esen (Assistant Professor, Bilkent University)

Summary of Event: This lecture uncovers the slow but insistent evolution of the concept of republicanism in Turkey from its origins in the early Ottoman Empire to its representation in the early formation of the Turkish Republic. It challenges the scholarly consensus equating Turkish republicanism with Kemalism by uncovering other complex republican conceptions, the Islamic and the liberal. In unpacking the way history is used today in Turkish politics to close down rival understandings, this paper shows that modern-day Turkish republicanism represents the outcome of centuries of intellectual dispute between these conceptions, ending with the victory of radical republicanism of the Kemalists. The roots of today’s political crisis lie in the unresolved ideological tension present from the foundation of the Republic.


Dr Banu Turnaoğlu is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge, where from she also holds her PhD. She earned a BA in International Relations and History from Koç University, and an MSc in Political Theory from the University of Oxford. Banu is the author of The Formation of Turkish Republicanism (PUP, 2017). She specialises in Ottoman political thought, focusing on republicanism, constitutionalism, and the Eastern Question.

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