Search for Identity: Turkey's Identity Crisis

15 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2008

Date Written: April 30, 2008


This research deals exclusively with the question of why Turks still have an identity crisis after eighty years of the Kemalist modernization process. I argue that Kemalism, deeply obsessed with nationalism and secularism (Laïcité), averted many equivocal principles by originating vague definitions. Thus, Kemalism failed to construct a mutual and generally accepted identity and profoundly baffled Turkish society while it turned itself into a Kafkaesque state ideology. The research concludes that deep confusion and growing criticism of the current identity debates in Turkey are the result of the experience with the hybrid ideology of Kemalism and the emergence of a new civic Turkish identity.

Keywords: Political Identity, Democratization, Modernization, Regime Transitions, Political Economy, Development

Suggested Citation

Minareci, Semih, Search for Identity: Turkey's Identity Crisis (April 30, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

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