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Towards a “new” Turkishness? Islam, education and the “ideal” Turk in the 1950s

Ekim, Sinan (2022) Towards a “new” Turkishness? Islam, education and the “ideal” Turk in the 1950s. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004459


Towards a “New” Turkishness? Islam, Education and the Ideal Turk in the 1950s looks at the evolution of Turkish nationalism and national identity between 1950 and 1960 under Prime Minister Adnan Menderes’s Demokrat Party (DP). In this quest, it employs education as an instrument of analysis, motivated by the understanding that at the heart of educational change rests questions of identity. Drawing on a wide spectrum of education and education-related material between 1930 and 1960, this project examines the shifts in educational policy in the 1950s; compares and contrasts this era’s educational vision against those of the earlier periods; and seeks to understand how and to what extent the pedagogical discourse regarding Turkishness evolved throughout this decade. The 1950s has now become synonymous in Turkish popular consciousness with the emergence of religion within the public sphere and the conceptualisation of a more religious national identity. This project therefore lends particular emphasis to the Menderes government’s approaches to religious education, and asks whether religion played a more assertive role in defining what it meant to be Turkish in this period, as historiography suggests. Where appropriate, this project seeks to place Turkey’s process of identity-formation in a global perspective, and thereby to understand how Turkey’s changing educational mission, and connected to it, its reinterpretation of Turkishness was a response to various domestic transformations and global developments within the context of the Cold War.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2022 Sinan Ekim
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D890 Eastern Hemisphere
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Baer, Marc David

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