AKP politically represents the rising devout bourgeoisie, which has vested interests in economic liberalism, democratic politics and social conservatism
This thesis aims to shed light on the dynamics of the mutation of Islamic politics in Turkey after the late 1990s. It problematizes how neoliberal globalization has transformed the cross-class electoral alliances of Islamic political parties in Turkey after the 1980s. First and foremost, the thesis hypothesizesthat the mutation of Islamic politics in Turkey is instrumental in achieving the severance of military control from parliamentary power. It is acknowledged that this mutation in Islamic politics corresponds to the formation of peripheral capital in Turkey into an authentic social force through the Islamist political parties after the 1980s. It is remarkable to point out that the recourse to identity politics based on ‘religion’ has been the unifying and substitutive ideology for peripheral capital in Turkey. Second, the thesis argues that the rise of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, the AKP) in 2002 signifies the mutation in Islamic politics in Turkey to the extent that the AKP has been able to unify the interests of big finance capital and peripheral capital in Turkey. Through a joint representation of the different fractions of the bourgeoisie by the AKP, the government has managed to overcome the political omnipotence ofthe military in Turkey. In other words, the thesis contends that while the economic base of Islamic politics in Turkey in the 1990s materialized by the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi, WP, a pro-Islamist party)largely grounded on the peripheral nascent capital and remained aloof from big finance capital,in the 2000s, the AKP has managed to economically represent the symbiosis of peripheral and big finance capital, leading to the metamorphosis in Islamic politics into a neoliberal conservative project in Turkey. A class-based approach has been adopted in understanding the state-society relations in Turkey with respect to Islamic politics throughout the dissertation.
Contrary to the argument that the basic cleavage in society is between secular elites and conservative masses based on ‘ideational conflicts’, this paper contends that the conflict between secular elites and conservative masses is the reflection of clashing political projects between the Western-oriented big finance capital and socially conservative peripheral capital in Turkey.
Second, this paper concentrates on state-society relations in Turkey and demonstrates how the capitalist ‘state’ has been conceptualized in the ‘statist institutionalist perspective’. By doing so, this paper aims to decipher the mainstream understanding of state-class relations in Turkey. Contrary to the statist-institutionalist perspective suggesting the explanatory centrality of states as potent, distinct, potentially autonomous and legitimate organizational actors, this paper suggests that the very structure and function of the (capitalist) state guarantee the reproduction of the (capitalist) social relations with its economic, political and ideological domains. Then, the paper develops its own theoretical framework based on Bonapartism. The Kemalist state will be conceptualized as an instance of Bonapartism whose establishment was completed with the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. It is also admitted that the Kemalist state exerted power in political and ideological fields until the 1980s. The Kemalist regime, which is based on modernization, westernization, secularization, nationalism, and developmentalism, aimed to safeguard the conditions of capital accumulation by creating conditions for the growth of Turkish bourgeoisie in the 1920s and 1930s. In order to achieve it, the Kemalist regime was based on the extensive role of civilian and military bureaucracy in political life and in regulation of economy where the bourgeoisie in Turkey is structurally weak. By means of the Kemalist state, the bourgeoisie in Turkey gradually consolidated its economic, political, and ideological power until the 1980s. However, the 1980s were the years when the Bonapartist Kemalist state started to gradually dissolve in the framework of the global crisis of nationalist-secularist developmentalism in Third World countries. On that point, this paper argues that the AKP government in the 2000s signals the completion of the last stage of Kemalism or Turkish Bonapartism in Turkey.
With regard to Islamic politics in Turkey, it should be emphasized that the Islamic movement has represented a certain fraction of the bourgeoisie -mostly concentrated in provincial cities and towns- that suffer from an underprivileged position relative to the bigger monopoly groups of industrial and financial centers in Turkey (Savran, in Balkan and Savran, 2002, p.17). This division within the bourgeoisie is also coupled with a socio-cultural division of society between ‘Islamist’ and ‘secularist’ camps (ibid). This paper suggests that intra-class contradictions in Turkey between big finance capital and peripheral capital have conditioned the continuity/discontinuity of Islamic politics in Turkey. In this paper, peripheral capital therefore refers to the geographical location of small and medium-sized enterprises in provincial cities and towns in Turkey. The specificity of this peripheral capital is thatthis wing of the Turkish bourgeoisie is predominantly composed of the socially conservative bourgeoisie. On the other hand, ‘finance capital’ in this paper refers to the classical Marxist meaning of the term, that is, the fusion of industrial and financial capital. Through a process that commenced in the 1960s and 70s, but only matured in the 1980s, the industrial wing of the Turkish bourgeoisie managed to transform itself into finance capital (Savran, in Balkan and Savran, 2002, p.18). Similar to the keiretsu and chaebol of East Asian capitalism, this wing of the bourgeoisie “organized themselves in holding companies whose activities ranged from numerous branches of manufacturing through banking and insurance all the way to retail and foreign trade firms” (ibid). The specificity of this big finance capital is that it is linked to the dominant Westernist-secular wing of the bourgeoisie that is located in the biggest cities of Turkey such as İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir. This paper suggests that the internal contradictions between the different fractions of the bourgeoisie in Turkey have been superseded by the AKP in 2002.
In an interview entitled ‘Iran: The Spirit of a World Without a Spirit’, Foucault describes the Iranian Revolution in 1979 as‘the first post-modern revolution of our time’ and ‘the spirit of a world without spirit’ (as cited in Bayat, 2005, p.894). The postmodern interpretation of religious revivalism all over the world is largely attributed to the crisis of modernity, a quest for cultural autonomy or to identity reactions to cultural globalization (see Castells 1997, Esposito 1998 and Giddens 1987 in Bayat, 2005). It is argued thatreligious revivalism has emerged in the context of the global economic crisis of the mid 1970s and of the atrophy of secular nationalist and communist ideologies all over the world (Amin, 2009; Gülalp, 2002; Moghadam, 2009). With regard to Islamic fundamentalism, Achcar (2006) emphasizes the social composition of this reactionary movement. He observes that “radical, anti-Western Islamic fundamentalism is a distorted, reactionary expression of the middle classes’ and plebeian layers’ resentment against distorted capitalist development and Western domination, often exacerbated by a despotic local state” (Achcar, 2006, 56). In this context, the resurgence of anti-Western Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey in the 1990s has substantially proved the analyses above. The mass malaise resulting from the adverse effects of globalization was channelled through Islamic revivalism in Turkey in the 1990s. The National Outlook (Milli Görüş) doctrine suggested by the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi, WP) was quite instrumental in Islamic revivalism in Turkey. Even though the Constitutional Court in Turkey in 1998 closed down the party on the ground that the party violated the secular principle of the state, its members immediately established a new party, the Virtue Party. However, the lifespan of the party was short because the Virtue Party was closed down in 2001 by the Constitutional Court on the same ground: violation of the secular principles of the state. Then, the AKP was founded in 2001, born out of a split from the Virtue Party.
This dissertation will contribute to the debate on Islamic politics in Turkey by analyzing the class character of this transformation in Islamic politics. It is acknowledged that contrary to the predecessor Islamist parties, the AKP has managed to economically represent the symbiosis of peripheral and big finance capital, leading to the metamorphosis of Islamic politics into a neoliberal conservative project in Turkey. This joint representation of the different fractions of the bourgeoisie by the AKP was instrumental in achieving the severance of military control from parliamentary power in Turkey. Additionally, this paper takes into consideration the international dimension of changing class nature of Islamic politics in Turkey. The EU pressure on Turkey to carry out reforms in the domestic political, economic and military spheres and the US ambition to consolidate its imperial strategy in the Middle East through a strategic partnership with the AKP, which is a Muslim, conservative, and neoliberal party, will also be the scope of this paper. The paper also aims to show how peripheral capital in Turkeyhas constituted itself as a social force producing pertinent effects at the political and ideological levels after the 1980s.
The literature review consists of three parts. First, the evolution of Islamic politics in Turkey is analyzed. Second, mainstream state-class-political representation nexus in Turkey is delineated and its limits are addressed. Subsequently, a theoretical framework has been suggested in order to understand the state-society relations in Turkey with respect to Bonapartism. It is suggested that Kemalism in Turkey is an instance of Bonapartism. The Islamist movements in Turkey after the 1980s have challenged Kemalism, which is based on nationalist-secularist developmentalism and the political autonomy of the military. Within this framework it is contended that the alliance between big finance capital and peripheral capital for the AKP government illustrates the end of the Bonapartist/ Kemalist regime in Turkey. It should be noted that not only the peripheral capital, symbolized byMÜSİAD, but also big finance capital, symbolized by TÜSİAD have formed the major economic bases of the party.
The Evolution of Islamic politics in Turkey
In the literature it is largely argued center and periphery can be used as key concepts in explaining Turkish politics. It is suggested that the confrontation between the authoritarian secularism of the Republican eliteat the ‘center’ and the broad masses quite congenial to Islamic principles and values on the ‘periphery’ (Göle 1997; Gellner 1981;Heper 1981; Mardin 1973, 1995;Öniş 1997, p. 744; Toprak 2006) are deemed to be the primary cause ofIslamic resurgence in Turkey. This analysis emphasizes that the genealogy of the Turkish state can be explained through the ‘ideational conflicts’ between the authoritarian civilian/military state elites and the masses. Heper (1981) for instance analyzes the state-religion relations in the early phase of the Republican Turkey by referring to the impacts of ‘Cultural Revolution’ in the 1920s and 1930s on the broad masses. Heper (1981) argues that the visibility of Islamic resurgence in Turkey has much to do with the psychological and cultural consequences of the secularization process pioneered by the Kemalist regime. According to Heper, substitution of Kemalist nationalism for Islam failed to offer a system of beliefs and practices for the masses, which in turn led to a confrontation between the ‘radical secularists and Islamists’ (1981). A similar line of reasoning is evident in Emelie Olson (1985), Yeşim Arat (1998), Aynur İlyasoğlu (1996), and Hasan Bülent Nalbantoğlu (1993) in the sense that modernization or westernization from ‘above’ has consequently created a ‘religious reaction’ to the secular elites and to its dominant ideology in Turkey.
Basically, the implementation of ‘didactic secularism’ (Göle, 1997, p.49; Gellner, 1981, p.68) with a modern pedagogical ideology aimed to “demystify religion” in Turkey and to build a society in line with western values (Göle, 1997). In this modernization and secularization process initiated by the Kemalist regime, the Ottoman past was seen as backward, culturally submissive and as a heritage that should be avoided. “The replacement of Arabic script by the Latin script in 1928, the purification of the Turkish language from Persian and Arabic influences, and the recreation of the öztürkçe (pure Turkish) language secured by the establishment of the Turkish Linguistic Society, Türk Dil Kurumu in 1932” attempted to create “a radical break with the Ottoman past and Ottoman elites” (Göle, 1997, p.49-50). Furthermore it has been argued that Islamic revivalism in Turkey can be seen as antithetical to the modernization process of the secular elites in Turkey (Göle, 1997). Therefore, it is postulated that “[t]he Islamists are the counter- elites of Republicans but the elites of their followers” (ibid, 57-58).
Nonetheless, the Islamic political movements in modern Turkey organized and voiced their protest in right-wing political parties such as the Democrat Party (DP) in the 1950s and Justice Party (JP) in the 1960s due to the non-existence of a separate Islamist political party. From a political economy perspective, some scholars aptly point out that the ascension of Islamic politics in Turkey in the 1960s can be attributed to result of diverse class interests of the power bloc (Gülalp, 1985; Yavuz, 1997). For instance, Yavuz (1997, p: 66) argues that “when the JP started to pursue proindustrialist and state-centric [politics], Islamically sensitive small merchants, craftsmen, and small farmers searched for a new institution to voice their protest”. In this historical conjuncture, the National Order Party, the first Islamist political party in Turkey was founded in 1970 by Necmettin Erbakan, who had been elected as the president of The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey in 1968. According to Gülalp, the first Islamist politicalparty in 1970 was “an apparent form of a political struggle betweenthe ISI-based [import-substituting industrialization], big industrial and other business interests in urban areas and thetraditional, small to medium-size business sector in provincial towns”(2001, p.435). However, two months after the military coup in 1971, the constitutional court closed down the party on the ground that the party violated the secular principles of the state (Yavuz, 1997, p.66). The National Salvation Party (NSP), the successor to the National Order Party was founded in 1972 and took part in coalition governments in the 1970s, but was closed down after the military coup in Turkey in 1980.
However, it was with the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi), a pro-Islamist party, that Islamic politics in Turkey reached its peak in the era of neoliberal globalization. In the literature, Haldun Gülalp (1985, 2001, and 2003)provides us with a political economy approach in which the Welfare’s vertical bloc of support was identified. According to Gülalp (2001) the economic and social base of the party encompassed the peripheral segment of the capitalist class, consisting of small and medium scale and mostly provincial, business, the professional middle class, and lastly the working class.Gülalp (2001) claims that “the efforts of Islamist political party to mobilize a mass-based movement through populist propaganda has been directed mostly towards this social segment formed the social bases of Welfare party in 1990s” (p.444-45). Gülalp situates his arguments with a global political approach suggesting that globalization has strengthened peripheral capital and peripheral professionals while adversely affecting the working class (2001, p.445). As a corollary, it is stated that political Islam in Turkey found a fertile ground with the declining power of working class politics and the rise of small entrepreneurship (Gülalp, 2003, p.47). Ziya Öniş (1997), on the other hand, refers to the‘inabilities of state’ in the rise of political Islam in the 1990s, which is in line with the advent of general trends of neoliberal restructuring. According to Öniş, intense process of globalization and failure of the developmental state in Turkey have created a political sphere where a ‘religious field’ emerged as a response to this vacuum.In such an environment, “the increasing incapacity of the nation state, especially the failure of the social democratic movements within the individual nation-state to cater explicitly for the needs of the poor, the disadvantaged or the excluded, has created a vacuum in the political sphere...this vacuum has provided a gateway for the proliferation of political movements organised on the basis of extreme nationalism and religious fundamentalism” (Öniş, 1997, p.746-747).
Therefore, in the literature there is a consensus that the deliberate usage of ‘Islamic justice’ namely ‘Just order doctrine’ by the Welfare Partyappears to be one of the major factors in mobilizing the masses through Islamic politics in the era of neoliberalism (Aydın 2005;Buğra in Balkan and Savran 2002; Gülalp 2001; 2003; Öniş 1997; Yeşilada in Heper and Rubin 2002). Just Order program (Adil Düzen), developed by Erbakan, the leader of the party, clearly rejected the imitation of West and presented all other parties in Turkey as the imitators of the West. It opposed capitalism in rhetoric and called for the establishment of an Islamic common market (Yeşilada, p: 172-73 in Sayarı and Esmer 2002). According to Buğra (2002, p: 189) and Aydın (2005), a language of social disadvantage and a particular form of distributional politics in ‘Just Order’ principlewere able to incorporate diverse segments of population into the party program. Moreover, Islamic revivalism in Turkey became the social response to the failure of the statist-nationalist modernization. As Gülalp (2001, p: 442) analyzes that “filling the void created bythe collapse of statism and the ensuing crisis of modernist ideologies that were basedon it, such as nationalism and socialism, Welfare [Refah] represented a post-nationalist andpost-socialist sense of “justice”. Therefore, it was actually an Islamic challenge to the Kemalist modernization in Turkey (Gülalp, 2002, p.35). Even though the party was successful in mobilizing the masses along with Islamist rhetoric, Erbakan, the leader of the party and the first Islamist prime minister in Turkey, was forced by the military to step down as prime minister on 28 February 1997, known as 28 February military intervention[i]. Then, the party was banned in 1998 by the constitutional court on the ground that the Welfare Party had violated the secular principles of the Turkish constitution (BBC news, 1998). The Virtue Party was immediately established but again it was found unconstitutional by the constitutional court and banned in 2001. However, it is the Justice and Development Party (AKP) that has changed the political spectrum in Turkey where civil/military relations and Islamic politics are concerned. Nevertheless, there is a dissensus in the literature about the transformation of Islamic politics and the causes for the rapid rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002.
Some scholars have examined the relationship between globalization and its effects on the emergence of new Islamic political identities (Keyman and Koyuncu 2005). While analyzing the changing nature of Turkish modernity since the 1980s, Keyman and Koyuncu (2005) have suggested that the state-centered Turkish modernity has been challenged by the emergence of new economic and civil society actors. For instance, MÜSİAD, Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association, “constitutes a strong alternative to Turkish secular modernity” by producing the co-existence between Islamic identity and free market ideology (Keyman and Koyuncu 2005, p.120). On the other hand, Deniz Gökalp and Seda Ünsar (2008) have analyzed the role of the EU accession process on opening political spaces for Islamism and ethno-nationalism in Turkey. They conclude that “the Islamist conservative and Kurdish nationalist policies have found channels of institutionalization during the ill-defined EU process that led the way [for] harsh marketization, rapid Islamization, and ethnic divisiveness in society” (2008, p.116). According to Atacan (2005), Cizre and Cınar (2003), Aydın and Çakır (2007, p.1), the overthrow of the Islamist Welfare party by a coup in 1997 is a turning point for the transformation of Islamic politics. The 28 February military intervention in 1997, during which the army swept the pro-Islamist civilian government away, led to a ‘learning process’ for political Islamists and triggered a reconsideration for their policies and discourse (Atacan 2005, Aydın and Çakır, 2007, Cizre and Cınar 2003). On the other hand, Gumuscu and Sert (2009) properly argue that changes that have taken place within the political Islamist constituency have led to the emergence of a moderate wing in Islamic politics. According to Gumuscu and Sert, unlike the Welfare Party, the AKP politically represents the rising devout bourgeoisie, which has vested interests in economic liberalism, democratic politics and social conservatism (2009, p.957-58).
Relying on the literature review, first it can be suggested that even though the center-periphery dichotomy with respect to Islamic politics in Turkey offers a wealth of information about the ‘ideological clashes’ in society, they neglect to see that any readings of Turkish politics based on the confrontation between the secular elites and conservative masses are deemed to see the identities as fixed rather than flexible. In other words, it refers state elites, namely military and civil bureaucracy as secular and the masses as conservative. This obviously glosses over the issue of how the military in Turkey utilized Islamafter the 1980 coup as a tool for achieving social order in the convulsive political conjunctures of the 70s. It was by the allegedly secular army that the Turkish-Islamist synthesis[ii] was promoted as a socio-political project of military rule (Şen, 2005, p.65). While remaining aloof from Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey, “Enlightened Islam was regarded as the best bulwark against communism and religious fanaticism [by the military]” (Sakallioglu, 1996, p.239). After the coup, Kenan Evren, the leader of the coup, parroted that “the state and nation cannot exist without religion,” “religion safeguards the state and national unity,” secularism does not mean atheism and lack of religion,” and “those who are loyal to religion cannot rebel against the state and nation” (Şen, 2005, p.67). Second, the center-periphery dichotomy does not answer why Islamic politics in Turkey was on the rise specifically after the 1990s even though religion has always been an indispensable part of the masses in Turkey. Additionally, this analysis cannot grasp the changing social base of Islamic revivalism in Turkey after neoliberal globalization. Both the newly emerging professional middle classes who are socially conservative and challenge the Kemalist modernization and also the plebeian layers of society whose interests are threatened by capitalist development constitute the social base of the Islamist movement in Turkey. Third, even though the analysis aptly analyzes the ideological consequences of the modernization process of Turkey by the Kemalist state, this analysis is silent on the economic issue that modernization process in Turkey also attempted to create a bourgeois society. With regard to the AKP, these explanations avoid the issue that the mutation in Islamic politics in Turkey corresponds to a situation of symbiosis of big finance capital and periphery capital. Contrary to the center-periphery dichotomy, Güngen and Erten (2005) call for a more explanatory and historical approach which seeks to grasp the historical specificity of capitalism in terms of both its formation and nature in the context of class struggle in Turkey. This frankly leads us to explain the state-capital-political representation nexus in Turkey.
State-Class-Political Representation Nexus in Turkey: Limitations of the ‘Statist-Institutionalist Perspective’
The literature on state-society relations has a tendency to takethe Weberian perspective, suggesting the explanatory existence of the state as a potent, distinct, potentially autonomous, and legitimate organizational actor that is above the class relations in society (Evans 1995;Mann 1985;Rueschemeyer and Evans in Reueschemeyer, Evans, and Skocpol 1985; Skocpol1979; Skocpol inReueschemeyer, Evans, and Skocpol 1985;Stepan 1978; Weber 1968). Thestatist-institutionalist approach conceptualizes the‘state’ as an insulated entity and as an independent variable (Dinler 2003 and Yalman 2009). In other words, the state has been conceptualized with its own interests carrying an‘essence’ distinct from society and as an organization for itself (Skocpol, 1985). Additionally, state actions and public policies have been explained with the reinforcement of prerogatives of autonomous state officials (Nordlinger 1981; Skocpol 1985, p.15; Block 1987).These ‘state elites’ are steeply conceived as a privileged status group equipped with “superior knowledge and insight” for utilizing the state capacity (Rueschemeyer and Evans, 1985) or self-interested maximisers and ‘historical subjects’ (Block, 1987). Therefore, from this perspective, it is sound to argue that the preponderance of state officials in organising state policies is the prime theoretical proclivity of statist-institutionalism. The perspective vividly puts forward that form of the state is not given by the fact that it is a ‘capitalist state’rather; the state itself can be thought as “set of organizations through which collectivities of officials may be able to formulate and implement distinctive strategies or policies” (Skocpol, 1985, p.20-1).
Concomitantly, in the statist-institutionalist theory there is a firm belief that structures and activities of the state can obviously condition political culture, group formation, collective political action, and collective contention (Skocpol 1985; Stepan 1978). State structures, for instance, influence the capacities not only of the subordinate classes but also of the propertied classes (Skocpol, 1985, p. 26). The ‘institutional capacity of the state’ is given priority for understanding a social formation in a specific country. For instance, Skocpol exemplifies the American “relatively weak, decentralized and fragmented state structure” in explaining the ways in which the US capitalists was able to “splinter along narrow interest lines and to adopt an antistate, laissez faire ideology” (ibid, p 27). Skocpol avowedly defends a view of a ‘state’ that is able to shape the structure of society for its own purpose.
With regard to the Turkish state, Ayşe Buğra with her book titled State and Business in Modern Turkey (1994) and Metin Heper with his book titled The State Tradition in Turkey (1985) would be the pioneers of statist-institutionalism in Turkey. Buğra describes the state autonomy from a similar statist-institutionalist perspective as “the ability of the state to make policy decisions independently of the interests of societal actors” (Buğra, 1994, p.18). By referring to Jenkins’, Evans’, and Gereffi’s studies on East Asian and Latin American industrialization trajectories (as cited in Buğra, 1994, p.18), the state capacity is also defined as “the determinate of the effectiveness with which policy decisions are implemented by the public authority”. Her main argument is that even though the Turkish state has a substantial degree of autonomy to discipline the big businesses in conformity with national objectives, it lacks an efficient capacity to commit to a long-term, coherent industrial outlook due to frequent changes in the direction of economic policy by the successive governments (Buğra, 1994). The focus therefore remains on political elites and dynamics within the governmental apparatus. However, it should be noted that in Buğra’s analysis of the industrialization trajectory of Turkey, there is a combination of statist-institutionalism and class analysis. She also acknowledges that “an indigenous business class was virtually nonexistent in the early years of the Republican period” (ibid, 20). With regard to the autonomy of the Turkish state, Buğra signifies the incapacity of business groups in Turkey to form alliances with foreign investorsto restrict state autonomy (1994, p. 21). According to her, the limited role played by the foreign capital in Turkey was one of the causes for the ‘strong state’ in Turkey (ibid).Nevertheless, a statist-institutionalist perspective is preferred to the extent that the form of state intervention in the realm of private interests is seen as the determinant factor for the interest group politics and its social implications (Buğra, 1994, p.228). By referring to the ‘strong state tradition’ in Turkey in which the governments tend to regard their political power as absolute, Buğra claims that the government in power fully controls the state bureaucracy and the legal system (1994, p.23). For her, due to the subservient position of the state bureaucracy and the legal systemvis-à-vis the governments, these mechanisms cannot be the reference points in the settlement of potential or actual disputes between the government and social groups (ibid, p.156-157). According to Buğra (ibid, 163), the inability of these systems to be the reference points means that these systems cannot function as stable mechanisms of intermediation in state-business relations. Consequently, “... haphazard policy changes often become reflected in legal modifications and changes in bureaucratic rules which, in turn, enhance the instability of the economic environment” (ibid, p. 97).
Moreover, it is suggested that the Turkish bourgeoisie was unassertive, predatory, and self-maximizing due to the existence of the absolute state power in Turkey in the Republican period (Buğra, 1994; Heper, 1985). The bureaucratic oligarchy has created such an environment in which “the bureaucracy [in Turkey] remained a class whose location in the social system allowed it to attempt the transformation of that system while maintaining its location” (Keyder, 1987, p.48). As a consequence of the ‘strong state’ vis-à-vis the weak bourgeoisie in Turkey, Buğra perceives the Turkish businessmen’s self image which lacks the“confidence about the legitimacy of activities carried out in pursuit of pecuniary gain” (as cited in Heper 1991, p.23; Buğra, 1994, p.5). The animosity between the autonomous state and the interests of the Turkish bourgeoisie has precipitated such an industrial environment that Turkish businessmen see the state as “the major source of their difficulties” (ibid, p.5).
Similarly, Heper (1985) points out that business life in Turkey was inherently submissive to the strong state, consequently leading to an understanding of the Turkish state as Leviathan in the Hobbesian sense. He argues that interest group associations in Turkey were unable to articulate their demands unequivocally and in a straightforward manner (1991, p.16). In his book titled The State Tradition in Turkey, Heper (1985) touches the causes of this inability of the Turkish interest groups in articulating their demands. He cites the words of the chairman of the Turkish industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) in 1981 as such:
In this country, our philosophy has always been that of taking the paternal State (‘devlet baba’) as paramount, refraining from challenging it, and of pursuing an economic policy not in spite of, but along with the paternal State... Hesitancy on part of members of the private sector to run for public office stems from the philosophy of not challenging the paternal State, from the belief that the State is still influential, and that alienating the State would not bode well for them” (1985, p.103; 1991,p:16).
Concomitantly, the inabilities of the state to commit a coherent, long–term industrial strategy as well as its inability to reduce the uncertainty in the business cycle precipitated a rent-seeking and speculative activity of business in Turkey[iii](Buğra, 1994, p.22-23). The nature of the Turkish state, therefore, is seen as the main cause of speculative concern of business life that businessmen were unable to pursue a productive efficiency. Indeed according to Buğra (1994, p.261) “the most striking characteristic of the Turkish experience is the reluctance of the political authority to accept associations as the legitimate medium of interest representation”. The Turkish businessmen’sself-image is portrayed as timid, humble, and ashamed of gaining wealth vis-à-vis the autonomous and strong state bureaucracy (Buğra, 1994; Heper, 1985).
Similarly, it is contended that the interest groups in Turkey could not engage even in partisan activities, and voluntarily chose to stay out of politics (Heper, 1991, p.18). Consequently, “the State has not felt itself obliged to be responsive to civil society” (ibid, p.17). What is crucial for our point is the fact that this conceptualization of the capitalist state has directly been translated into a relationship between political parties and society in such a way that “[t]his monist conception of public interest, developed by the State elites, was later adopted by the political elites... the State-centred polity was replaced by a party-centred polity but not by a civil society-centred one (Heper, 1985, p.20).
Having said this, it can be argued that the main problem of the statist-institutionalist analysis is that it neglects to see state power as an agency for capitalist development in Turkey. Rather, it has been largely taken for granted that the Turkish state has been the source of instability and insecurity for the capitalist development (Buğra, 1991; Heper 1985).The state and capital relations are rather taken as external to each other and autonomous from class contradictions in society. Consequently, it is argued that the state has incapacitated the development of internal endogenous dynamics of capitalism (Buğra, 1994, p.23). However, it would not be quite possible to characterize the state as an ‘obstacle’ to capital accumulation (see Hay, 1999) when the implementation of the state-led industrialization in the 1930s and state entrepreneurship through Five Year Development Plans in the 1930s and 1960s are taken into account (Boratav, 2006).
Second, this analysis has a tendency to position the basic cleavage in society between the bureaucracy as a class and bourgeoisie (Keyder, 1987). However, the civil/military bureaucracy cannot constitute a social class because as Trotsky (1933) puts it:
“A class is defined not by participation in the distribution of the national income alone, but by its independent role in the general structure of the economy and by its independent roots in the economic foundation of society...The bureaucracy lacks all these social traits. It has no independent position in the process of production and distribution. It has no independent property roots. Its functions relate basically to the political technique of class rule. The existence of a bureaucracy in all its variety of forms and differences in specific weight, characterizes every class regime. Its power is of a reflected character. The bureaucracy is indissolubly bound up with a ruling economic class, feeding itself upon the social roots of the latter, maintaining itself and falling together with it.”
Rather, civil/military bureaucracy can be conceptualized as social categories, which can be defined “by its relation to the state apparatuses” (Poulantzas, 1975, p.23). This means that “... social categories have a class membership, their agents generally belonging to several different social classes” (ibid, p.24). This conceptualization is important in this paper because once the civil/military bureaucracy is positioned as a class against interests of the bourgeoisie; the Turkish state automatically turns into the prime impediment to advance the capitalist development. Not surprisingly in the 1980s, this conceptualization of the capitalist state was translated into a political discourse that state intervention to economy should be avoided for successful implementation of economic policies.
Third, by downplaying the class content of the state and rather emphasizing the autonomy of the capitalist state, this analysis makes the state appear as class-neutral (see Cammack, 1990). Consequently, an autonomous state in this analysis, indicates “a possibility of the state going beyond the social dominance of the capitalist class and therefore, to be a class neutral state” (Chang, 2008, p.22).
Last but far from least, the statist-institutionalist analysis translates class relations into relations between rational individuals or different interest groups, in turn mystifying the unequal social relations in society. As Chang (2008, p.24) concludes that “this image of the independence of the state resulted, therefore, from a very narrow and a-historical understanding of the relations of the state with capitalist society as the relations between different societal forces, or more exactly societal organisations as ‘set of individual-societal actors’, rather than from a serious attempt to understand the nature of the capitalist state in relation to particularly capitalist social relations”. As a consequence, in the statist- institutionalist analysis the unequal power relations between capital and labour are purposefully ignored.
The Analogy of Bonapartism
Contrary to the statist-institutionalist analysis, an analogy of ‘Bonapartism’ from various Marxist scholars will be adopted in this paper. It will be suggested that the capitalist State is not autonomous from the logic of capital accumulation in a specific country rather “the very structure and function of the (capitalist) state would appear to guarantee (or at least powerfully select for) the reproduction of the capitalist social relations” (Hay, 1999, p.161). From this understanding, the autonomy of the capitalist state can only be related to the necessity of capital accumulation in a specific country. It should be stressed that the main functions of the State in the capitalist mode of production are:
- “Provision of those general conditions of production which cannot be assured by the private activities of members of dominant class.
- Repression of any threat to the prevailing mode of production from the dominated classes or particular sections of the dominant classes by means of army, police, judiciary and prison-system.
- Integration of the dominated classes, to ensure that the ruling ideology of the society remains that of the ruling class, and that consequently the exploited classes accept their own exploitation without the immediate exercise of the repression against them (because they believe it to be inevitable, or the ‘lesser evil’, or ‘superior might’, or fail even to perceive it as exploitation)” (Mandel, 1975, p.475).
The Kemalist state is not an exception. Similar to a typical Third World nation-state building project in the twentieth century, the Kemalist project, which is based onnationalist-statist developmentalism, firmly believed that national independence can be secured through economic development (Gülalp, 1995). As Savran(in Balkan and Savran, 2002, p.9) puts it the Kemalist state is the first instance of an economic regulation based on five-year plans in the 1930s while development planning in the form of five-year plans is the political project during the latter half of the twentieth century (Chibber, 2003, p.13). Therefore, the important aspect of the Kemalist state lays in the fact that the state stepped in as an entrepreneur for the capitalist development in the 1930s within the framework of the weakness of industrial bourgeoisie (Gülalp, 1985, p. 334). In line with Turkey’s first five-year plan initiated in 1933, a number of state-economic enterprises were established in iron and steel, textiles, paper, ceramics, glass and chemical products (Bayar, 1996, p.775). Two state-owned banks, namely Sümerbank and Etiler, were established to provide finance for public enterprises (ibid). This big push strategy of the 1930s resulted in an annual industrial growth of 10.3% between 1930-1939 (Boratav, 2011, p.71). As Sungur Savran argues, state capitalism in the 1930s appeared as the precondition of development of capitalism through the establishment of state economic enterprises in Turkey (in Balkan and Savran, 2002, p.8-9). In other words, étatismeor statism in republican Turkey appeared as the specific means of capital accumulation in a capitalist system (Boratav, 2006, p.24-25). Moreover, the developmental role of the state required protectionist policies, which favoured domestic industry, and welfare policies, which had redistributionist and socially egalitarian outcomes (Gülalp, 1995). Besides the economic aspect of the Kemalist regime, it is important to emphasize that the specificity of the regime is also the political autonomy of the military bureaucracyvis-à-vis the civilian governments. The political autonomy of the military can be defined as “its ability to go above and beyond the constitutional authority of democratically elected governments” (Sakallioğlu, 1997, p.153). Unambiguously, the Turkish military perceives itself as the “true guardian of the Republican State and its founding principles of nationalism, republicanism, laicism, populism, reformism and statism, all expounded by the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk” (Demirel, 2004, p.128).Defense of the official ideology of Kemalism gives the military a politically autonomous position (Cizre, 2003, p.215). This is due to the fact that they were the civilian and military bureaucrats that built the republic and modernized it along the western path (Sakallioğlu, 1997, p. 154).However, the military actively participates in the civilian authorities’ decision-making process (ibid, 157). This results in a “dual system of executive decision making process” that the National Security Council (NSC) shares the executive power with the council of ministers (ibid, p. 158).
By referring to its bureaucratized state apparatus in order to demolish the pre-capitalist system for catching up with its more advanced rivals and to the political autonomy of the military vis-à-vis the civilian governments, this paper explicitly considers “Kemalism as a whole” as one of the classical examples of Bonapartism in a developing country context. It is contended that Turkish Bonapartism covers a period of 1923-1980. During this period, it is acknowledged that Kemalism was a politically, economically, and ideologically effective force in Turkey. However, after the 1980s Turkish Bonapartism started togradually dissolve. It was due to the fact that the decline of nationalist and secular policies all over the world also led to a crisis in the popular ideology based on nationalist-statist developmentalism (Gülalp, 1995). In other words, the 1980s were the years when the crisis of Kemalism was deepened. Within this historical conjuncture, the AKP government symbolizes the culmination of this post-Kemalist process. The AKP signifies the completion of the historical function of Turkish Bonapartism to the extent that the AKP corresponds to a situation of symbiosis of the different class fractions in Turkey, namely big finance capital and peripheral capital vis-à-vis the political omnipotence of the military. In other words, these different fractions of the bourgeoisie managed to build their hegemonic positionvis-à-vis the military. Thus, the AKP government bears the legacy of completion of the Bonapartist regime in Turkey. Bonapartism, in this sense, is adopted as an analytical tool to understand the Kemalist state.
The concept of Bonapartism derives from Marx’s influential work called The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. In his work, Marx mainly demonstrates how the class struggle in France created circumstances that allowed “for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero’s part” (Marx, 1952, p.2). The important narrative of Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte is however to reveal how Louis Bonaparte’s successful coup d’état overthrew bourgeois representatives in National Assembly and installed in their stead a dictator at the head of an enormous bureaucratic and military organization that “this terrifying parasitic body ... enmeshes the body of French society and chokes all its pores” (Marx, 1852, 61). Nonetheless, this parasitic Bonapartist bureaucracy is in the service of bourgeois interests without being under their control, indeed by not being under such control (Marx, 1852).
Bonapartism refers to a situation where “an economically dominant class is served by a government which is strong enough to crush opponents and autonomous enough for the bourgeoisie to be able to distance itself from the responsibility of rule” (Krygier, 1985, p.60). By substituting itself for the direct rule of the bourgeois class, the dictatorship plays the role of the bourgeoisie and serves the bourgeois interests. As Marx (1852, p.33) puts it “... [i]n order to save its purse it [French bourgeoisie] must forfeit the crown, and the sword that is to safeguard it must at the same time be hung over its own head as a sword of Damocles”. Moreover, while the Bonapartist state ministers the interests of a ruling class, it is not obliged to do its command (Krygier, 1985, p.60). On that point, history confirms itself because when the French bourgeoisie failed to maintain its hegemony over society due to the economic crisis in 1851; it was the repressive French state apparatus that restored the hegemony and tranquillity in France. To the extent that the bourgeoisie tied itself to the maintenance of this military caste, “[t]he bourgeoisie apotheosized the sword, the sword rules it” (Marx, 1852, p.60).
Moreover, it is undeniable that a successful economic development is attainedunder the supremacy of this ‘terrific parasitic body’. In The Civil War in France, Marx (1871, p.24) clearly indicates that the Empire of Louis Bonaparte saves the propertied classes and advocates their economic supremacy over the working class. “Under its [executive power] sway, bourgeois society, freed from political cares, attained a development unexpected even by itself. Its industry and commerce expanded to colossal dimensions; financial swindling celebrated cosmopolitan orgies; the misery of the masses was set off by a shameless display of gorgeous, meretricious and debased luxury” (Marx, 1871, p.24).Therefore, the Bonapartist state is not only a form of the state that refers to a strong and bureaucratized executive power, for in economic terms, the Bonapartist state also refers to a state, which assures to hasten the capital accumulation in a specific country. As Colin Mooers (1991, p.88) points out “between 1852 and 1857, with the rapid extension of rail networks, financed through the new credit mechanisms pioneered by the state, France was able for the first time to sustain a rate of growth comparable to that of other industrializing countries.” Under the Second Empire, Mooers (1991, p.89) claims that the industrial expansion and economic modernization became the ‘religion’ of Bonaparte’s advisors.
In the Eighteen Brumaire..., Marx (1852) also delineates the autonomy of the French state under Louis Bonaparte. “Only under the second Bonaparte”, Marx writes, “does the state seem to have made itself completely independent” (1852, p.62, emphasis added).As Miliband (1965, p.285) explains “for Marx, the Bonapartist State, however independent it may have been politically from any given class remains, and cannot in a class society but remain, the protector of an economically and socially dominant class”. In other words, the independence of the Bonapartist state from all classes in society is a fictitious independence because Bonaparte represents a class. “The Bonaparte dynasty” according to Marx, “represents not the revolutionary but the conservative peasant; not the peasant who strikes out beyond the condition of his social existence, the small holding, but rather one who wants to consolidate his holding” (1852, p.63). This is because the nature of their mode of production only permits each individual peasant family to be self-sufficient and to produce their consumer goods and to exchange them instead of any intercourse with the society (Marx, 1852, p.62). In such a backward societal formation, they are unable to assert their class interests in their own name (ibid). The result is:
“they cannot represent themselves, they must be represented. Their representative must at the same time appear as their master, as an authority over them, an unlimited governmental power which protects them from the other classes and sends them rain and sunshine from above. The political influence of the small-holding peasants, therefore, finds its final expression in the executive power which subordinates society to itself” (Marx, 1852, p.62).
Marx (1852, p.61) plainly clarifies the historical function of executive power with its bureaucratic and military organization both in the time of absolute monarchy and the decay of the feudal system in France.Marx (1852, p.61) argues that “under the absolute monarchy, during the first Revolution, and under Napoleon the bureaucracy was only the means of preparing the class rule of the bourgeoisie”. As a corollary, by means of “wide-ranging and ingenious state machinery” of executive power, “[t]he seigniorial privileges of the landowners and towns became transformed into so many attributes of the state power, the feudal dignitaries into paid officials, and the motley patterns of conflicting medieval plenary powers into the regulated plan of a state authority whose work is divided and centralized as in a factory” (ibid). Therefore, during the decay of feudalism in France, the centralized French bureaucracy had helped to accelerate the decay of the feudal societal formation. On the other hand, in a capitalist social formation in France, the existence of the executive power and bureaucracy seems to be quite different. As Marx (1852, p.61) argues that “[u]nder the Restoration, under Louis Philippe, under the parliamentary republic, it [executive power] was the instrument of the ruling class, however much it strove for power of its own”. The ‘exceptional’ character of each Bonaparte is, however “bureaucratic centralization as the means indispensible to the French bourgeoisie in first breaking the power of the feudal aristocracy, and then establishing and maintaining bourgeois domination” (Baehr and Richter, 2004, p.3). This bureaucratic centralization successfully created an ‘image’ that Louis Bonaparte symbolizes a balance of class forces[iv], an arbiter of class struggle in France and a benevolent dictator for all classes.
Engels’ writings on Bonapartism are similar to Marx’s. In Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State and The Housing Question, Engels argues that in ‘exceptional periods’ state power ostensiblyacquires for the moment certain independence in relation to warring classes’ balance (1884, p.93; 1887, p.43). By exceptional periods, he means that the state is not the state of the most powerful economically ruling class. Rather, state power acquires for the moment certain independence in relation to warring classes (Engels, 1884, p.93). In such circumstances, “the real governing power lies in the hands of a special caste of army offices and state officials” (Engels, 1887, p.43). Absolute monarchies of seventeen and eighteen centuries, the French Empire under Napoleon I and Napoleon III (Louis Bonaparte) and German Empire under Bismarck can be juxtaposed as examples of these ‘exceptional periods’ (Engels, 1884, p.93).
In The Housing Question, Engels also deals with the state form of Prussia and argues that the Prussian state form can be considered as pseudo-constitutionalism, “a form which is at once both the present-day form of the dissolution of the old absolute monarchy and the form of existence of the Bonapartist monarchy” (1887, p. 43). However, this state form of Prussia actually served for the slow decline of the absolute monarchy (ibid). In the dissolution of old absolute monarchy, Engels (1887, p. 43-44) contends that while on the one hand, transition from small-scale production to large-scale industry in Germany accelerated the acute housing problem, on the other hand, it also led the bureaucracy to improve its income through speculation in shares or participation in sound and unsound joint stock companies. This argument can be paralleled with Marx’ evaluation on French bureaucracy under the Second Empire referring to it as “terrifying parasitic body” (Marx, 1852, p.61).
Nonetheless, a centralized powerful bureaucracy is not always the product of equilibrium of class forces in a capitalist society where the power of bourgeoisie and proletariat balance each other. There are also examples of this bureaucratic autocracy, which emerges in the overall weakness of class forces. For instance, Trotsky (1907) describes the historical situation in Russia before 1905 as follows: “In its endeavour to create a centralized state apparatus, Tsarism was obliged not so much to oppose the claims of the privileged estates as to fight the barbarity, poverty, and general disjointedness of a country whose separate parts led wholly independent economic lives. It was not the equilibrium of the economically dominant classes, as in the West, but their weakness which made Russian bureaucratic autocracy of a self-contained organisation” (p.12). In other words, the powerful Tsarist bureaucracy was the consequence of weakness of economically dominant classes. After the October Revolution it was, however, the rapacious Soviet bureaucracy, which had betrayed the revolution and Soviet working class (Trotsky, 1972). This Soviet bureaucracy had elevated Stalin to a position of an aberrant and uncontrolled power (Krygier, 1985, p.61). This character derived from the fact that unlike the Western bureaucratic model, the source of the Stalinist bureaucracy was the economic and social backwardness of the country (Knei-Paz, 1978, p.381). Trotsky adopts the analogy of Bonapartism to characterize the Stalinist regime, which makes Bonapartism not a unique phenomenon for bourgeois regimes.
For Trotsky, Soviet Bonapartism characterizes the expression of Stalinist personal rule in the Soviet regime (1935a) and bureaucratic gangsterism (1939). By Bonapartism, Trotsky (1935a) refers to a regime where the economically dominant class, which tends to the democratic methods of government, is forced to tolerate the command of an unchecked military and police officer and a crowned savior in order to protect its possessions. He (1935a) refers to Bonapartism as a‘personal regime’, as a bridge between democracy and fascism (in 1917 Russia between democracy and bolshevism) that stands above democracy, lingers between the two camps, and at the same time safeguards the interests of the ruling class.Using the bureaucracy and police, the power of savior of the people and the arbitrator of the bureaucracy as a ruling caste rose above the Soviet democracy, reducing it to his own shadow (Trotsky, 1935a). The objective function of savior becomes to safeguard the new forms of ownership by usurping the political function of the dominant class (ibid).
For Trotsky, Stalinism, with its bureaucratic apparatus “rising above a politically atomized society, resting upon a police and officers’ corps” (1972, p.278), is a variation of Bonapartism that “the Bonapartist apparatus of the state is thus an organ for defending the bureaucratic thieves and plunderers of national wealth” (1939). Moreover, even though French Bonapartism rests upon the consolidation of bourgeois revolution through annihilation of its political institutions, Soviet Bonapartism, for Trotsky rests upon the monopolization of power and creation of a new bureaucratic stratum in order to dissipate both the feudal-bourgeois coalition and the opponents of Stalin. Trotsky notes that
“In the former case [i.e. Napoleon I], the question involved was the consolidation of the bourgeois revolution through the liquidation of its principles and political institutions. In the latter case [i.e. Stalin], the question involved is the consolidation of the worker-peasant revolution through the smashing of its international programme, its leading party, its Soviets. Carrying the policies of Thermidor further, Napoleon waged a struggle not only against the feudal world but also against the ‘rabble’ and the democratic circles of the petty and middle bourgeoisie; in this way he concentrated the fruits of the regime born out of the revolution in the hands of the new bourgeois aristocracy. Stalin guards the conquests of the October Revolution not only against the feudal-bourgeois counter-revolution but also against the claims of the toilers, their impatience and their dissatisfaction (Trotsky, 1935b)
In order to consolidate his power, Trotsky continued to say that:
He [Stalin] crushes the left-wing which expresses the ordered historical and progressive tendencies of the unprivileged working classes; he creates a new aristocracy by means of an extreme differentiation in wages, privileges, ranks etc. Leaning for support upon the topmost layer of the new social hierarchy against the lowest-sometimes vice versa- Stalin has attained the complete concentration of power in his own hands. What else should this regime be called if not Soviet Bonapartism?” (Trotsky 1935b).
However, Soviet Bonapartism should not be confused with the Bonapartism of the Fascist regimes. The fascist regimes are responses to the crisis that threaten bourgeois society (Trotsky, as cited in Knei-Paz, 1978, p.402). Its aim is to restore and defend the capitalist property in the period of crisis where bourgeois society is declining and decaying (ibid). Fascist Bonapartism appears as the last grasp of a collapsing class (ibid). For Trotsky (ibid, p.404), fascist Bonapartism is the final artifice of a dying capitalist class in the sense that the capitalist class gives up the direct rule in favor of a leader in order to save itself. However, he puts forward that the fascist government can only be the government of finance capital (Trotsky, 1934). Nevertheless, Trotsky(1972, p.278) argues that Soviet Bonapartism and fascism were produced by one and the same cause: “the dilatoriness of the world proletariat in solving the problems set for it by history. Stalinism and fascism, in spite of a deep difference in social foundations, are symmetrical phenomena”.
Nor would it be amiss to add that in Fascism and Dictatorship, Nicos Poulantzas (1974) elaborated on ‘fascism’ as the exceptional State form of the capitalist state. According to him, both Germany and Italy were adversely affected by the transition to monopoly capitalism and by the political and economic crises respectively (Poulantzas, 1974, p. 34). However, with the ascension of national-socialism to power in Germany, “the political hegemony of big capital was secured, the dislocation between the political hegemony and economic domination was resolved, and the growth of its economic domination accelerated” (ibid, p. 111). For Poulantzas (1974), military dictatorship and Bonapartism are other exceptional State forms of the capitalist State. Because the exceptional States are forms of the capitalist State, according to Poulantzas (1974), they are first and foremost relatively autonomous from the dominant classes and fractions, which is the precondition for the reorganization of the hegemony and power bloc (p.313). He claims that the inability of the bourgeoisie to achieve its own internal unity and the difficulty in realizing its political hegemony vis-à-vis the dominated classes allow the capitalist class state to take charge of the bourgeoisie’s political interests (Poulantzas, 1973, p.284). Second, in the exceptional state forms of the capitalist state, there is a “strict control of the whole of the State system by one ‘branch’ or one apparatus in the hands of the class or class fraction which is struggling to establish its hegemony” (Poulantzas, 1974, p.316). By referring to Marx’s work on Bonapartism, Poulantzas notes that “the greater the relative autonomy of the State from the hegemonic class or class fraction, the stronger is its internal ‘centralization’” (ibid, note 3). Third, function of the exceptional State is to reorganize the ideological hegemony, which concentrates and increases repression against popular classes (Poulantzas, 1974, p.316-318). That is to say, in the exceptional forms of the capitalist state a particular intervention of ideology is necessary to legitimize the increased role of physical repression (ibid, p.316). Fourth, as Poulantzas claims that in the exceptional States, the ‘police State’ replaces the ‘legal State’. In other words, juridically the distinction between the ‘public’ and ‘private’ blurs and as such the law no longer regulates and virtually everything falls within the scope of State intervention (1974, p. 322-23). In these exceptional forms of the state, the law is no longer the limit due to the unlimited exercise of power (Poulantzas, 1974, p.322).
For our analysis, it can be argued that even though the physiognomy ofthe Kemalist state and French Empire under Louis Bonaparte differs, the content is the same. In other words, the content is the concentration of power into the hand of an individual and a strong and repressive executive power to hasten capital accumulation in Turkey and to develop a modern bourgeois society. Kemalism, for Savran (2010), attempted to achieve a social revolution by transforming society in line with Western values and modernity. Mustafa Kemalinitiated a “revolution from above” (ibid) that “completed the unfinished tasks of the Young Turk revolution by destroying the age-old Ottoman state and setting up a republic in 1923 on the territory it could salvage from the dismemberment of the Empire through a war that is commonly known as the National Struggle (1919-1922)” (Savran, as cited in Balkan and Savran, 2002, p.6). Kemalism was a project to construct and manipulate a modern nation-state based on secular and western principles instead of Islamic ones (Sakallioğlu, 1997). The military was proclaimed to be carrier of these positivist-progressive ideas (ibid).Therefore, the military in Turkey has always been the indispensable privileged social group in the formulation of political life.
Tura (1998, p.23) argues that the Kemalist regime in Turkey is based on two pillars: the first pillar is the military that is strictly attached to the leadership of Mustafa Kemal (ibid). The superstructural reforms of the Kemalist regime are backed by this social group (ibid). The second pillar is the Assembly where the interests of the dominant classes have been institutionalized (ibid). However, this institutionalization in the Assembly, in the last instance, is determined by the bonapartist/bureaucratic control of the Kemalist cadres (ibid). That is to say, the political representation of the dominant classes has been materialized under the control of the Kemalist bureaucracy. Therefore, the relationship between the two basic pillars of the Kemalist regime, that is, parliamentary apparatus and the military is established through the mediation of the Kemalist leadership (Tura, 1998, p.23).
However, Bonapartism in Turkish context has also its own specificity and functionality when compared to Western examples. For instance, the Bonapartist regimes in backward countries such as Turkey, Egypt, and Algeria do not come into existence as a consequence of explosion of the conflicts of interests among dominant classes (Başkaya, 2008, p.104). The reason why the Bonapartist regimes existed in those countries is not to resolve or to arbitrate the conflict of interests among the different fractions of the dominant classes (ibid). Rather, the function of the Bonapartist regimes in those countries is to grow up and strengthen these classes (ibid). A tranquil and stable environment that these classes require to get strengthened can only be guarded by ‘a paternalistic benefactor of all classes in society’ (ibid). Because of this historical conjuncture, Başkaya contends that the Bonapartist regimes are not “transitional equilibrium regimes” in these backward countries compared to industrialized capitalist countries (2008, p.106). The reason why Bonapartism in the Kemalist regime in Turkey, the Nasserist regime in Egypt, and the Boumediene regime in Algeria is repressive and long-lasting is the consequence of weakness of capital accumulation in those countries in the epoch of imperialism (2008, p.104-106). Therefore,a repressive and strong state is the product of “congenital weakness of the Turkish bourgeoisie vis-à-vis the forces that it had to face” (Savran, as cited in Balkan and Savran, 2002, p.6). In this historical setting, Tura (1998, p.23) argues that the Kemalist bureaucracy found an opportunity of maneuver to undertake the role of the constituent part for the propertied classes’ alliance in Turkey. This constituent role of the Kemalist bureaucracy was brought into being in such a situation that neither of the propertied classes was strong enough to establish hegemony over other classes during the National Struggle between 1919-1922 (ibid). Toput it differently, a strong and repressive state and the power of bureaucracy in Turkey is the product of necessityof nascent Turkish bourgeoisie in a Third World country “where capitalism took root belatedly in the twentieth century” (Savran, as cited in Balkan and Savran, 2002, p.6).
Then, it is plausible to argue that the tendency of Turkish political life to bring the military regularly (in 1960, 1971, 1980, and 1997) to the forefront at every economic and political crisis is associated with specific dynamics of the development of capitalism and attitude of the bourgeoisie toward the military regime (Savran, in Balkan and Savran, 2002). In other words, the reproduction capacity and eagerness of military bureaucracy to intervene in political life correspond to the impotence and incapacity of the bourgeoisie to get its interests accepted by society within the framework of parliamentary sovereignty (Savran, 2010, p. 192). As Sungur Savran (ibid) claims that the intervention capacity of the military in Turkey is inversely related with the hegemonic governing capacity of bourgeoisie through its parliamentary apparatus.
The AKP, on the other hand, symbolizes the reversal of civilian government-military relations in Turkey. It is also important to point out that while Islamic politics has mutated into a conservative neoliberal hegemony, this mutation also corresponds to the establishment of the direct rule of the bourgeoisie in Turkey without any necessary mediations. In Turkish history, it is the first time that a civilian government has had the ability to control the military power and override its political autonomy. Both endogenous factors such as the alliance of the different wings of the bourgeoisie towards the rise of the AKP and exogenous factors such as the EU pressure on Turkey to carry out reforms in the domestic political, economic and military spheres and the collaboration of Turkish capital with US imperial strategy over the Middle East are decisive in the liquidation of Turkish Bonapartism. Importantly, while this direct rule of the bourgeoisie has been sustained through the AKP, identity politics based on ‘religion’ has come to be instrumental to disguise the neoliberal projects of the AKP.
Achcar G., (2006), The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder, translated from French by Peter Drucker, 2nd edition, Paradigm Publishers: London.
, Retrieved March 3, 2012, from http://monthlyreview.org/commentary/comments-on-tariq-amin-khans-text.
Arat Y., (1998), “Feminists, Islamists, and Political Change in Turkey”, Political Psychology, Vol: 19, No: 1, p: 117-131.
Atacan F., (2005), “Explaining Religious Politics at the Crossroad: AKP-SP”, Turkish Studies, Vol: 6, No: 2, p: 187-199.
Atlı A., (2011), “Businessmen as Diplomats: The role of Business Associations in Turkey’s Foreign Economic Policy”, Insight Turkey, Vol: 13, No: 1, p: 109-128.
Aydın S. and Çakir R., (2007), “Political Islam in Turkey”, CEPS Working Document,
265/April. online, Retrieved April 3, 2012 from www.ceps.eu.
Aydın Z., (2005), The Political Economy of Turkey, Pluto Press: London.
Bağcı H. and Sinkaya B., (2006), Büyük Ortadoğu Projesi ve Türkiye: AK Parti’nin Perspetifi (The Greater Middle East Initiative and Turkey: the AKP’s Perspective),Akademik ORTA DOĞU, Vol: 1, No: 1, p. 21-37.
Başkaya F. (2008), Paradigmanın İflası: Resmi İdeolojinin Eleştirisine Giriş, (Bankruptcy of Paradigm: Introduction to a Critique of Official Ideology), Özgür Üniversite Kitaplığı: Ankara.
Baehr P. and Richter M. (eds), (2004), Dictatorship in History and Theory: Bonapartism, Caesarism, and Totalitarianism, Cambridge University Press: UK.
Balkan N. and Savran S. (eds), (2002), The Politics of Permanent Crisis: Class, Ideology and State in Turkey,Nova Science Publishers: NY.
Bayar A. H., (1996), “The Developmental State and economic policy in Turkey”, Third World Quarterly, Vol: 17, No: 4, p: 773-785.
Bayat A., (2005), “Islamism and Social Movement Theory”, Third World Quarterly, Vol: 26, No: 6, p: 891-908.
BBC News, (1998, January 17), World: Analysis Turkey Bans the Islamists, Retrieved April 3, 2012, from at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/48025.stm.
Block F., (1987), Revising State Theory: Essays in Politics and Postindustrialism, Temple University Press: Philadelphia.
Boratav K., (2011), Türkiye İktisat Tarihi 1908-2009, (Economic History of Turkey 1908, 2009), 15th Edition, İmge Kitabevi: Ankara.
Boratav K., (2006), Türkiye’de Devletçilik, (Statism in Turkey), 2nd edition, İmge Kitabevi: Ankara.
Buğra A., (2002), “Labour, Capital and Religion: Harmony and Conflict among the Constituency of Political Islam in Turkey, Middle Eastern Studies, Vol: 38, No: 2, p: 187-204.
Buğra A., (1994), State and Business in Modern Turkey: A ComparativeStudy, State University of New York Press: Albany.
Cammack P., (1990), “Statism, New Institutionalism and Marxism”, Socialist Register.
Chang D., (2008), Capitalist Development in Korea: labour, capital and the myth of the developmental state, Routledge: London.
Chibber V., (2003), Locked in Place: State Building and Late Industrialization in India, Princeton University Press: UK.
Cizre U. and Cınar M., (2003), “Turkey 2002: Kemalism, Islamism and Politics in the Light of the February 28 Process”, The Southern Atlantic Quarterly, Vol: 102, No: 2/3, p: 309-32.
Cizre U., (2003), “Demythologyzing the National Security Concept: The Case of Turkey”, Middle Eastern Journal, Vol: 57, No: 2, p: 213-229.
Demirel T., (2004), “Soldiers and civilians: the dilemma of Turkish democracy”, Middle Eastern Studies, Vol: 40, No: 1, p 127-150.
Dinler D., (2003), “Türkiye’de Güçlü Devlet Geleneği Tezinin Eleştirisi”, (A Critique of Strong State Tradition Thesis in Turkey), Praksis, Vol: 9, p: 17-54.
Engels F., (1887), The Hosing Question, Retrieved March 2, 2012, fromwww.marxists.org.tr.
Engels F., (1884), Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State, Retrieved March 2, 2012, from www.marxists.org.tr.
Evans P., (1995), Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation, Princeton University Press: New Jersey.
Evans P., Rueschemeyer D. and Skocpol T. (eds), (1985),Bringing the State Back in, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Gellner E., (1981), Muslim Society, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Gökalp D. and Ünsar S., (2008), “From the Myth of European Union Accession to Disillusion: Implications for Religious and Ethnic Politicization in Turkey”, Middle East Journal, Vol: 62, No: 1, p: 93-116.
Göle N., (1997), “Secularism and Islamism in Turkey: The Making of Elites and Counter-Elites”, Middle East Journal, Vol: 51, No: 1, p: 46-58.
Gramsci A., (1971), Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci,edited and translated [from the Italian] by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, Lawrence and Wishart: London.
Gumuscu S. and Sert D., (2009), “The Power of the Devout Bourgeoisie: The Case of the Justice and Development Party”, Middle Eastern Studies, Vol: 45, No: 6, p: 953-968.
Gülalp H., (2003), Kimlikler Siyaseti: Türkiye’de Siyasal Islamın Temelleri, (Politics of Identities: Foundations of Political Islam in Turkey), Metis Yayınları: Istanbul.
Gülalp H., (2002), “Using Islam as Political Ideology: Turkey in Historical Perspective”, Cultural Dynamics, Vol: 14, No: 1, p: 21-39.
Gülalp H., (2001), “Globalization and Political Islam: The Social Bases of Turkey’s Welfare Party”, Middle East Studies, Vol: 33, p: 433-488.
Gülalp H., (1995), “The crisis of westernization in Turkey: Islamism versus nationalism”, Innovation:The European Journal of Social Science Research, Vol: 8, No: 2, p.175-182.
Gülalp H., (1985), “Patterns of capital accumulation and state-society relations in Turkey”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol: 15, No: 3, p. 329-348.
Güngen A. and Erten S., (2005), “Approaches to Serif Mardin and Metin Heper on State and Civil Society in Turkey”, Journal of Historical Studies, Vol: 3, p: 1-15.
Hay C., (1999), “Marxism and the State” in A. Gamble and T. Tant (eds), Marxism and Social Science, London: Macmillan.
Heper M. and Rubin B. (eds), (2002), Political Parties in Turkey, Frank Class: London.
Heper M. (eds), (1991), Strong state and economic interest groups: the post 1980 Turkish experience, Walter de Gruyter: NY.
Heper M., (1985), The State Tradition in Turkey, The Eothen Press: Walkington.
Heper M., (1981), “Islam, Polity and Society: A Middle Eastern Perspective”, Middle East Journal, Vol: 35, No: 3, p: 345-363.
Hobson C., (2005), “A forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East: US democracy promotion and the ‘war on terror’”, Australian Journal of International Affairs, No: 59, Vol: 1, p: 39-53.
Karatani K., (2012), History and repetition, edited by Lippit S. M., Columbia University Press: NY.
Keyder Ç., (1987), State and Class in Turkey: A Study in Capitalist Development, Verso: London.
Keyman E. F. and Koyuncu B., (2005), “Globalization, Alternative Modernities and the Political Economy of Turkey”, Review of International Political Economy, Vol: 12, No: 2, p: 105-128.
Knei-Paz B., (1978), The Social and Political Thought of Leon Trotsky, Clarendon Press: Oxford.
Krygier M., (1985), “Marxism and bureaucracy: A paradox resolved”, Politics, Vol: 20, No: 2, p: 58-69.
Mahapatra C., (2009), The US Approach to the Islamic World in Post 9/11, Academic Foundation: New Delhi.
Miliband R., (1965), “Marx and the State”, The Socialist Register, Vol:2, p: 278-296.
Mandel E., (1975), Late Capitalism, NLB: London.
Mann M. (1985), “The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms and Results”,European Journal of Sociology, Vol: 25, p. 185-213.
Marx K., (1852), The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,Retrieved March 3, 2012, fromwww.marxists.org.
Marx K., (1871), The Civil War in France, Retrieved March 3, 2012 fromwww.marxists.org.
Mardin Ş., (1995), “Civil Society and Islam”, in Hall, J., (eds), Civil Society: Theory, History, Comparison, Cambridge: Polity.
Mardin Ş., (1973), “Center-Periphery Relations: A Key to Turkish Politics?”, Daedalus, Vol: 102, No:1, p: 169-190.
Moghadam V.M., (2009), Globalization& Social Movements: Islamism, Feminism and the Global Justice Movement, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers: UK.
Mooers C., (1991), The Making of Bourgeois Europe: Absolutism, Revolution, and the Rise of Capitalism in England, France and Germany, Verso: London.
Nalbantoğlu H. Ü., (1993), “Modernity, State and Religion: Theoretical Notes towards a Comparative Study”, Sojourn: Journal of Social of Issues in Southeast Asia, Vol: 8, No: 2, p: 345-360.
Narli N., (2000), “Civil-military relations in Turkey”, Turkish Studies, Vol: 1, No: 1, p: 107-127.
Nordlinger E., (1981), The Autonomy of the Democratic State, Harvard University Press: London.
Olson E. A., (1985), “Muslim Identity and Secularism in Contemporary Turkey: “The Headscarf Dispute””, Anthropological Quarterly, Vol: 58, No: 4, p: 161-171.
Öniş Z., (1997), “The Political Economy of Islamic Resurgence in Turkey: The Rise of Welfare Party in Perspective”, Third World Quarterly, Vol: 18, No: 4, p: 743-766.
Poulantzas N., (1975), Classes in Contemporary Capitalism, NLB: London.
Poulantzas N., (1974), Fascism and Dictatorship: The Third International and the Problem of Fascism, NLB: London.
Poulantzas N., (1973), Political Power and Social Classes, NLB and Sheed &Ward, London.
Sakallioğlu Ü. C., (1997), “The Anatomy of the Turkish Military’s Political Autonomy”, Comparative Politics, Vol: 29, No: 2, p: 151-166.
Sakallioglu U. C., (1996), “Parameters and Strategies of Islam-State Interaction in Republican Turkey”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol: 28, No: 2, p: 231-251.
Savran S., (2010), Türkiye’de Sınıf Mücadeleri: Cilt 1: 1908-1980, (Class Struggles in Turkey: Volume1: 1908-1980), Yordam Kitap: İstanbul.
Sayarı S. and Esmer Y. (eds), (2002), Politics, Parties& Elections in Turkey, Lynne Rienner Publishers: USA.
Sharp J., (2006), “U.S. Democracy Promotion Policy in the Middle East: The Islamist Dilemma”, CRS Report for Congress, Retrieved March 5, 2012, fromhttp://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33486.pdf.
Silverman D., (2001), Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction, SAGE publications: London and New Delhi.
Skocpol, T., (1979), States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China, Cambridge University Press: UK.
Stepan A., (1978), The State and Society: Peru in Comparative Perspective, Princeton University Press: Princeton.
Şen M., (2010), “Transformation of Turkish Islamism and the Rise of the Justice and Development Party”, Turkish Studies, Vol: 11, No: 1, p: 59-64.
Toprak B., (2006), “Islam and Democracy in Turkey”, in, Çarkoğlu A. and Rubin B. (2006), Religion and Politics in Turkey: Routledge: London and NY.
Trotsky L., (1972), The Revolution Betrayed: What is the Soviet Union and Where is it Going?, 5th Edition, Pathfinder Press: NY.
Trotsky L., (1939), The Bonapartist Philosophy of the State, Retrieved April 23, 2012, fromwww.marxists.org.
Trotsky L., (1935a), Bolchevisme contre stalinisme, (Bolshevism against Stalinism), Translated fromNo. 43,Bulletinof the Opposition, reprinted in Fourth International, No. 8-9-10of 1944, Retrieved April 23, 2012, fromhttp://www.marxists.org/francais/trotsky/livres/bcs/bcs07.htm.
Trotsky L., (1935b), “The workers’ state, Thermidor and Bonapartism”, Retrieved May 2, 2012, fromhttp://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1935/02/ws-therm-bon.htm.
Trotsky L., (1933), “The Class Nature of the Soviet State”,Retrieved May 2, 2012, from http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1933/10/sovstate.htm.
Trotsky L., (1907), 1905, Retrieved May 2, 2012, from http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1907/1905/index.htm.
TUSKON(Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey), TUSKON Hakkında (About TUSKON), Retrieved May 2, 2012, from http://www.tuskon.org/?p=content&cl=kurumsal&l=kurumsal.
Tura, A. R., (1998), Kemalist Devlet (The Kemalist State), Kardelen Yayınları: İstanbul, Retrieved March 8, 2012, fromhttp://www.iscimucadelesi.net/kitaplik/kemalist_devlet.pdf.
Tür Ö., (2011), “Economic Relations with the Middle East Under the AKP-Trade, Business Community and Reintegration with Neighboring Zones”, Turkish Studies, Vol: 12, No: 4, p: 589-602.
Yalman G., (2009), Transition to Neoliberalism: The case of Turkey in the 1980s, İstanbul Bilgi University Press: Istanbul.
Yavuz H., (1997), “Political Islam and Welfare (Refah) Party in Turkey”, Comparative Politics, Vol: 30, No: 1, p: 63-82.
Yeşilada B. (2007), “Some expected and some not-so-expected Benefits of Turkey’s EU Membership for both Parties”, paper for presentation at the European Union Studies Conference in Montreal, Retrieved March 3, 2012, fromhttp://aei.pitt.edu/8027/1/yesilada-b-08e.pdf
[i]On 28 February 1997 after meeting in the National Security Council, the military issued an 18-point list of policy recommendations to the government. The list was composed of extending compulsory education from five years to eight years and curbing the activities of religious schools and private Quran courses which was believed to foster anti-secular values (Narli, 2000, p.115).
[ii]“The basic assertion of the synthesis is that Turkishness and Islam are two essential components of the national culture, and Islam is the best suited religion to Turkish culture and identity” (Şen, 2005, p.61).
[iii]Ayşe Buğra (1994, p.22) refers to the studies of E.S. Manson et al (1980), C. Johnson in F.C. Deyo (ed) (1987), Jenkins (1991), and Wade (1990) that South Korean and Taiwan commit to the long term industrial strategy and they ensure to reduce the uncertainty in the economy. Contrary to these examples, the Turkish state is unable to develop an industrial outlook and to create a fertile ground for international competitiveness for her businessmen (Buğra, 1994, p.22-23).
[iv]In the absolutist monarchy, there is also a balance of class forces or ‘equilibrium‘between feudal forces and bourgeoisie. However, “The difference between absolutist monarchy and Bonapartism- which emerges from within the bourgeois state formed through the overthrow of the absolute monarchy- exists above all in the process of how the class equilibrium is achieved” (Karatani, 2012, p.6).