Turkey since 1970: Politics, Economics and Society

Turkey since 1970: Politics, Economics and Society

Turkey since 1970: Politics, Economics and Society

Turkey since 1970: Politics, Economics and Society

Synopsis

Contemporary Turkey often appears to be juggling a plethora of agenda issues (radical Islam, terrorism, separatism, enemies without, enemies within, corruption, inflation, mafia-government links and natural disasters) with military interventions of varying degrees and short-lived, wobbly coalition governments. The contributors to Turkey Since 1970 offer clear and accessible background information to events that have aided and hindered the country's development.

Excerpt

On the whole, Turkey in the 1920s was an agrarian society and economy; today the country is generally urbanized and rapidly industrializing. The social upheavals and economic and political changes such a transformation engenders have placed tremendous strain on the Turkey of its founder's, Atatürk's, vision and the military has intervened four times (1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997). They see themselves and are viewed as the guardians of Atatürk's principles and, therefore, the state.

Today's Turkey often appears to be juggling a mixed bag of agenda issues: radical Islam, terror, separatism, enemies without, enemies within, corruption, inflation, mafia–government links, natural disasters, and so on, with other consistent factors in the country's recent history being military interventions of varying degrees and short-lived wobbly coalition governments.

Turkey since 1970 covers roughly the last thirty years and is designed as a kind of 'starter kit' for anyone interested in Turkey. It was the 1970s that witnessed lawful social expression through workers' unions, syndicates, and professional chambers for example giving way to mass social discontent and violence. This was the decade which also saw rural–urban migration gather pace and the private sector start to take its place in the national make-up.

The 1970s in particular were the years during which the state was particularly anxious about the threat of communism as the Cold War was still very much part of the world order. Political Islam at that time was seen as less of a threat than communism although the Islamic Revolution in neighbouring Iran in 1978 cast doubts on that.

The 1980 coup (known simply as '12 September') is pointed to as the biggest life-changer with people looking back to the previous couple of decades as the years of freedom. It is also the most memorable coup for the loss of life incurred, particularly among intellectuals and those of a left-wing persuasion, and for its effect on the country until now. Meanwhile, the 1982 constitution is still . . .

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