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The Trajectory of Left-Liberalism in Turkey and Its Nemesis: The Great Rupture in the Turkish Left

This article investigates the unique trajectory of Turkish (left-) liberalism which emerged first as an intra-left polemic and left-revisionism in the 1980s and gradually became disassociated from the Left through the 1990s before crystallizing in the 2000s. As the grand narrative of socialism collapsed, while some socialists leaned towards liberalism, others were transformed into left-Kemalists with nationalist commitments and accused left-revisionists and left-liberals of moral corruption, treason and ideological nihilism by using such pejorative labels as liboş and dönek. The debate was not simply ideological and political; both sides developed heavily moralist discourses and questioned the moral integrity of the opposing party. This article attempts to discuss and analyze the principal contours and premises of the emerging Turkish liberalism, left-Kemalism and the post-war Turkish political culture, which only faintly resembles the Western political landscape and cannot be understood through the prism of Western political vocabulary.

The Trajectory of Left-Liberalism in Turkey and Its Nemesis The
Mehmet Altan argued that it was time to terminate the first republic infused with nationalism, authoritarianism and statism and replace it with a Second Republic espousing individualism, civil liberties and a civic culture.

All political cultures construct concepts, labels and idioms that are untranslatable. These concepts, labels and idioms are charged with unique and powerful emotional attributes and acquire their own autonomies and become self-sustaining once they are generated. This is what Koselleck and his colleagues demonstrated persuasively in their impressive literature on “conceptual history.”1 Concepts are not neutral labels. They are not mere nomen. On the contrary, they are emotionally charged and, thus, they may produce and reproduce their meanings and become active agents developing a history of their own. Intellectual historians such as Pocock and Skinner have studied the development of certain concepts, situated them within particular historical, social and cultural junctures, and demonstrated their prominence in the constitution of social and political junctures.2

This study will examine the development of the discourse of left-Kemalism that emerged as a reaction to left-liberalism. This article will have a specific emphasis on the employment of three labels/concepts (dönek, renegade; liboş, convert; and İkinci Cumhuriyetçi, the Second Republic) to discredit liberals, left-liberals and left-revisionists. Highly value-laden and rich in symbolism, they are meant to humiliate left liberals. These labels/concepts need to be understood within the key contours and premises of post-Cold War Turkish political culture and intellectual climate. Analyzing the moralized diatribe between the two camps, this study will scrutinize the rupture of the Turkish Left into two and the ensuing enmity between those who endorsed left-liberalism and those who tilted to Kemalism and compromised Kemalism and socialism. It will be further argued that the unique trajectory of left-revisionism and left-liberalism in Turkey attest to the rise of Turkish liberalism embedded in the historicity and uniqueness of Turkish political and intellectual culture.



Turgut Özal and the Right Revisionism: The Archaeology of the Left-Liberalism

To be able to situate the origins of Turkish left-revisionism and left-liberalism in their historical setting, what first has to be discussed is the emergence of “right-revisionism” in Turkey with Turgut Özal in the 1980s, which subsequently triggered left revisionism and left-liberalism. 

Turgut Özal became the prime minister of Turkey in 1983 in the first election held after the military coup in 1980. Although the election was regarded by some as democratic, the junta had attempted to redesign Turkish politics by creating two brand-new parties, one on the center right and the other on the center left (both of them faithful to the principles esteemed by the military junta), vetoing the participation of the parties which it regarded to be successors of the pre-1980 political parties and screening the candidates of all political parties allowed to take part in the election, thereby cleansing Turkey of the undesired pre-1980 political parties and their rank-and-file. Turgut Özal, who served as the deputy prime minister responsible for economics in the government formed by the military junta and subsequently resigned from his post, founded his political party (the Motherland Party, MP) within this political environment. For reasons that remain unknown and controversial, his party was permitted to run for office. The pre-election polls suggested that the MP and Özal did not enjoy a significant chance. It was expected that the center-right PND (Party of Nationalist Democracy) and the center-left PP (Populist Party), the two parties sanctioned by the military, would be the two major parties dominating the election. However, surprisingly, Turgut Özal’s MP obtained 45% of the vote and became the governing party. Although Özal did not openly criticize the junta (he could not) and (apparently for his own interests) upheld the prohibition on the pre-1980 political parties and their leadership, this electoral result was a heavy blow to the military junta and their political designs.3 

Özal was a complex and controversial figure defying reductionist categorizations.4 He was a pious man who had been a parliamentary candidate for the Islamist National Salvation Party (NSP) in 1977 and was affiliated with the much-feared Nakşibendi religious brotherhood. However, he had an avowed faith in economic liberalism and markets, which distinguished him from the statist visions of Islamists, conservatives and the main line of the Turkish center-right, which acknowledged and advocated a predominant role for the state in the regulation of economy and in the maintenance of social justice and heavy subventions to agricultural goods. His commitment to economic liberalism, experience in bureaucracy and knowledge of economic affairs had enabled him to be appointed as the deputy prime minister responsible for economic affairs in the government of the junta. Although he was conservative in his personal life, he espoused political liberalism. 

Özal was a right revisionist who renounced the conventional rightist paradigms, assumptions and attitudes. He espoused neoliberalism and perceived markets as enriching and liberating people

However, his liberalism hardly resembled Western political liberal culture and ideology. His “populist” liberalism was derived from his peculiar confidence in the “people.” Although the populist Turkish center-right parties and the Turkish right-wing political culture espoused “power to the people,” as seen through the Kemalist establishment controlling the state apparatus, and revered an abstract image of the “people,” Özal reformulated this cliché. Whereas in the classical rightist imagery the people were portrayed as victims suffering from the omnipotent and despotic Kemalist bureaucratic establishment, in Özal’s depiction of the duality, “people” were perceived not as powerless and passive victims but (potentially) active agents of a prospective transformation and modernization of Turkey once this potential was unleashed.5 Özal also renounced the mutually exclusive duality of Kemalist state elite vs. people and envisioned the incorporation of the “people” into the state and state establishment. In other words, the state that was associated with inefficiency, elitism and apathy (and controlled by the Kemalist establishment) had to be reclaimed by the people. Not subscribing to the pessimistic self-victimizing discourse of the Turkish Right, he reclaimed the future for the Turkish “people” as long as the “people” pursued and adapted Western technology, partook in the market, which provides affluence and liberates individuals and society, and became equipped with pertinent practical knowledge to be able to compete in competitive global markets. 

Whereas the 1980s was a decade of ascendancy for the Özalist and neoliberal right, the 1980s was also a decade of breakdown for the socialist left

It may be argued that Özal was a right revisionist who renounced the conventional rightist paradigms, assumptions and attitudes. He espoused neoliberalism and perceived markets as enriching and liberating people. He rejected the conventional left-right dichotomy in Turkish politics. For him, the essential dichotomy was not between rightists and leftists (a conceptual carryover from the Cold War world) but between those who understood and internalized the “spirit of times” and those who failed to grasp the new realities. For him, the conventional leftists and rightist were both disconnected from and unable to adapt to the new realities as they were stuck in the narrow paradigms of the age of Keynesianism and leftists were “playing the same old tunes”.6 For him, both leftists and rightists were failing to acclimatize themselves to the economic transformations (i.e., the age of neoliberalism) and lacked the dynamism to comprehend the profoundness (and inevitability) of the neoliberal transformation.7 He was not sympathetic to leftists, whom he perceived as alienated from the values of the people (following the rightist imagery of the Turkish Left). However, he did not categorically dismiss dialog with the leftists, unlike the traditional vigilant anti-communism upheld by the Turkish Right. He did not demonize the Left. On the contrary, he wholeheartedly welcomed leftists who “don’t wage the old wars with us” and “internalize the revolutionary transformations in economy and mentalities”, pleased to obtain the endorsement he sought for from the (left-leaning) intellectuals. Hence, he developed positive relations with “selected leftists” whom he perceived as deferential to the agenda and concerns of the Turkish Right.8

The 1980s was not only a decade of radical transformation and reorganization for the Turkish Right but also for the Turkish Left. Whereas the 1980s was a decade of ascendancy for the Özalist and neoliberal right, the 1980s was also a decade of breakdown for the socialist left not only organizationally, due to the brutal suppression of the Left by the military junta, but also intellectually and ideologically.



The Collapse of the Left and the Origins of Left-Revisionism in the 1980s

The 1980 military coup crushed the Left violently, prosecuting and jailing tens of thousands of leftists. The failure of the political strategies of the Left resulted in the questioning of the credibility of the methods employed in the 1970s. It also gave rise to the questioning of the fundamental ideological assumptions and premises to which the Left had stalwartly subscribed, given that the failed political strategies were developed in accordance with these ideological assumptions and premises. 

As early as the first half of the 1980s, many leftists had begun arguing that conventional strategies for assuming power were not only politically futile but also fallacious and ideologically out of place

Astonishingly, leftist organizations were unable to organize any substantial resistance to the military rule. The military was successful in crushing both the bases and leadership of all the leftist organizations. As early as the first half of the 1980s, many leftists had begun arguing that conventional strategies for assuming power were not only politically futile but also fallacious and ideologically out of place.9 In the 1980s, after the relaxation of the controls on leftist publishing, new agendas, which were debated in journals and forums that were not strictly political, emerged within the Left. There appeared new themes of environmentalism, feminism, homosexuality and advocacy of minority rights on the leftist agenda. A tilt towards a paradigmatic shift within the Left through the 1980s was visible.10 The agendas and themes of 1968 from the West and the “New Left” finally reached the Turkish Left in the decade following the 1980 military coup.11 

Two journals were arguably representative of this paradigmatic shift. The journal Nokta, which was published by Ercan Arıklı, a prominent publisher, epitomized the transformation of the intellectual and ideological parameters and priorities of Turkish journalism and the culture of the Turkish Left. It pursued an unprecedentedly novel publishing policy. Recruiting many young leftist journalists as reporters and editors, Nokta addressed a larger audience through its liberal and progressive perspective. This journal broke many taboos in Turkey and audaciously discussed publicly such issues as sexuality, homosexuality, the much feared but not well known religious brotherhoods, and numerous other political taboos regarding the history of contemporary Turkey imposed by the Kemalist official indoctrinization. Although it was hardly a leftist journal, this project epitomized the new prospects of the evolution of the Left and the new agenda of progressivism. While Nokta was not strictly a political journal it criticized the anti-democratic legislation and practices and the infringements of rights and liberties that had been imposed by the new 1982 Constitution prepared by the military junta. Unlike the Özalphilism of the prospective Turkish left-liberalism, it was staunchly anti-Özal, depicting him as the incarnation of corruption, hedonism and a beneficiary and successor of the military coup of 1980. It also backed social democrats in opposition as the foremost defender of civil liberties and democratization. 

“Democracy” and “rights and liberties” emerged as a major problem and agenda for the Left discovered after the brutal suppression of the military junta in 1980

Yeni Gündem was the other influential journal of the era, published by Birikim, one of the prominent pre-1980 socialist circles, addressing a socialist audience. Resembling the publishing policy of Nokta, it did not pursue a strictly political and politically engaged publishing policy. It pursued a new socialist agenda that was at variance with the agendas of the pre-1980 Turkish Left and prioritized democratization and the enhancement of civil liberties and rights rather than addressing mainly social and economical concerns. In the 1970s, the socialist circle Birikim was known for its interest in Western socialism and democratic socialism in contrast to the other socialist movements that were dismissive of democratic socialism and espoused Maoist and third-worldist ideologies. Not surprisingly, the Birikim circle played a vanguard role in the change and evolution of the outlook of the Left in the 1980s. In this decade, the priorities, concerns and agendas of some of the factions of the Left changed dramatically. The agendas newly discovered, which were conspicuously absent in the 1970s, included feminism and gender, the Kurdish problem and ethnicity, homosexuality, and non-Muslim minorities. The outright renouncement of accession to the EEC, which used to be regarded as the bastion of imperialism, was questioned and some factions in the Left began to espouse accession to the EEC in the name of democratization and enhancement of civil and political rights and liberties. Furthermore, encountering the brutal suppression of the military junta and the ensuing authoritarian 1982 Constitution prepared by the junta, democracy became a value that had to be espoused. Electoral democracy was no more despised. On the contrary, it was acknowledged as a constitutive and indispensible component of the socialist ideal. The rights and liberties also became one of the foremost concerns of the Left. Intensely debated was the question of whether the Left could ally with others (first and foremost with Süleyman Demirel, the banned chairman of the pre-1980 center-right Justice Party) who opposed the regime imposed by the military junta. The interventions of the Turkish military and military coups were problematized not as “capitalist plots” but as “democratic deficits”. Furthermore, the 1960 military coup, which had been previously perceived as “progressive” and therefore acclaimed by the Left, also began to be criticized. The infringement of the rights and liberties of practicing Muslims and freedom of belief were also regarded as problems to be addressed. In short, “democracy” and “rights and liberties” emerged as a major problem and agenda for the Left discovered after the brutal suppression of the military junta in 1980. 

In the 1980s, while some of the leftist movements, individuals and organizations hung on to the basic premises and methods of the Turkish socialist movement of the 1970s, others advanced new agendas. Although the disagreements between leftist organizations and factions were severe and irreconcilable on certain issues, the “Left” was perceived as one and monolithic and the other factions were denounced as diversions from the correct interpretation of the Left.

Nevertheless, the seeds of disassociation were growing underground.12 This new cultural climate encouraged some leftists to move in new directions. The novels of two leftist popular novelists, Latife Tekin and Ahmet Altan (Sevgili Arsız Ölüm, Gece Dersi, Sudaki İz), in the 1980s epitomized the new course. The new literary style, which probed the self and individual angst (as well as sexuality) that blossomed after the military coup in 1980, were stigmatized as “escapism” and thus a capitulation to the military junta13 and a swing to the right in the eyes of the socialists who were committed to the political vigilance of the Left of the 1970s and permeated with socialist realist esthetics. These novels and the new interest in (postmodern) literature was regarded by the old guard as an internalization of the apathetic and apolitical culture the military junta imposed and Özal maintained and further promoted. Apparently, those who dismissed the norms and value system of the pre-1980 Turkish Left and “socialist realism” were regarded as traitors to the leftist cause and were dubbed derogatorily as döneks. For one socialist author and opinion leader, the novels of Ahmet Altan and Latife Tekin epitomized “renegade literature” (dönek ebediyatı).14 For him, this escapist tendency in literature was tantamount to what “renegade” Kautsky did in politics. 

The end of the Cold War ensued the emergence of new political alignments in Turkey. It was in this historical setting that the concept of the Second Republic emerged

The Özal years (the 1980s) also witnessed an increased advocacy of economic liberalization. The apparent failure of the socialist economics was further discredited with the collapse of Soviet Union and the communist model at the end of the 1980s. Özal became an anti-Christ for Turkish socialists and left-Kemalists alike at this juncture. He not only epitomized the unabashedly arrogant face of neoliberal capitalism but also its hedonistic and self-triumphalism blended with religiosity and conservative values.15 The critical socialists of the 1980s were as critical of Özal as others given that Özal first and foremost epitomized the Friedman economics, deregulation and liberalization of markets that had been ushered in by the military junta. Thus, in the eyes of the socialists, Özal and the militarism of the junta were equivalent. The socialist Left, which could not organize in the 1980s, predominantly supported the social democratic Social Democrat Populist Party (SDPP), in opposition to Turgut Özal’s MP and its neoliberal vision, as it was seen as the “most progressive mainstream party contesting elections”.16 However, gradually some of them lost their faith in a Keynesian economic order and even began to perceive Özal’s self-styled liberalism, his liberal utopia and his challenge of the statist and authoritarian official ideology of the Republic as emancipatory and progressive.17 

The most avid opponents of the emerging left-liberalism and left-revisionism were leftist Kemalists

This revisionist view infuriated socialists. For them, those who sympathized with Özal and espoused the vision of the Second Republic were merely whitewashing the neoliberal new world order and the military junta of 1980-83.18 Korkut Boratav, a revered professor of economics and a leftist public opinion leader, was outraged and embarrassed with observing the disgraceful intellectual trajectories of “Özalist leftists”.19 Melih Pekdemir, one of the leaders of the Turkish left of 1970s, was disgruntled with the fact that “Özal became the natural leader of many leftists”.20 For Mümtaz Soysal, an esteemed socialist professor of constitutional law and who in time became a left-Kemalist, dubbed the pro-Özal leftists as “wannabe dandies”.21



The Second Republic

The end of the Cold War ensued the emergence of new political alignments in Turkey. It was in this historical setting that the concept of the Second Republic emerged. Mehmet Altan, a professor of economics in Istanbul University, emerged as one of the leftists who was impressed by Özal’s “right revisionism,” his taboo-breaking audaciousness, his mockery of the authoritarian conventions of the establishment and explicit renunciation of many of Kemalist credos in the 1980s.22 Mehmet Altan articulated the Second Republic concept for the first time in January 1991 in his column in the daily Sabah.23 This concept gradually became the catchword defining a newly emerging intelligentsia with a distinctive worldview and political disposition and gained notoriety in the eyes of many. Mehmet Altan argued that it was time to terminate the first republic infused with nationalism, authoritarianism and statism and replace it with a Second Republicespousing individualism, civil liberties and a civic culture.24

The paradigm/vision of Second Republic, calling for the replacement of the Kemalist, authoritarian and state-centric “first republic” with a liberal and fully democratic Second Republic, became an umbrella term subsuming all the “heretic leftists” and “renegades” with diverse political leanings and commitments. 

The double threats of the Second Republic and Özal became the two constitutive others against which the conservative modernism of the socialists and Kemalists merged

Although Mehmet Altan used this concept to represent his own views and outlook, it acquired notoriety and negative connotations in the eyes of Kemalists and the public who regarded themselves as loyal to the ideals and visions of Atatürk and Kemalism. Yet, the most avid opponents of the emerging left-liberalism and left-revisionism and who persistently and systematically used this term as a form of disparagement were leftist Kemalists. In the eyes of its opponents, the Second Republic meant subjugation to Özal, his value system and neoliberal capitalism. The Second Republic was associated with ideological nihilism and renunciation of any political commitment and altruism.25 For the leftist Kemalists, the Second Republic denigrated simultaneously both the republican and socialist commitments and utopias.26 

Although, socialism and Kemalism differed in many aspects, they entertained numerous commonalities. Turkish socialism had been influenced to a great extent by Kemalism and was largely based on the assumptions and premises of Kemalism in 1960s. They were two modern utopias sharing the modern faith that society could be transformed and improved. They both believed that the idealism of the enlightened few and a romantic commitment were values to be cherished. 

With the end of the Cold War and the Keynesian compromise, many disillusioned socialists gradually reconstructed their political and social cosmologies in line with the (left) Kemalist statist premises given the affinity between the two and their common modernist utopianisms. The double threats of the Second Republic and Özal became the two constitutive others against which the conservative modernism of the socialists and Kemalists merged. Özal was the anti-Christ of both socialists and Kemalists.27 Liberalism was perceived as tantamount to the abandonment of any faith in progress and values of the Enlightenment and the subjugation to the philistine culture of Özalism and neoliberalism. Özal’s unabashed rhetoric of neoliberalism emerged as the mutual enemy of (orthodox) socialists and Kemalists as these two dispositions shared a modernist ethos. As the conventional left-right spectrum dissolved and became irrelevant in the age of neoliberalism, new trans-ideological alliances emerged in which the Turkish Left ruptured into two diametrically opposite camps. 

The Second Republic, on the other hand, foresaw a non-utopian utopia. It did not glorify revolutionary transformations. Its utopia was the renunciation of utopian ideologies and the endorsement of liberal democracy in which different and clashing ideologies coexisted peacefully with mutual deference. The vision of the Second Republic resembled Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesis in many regards. For Mehmet Altan, liberal democracy and capitalism were the only credible and progressive structures proven with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of state socialist regimes.28 He subscribed to the optimistic Marxian interpretation of history and with a twist, welcomed liberal democrat capitalism as the end of history. For him, the new capitalism was not the brutal capitalism of the 19th century but rather a capitalism with a human face that was bound to the rule of law, democracy, and rights and liberties. It was not to be crony capitalism but a regulated capitalism. This historicizing interpretation arose from Mehmet Altan’s leftist background, motivations and agenda. Ironically, given the strictly Hegelian base of the “end of history”, these interactions are explicable and, arguably, the Turkish Second Republic was a variant of European left-revisionisms emerging after 1968. 

The Turkish left-liberals gradually disassociated themselves from the Left and became critical of its flaws and affinity to the Turkish republican ideology

The premises of the Second Republic and the left-liberals also resembles Francois Furet and his maxim stating that “French Revolution was over” in the 1980s29 more than Fukuyama and the Anglo-Saxon New Right. As Francois Furet contested the premises of the French Revolution, the republican ideology and cult in France, the Turkish left-liberals challenged the basic premises of the founding ideology of the Turkish republic (Kemalism). Just as Francois Furet’s critical stance to the French Revolution and republican ideology was commensurate with his disassociation from the Left, the Turkish left-liberals also gradually disassociated themselves from the Left and became critical of its flaws and affinity to the Turkish republican ideology. Mehmet Altan (and many others) juxtaposed liberal democracy and capitalism in opposition to Kemalist and nationalist official ideology rather than socialism, but his critical posture against Kemalism and nationalist official ideology of the Turkish state ensured the jettisoning of his socialist creed. Thus, the aspirations of the Second Republic not only originated from Left concerns but also espoused the socialist commitments.



The Rise of Liberal Demonology in the Left and Kemalism

In the Özal years, two idioms, liboş (to address liberals) and dönek (to address ex-leftists and liberal leftists), entered the Turkish political lexicon. The label dönek was employed as an insult to those who had once been leftists but had abandoned their views, opinions and political beliefs in time. The label dönek was highly associated with Lenin’s attack on Kautsky in his pamphlet The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky.30 The translation of this pamphlet and its flamboyant title had great influence and popularity within the Turkish Left in the 1970s.31 It provoked leftists to “unmask” the “objective counter-revolutionaries” within the Turkish socialist movement and those betraying the progressive movement and liquidating it.32 

In the 1980s, due to various reasons, such as the brutal suppression of the Left, the diversification of the intellectual landscape in Turkey, and the arrival of critical thought from the West and the disillusionment with the leftist utopia and political project, led some on the Left to abandon their faith in socialism. This development was detested vehemently by the socialists subscribing to orthodox Marxism who perceived this as treachery. Those disillusioned with the all-encompassing theoretical framework of Marxism were dubbed dönek (renegade, convert) although many of the so-called dönek were merely interested in non-Marxist socialist currents. However, in the 1980s, the discourse of dönek gained a very specific connotation. Although the concept of dönek should theoretically imply a conversion, in the Turkish context it implied something very different. It is not that these so-called döneks necessarily renounced socialism and leftist commitments. On the contrary, many not only self-styled themselves as socialists but they believed that they arrived at socialism only after relinquishing Kemalist residues. Furthermore, it is not that those who accused their ideological nemesis were faithful to their socialist commitments they entertained in the 1970s. They arguably compromised their socialist worldviews to nationalist and Kemalist premises which led them to be more disturbed by those whom they dubbed dönek. What infuriated them with regard to döneks and led them to construct a demonic imagery of döneks was not the political preferences of their opponents but something more subtle and more profound that cannot be explicable within the political realm as the sexual connotations of these cursory labels reveal. 

The label dönek gained currency with the emergence of a (left) liberal intellectual axis in the late 1980s. Korkut Boratav, one of the eminent professors of economics who was expelled from university after the military coup in 1980 for his socialist persuasion, employed the term dönek to indicate those who succumbed to the military coup and became collaborators. Those who renounced socialism and Marxism in later stages were, for Boratav, predominantly collaborators. Boratav defined döneklik (renegadism) as “an illness without any cure.”33 Whereas for Hasan Yalçın the loyalist intelligentsia of Özal was composed of döneks,34 for Doğu Perinçek, döneks constituted the “intellectual backbone of the liberal system”.35 However, it was Uğur Mumcu, a left-Kemalist columnist in the 1980s, who emerged as the most prominent popularizer of this demonology. He persistently employed this label to debase those who were once leftists but in time had become proponents of the Özalist values (in the name of democracy and liberalism).36 For him, these ex-leftists were “jesters of arabesque liberalism awashed with renegadism (döneklik), bootlicking and maliciousness”37 and presented “salivating slanders and flattery in their columns in newspapers”.38 After he was assassinated in 1993, he became one of the icons of left-Kemalism. His memory epitomized republican and leftist virtues (within the modernist premises), modesty (as opposed to neoliberal hedonism and postmodern nihilism), incorruptibleness (as opposed to the liberal corruption), uncompromising political credentials (as opposed to those opportunists who adapted to the neoliberal and postmodern political culture), and enlightenment values. Although his views on some issues, such as those regarding the Kurdish problem, were not necessarily compatible with the neo-nationalist ideological and intellectual portrait of Uğur Mumcu drawn by the neo-nationalist Left-Kemalist intelligentsia, his uncompromising stance against liberalism, left revisionism and neoliberal culture made him sacrosanct not only in the eyes of the left-Kemalists but also among the centrist Kemalists as well. Uğur Mumcu was acclaimed as a staunch defender of modernist values and Spartan republican modesty and thus became the ultimate heroic figure of republican socialism and Kemalist republicanism and epitomized the permeability between the two dispositions.39 

As argued above, the pejorative term dönek is employed not to denote those who have renounced socialism but those who have repudiated the premises of the republican/Kemalist paradigm along with the Marxian premises they held, which were constructed upon belief in progress and a certain harmonious social order. What these döneks rejected was the Promethean narrative and utopia of modernity in its Kemalist and/or socialist forms. As the Second Republicbecame irreconcilable with the republican and “old Left” premises, some of the factions of the Turkish “old Left” and Kemalist republicanism became close allies and both reacted to the perceived threats from liberal nihilism and gravitated to a Kemalist conservative stance. 

The label liboş, feminized liberals, associated liberalism with homosexuality and effeminacy.40 This label, which had strong negative and homophobic connotations, became popularized especially by Kemalist and leftist circles, and associated liberalism with the hedonistic and philistine mores which they attributed to the “age of Turgut Özal”. The Spartan qualities of the republic and socialism were juxtaposed in contrast to the hedonistic culture of neoliberalism and postmodernism. It was Emin Çölaşan, a centrist Kemalist, who popularized this label and employed it as an insult for those who were ex-leftists and defended the neoliberal and hedonistic economics and culture of Turgut Özal, as well as other supporters of Özal.41 Emin Çölaşan was a journalist who gained popularity with his best-selling books in 1980s on Özal’s personal frauds42 and the sins and deficiencies of the liberal political economy of Özal.43 His anti-corruption agenda and his association of corruption and moral degeneration as a result of liberal economics, politics and values, led him to extol the Kemalist era as the age of virtue and incorruptibility and juxtaposed the hedonist and effeminate liberal age of Özal as the diametrical opposite of the arduous, idealist and nationally-minded Kemalist era. Thus, from an anti-corruption agenda, an anti-liberal statist and Kemalist ideology was generated. The Kemalist era was perceived as a safe haven in which refuge could be taken in the unabashedly corrupt age of neoliberalism. He contrasted the ethos of a certain “imagined community” sharing the same personal values (from which their political values were derived) involving social responsibility, modesty and patriotism (hence, Kemalist) with the ethos of the liboş of the age of Özal that was unprincipled, morally corrupt and insensitive to the prospects of the secular republic (hence, treacherous and anti-Kemalist, and anti-nationalist). For Çölaşan and others, as epitomized in the homophobic idiom liboş, liberalism was associated with the debasing of all social and ethical values, corruptness and femininity. For Çölaşan, a liboş was a Machiavellian who has no respect and concern for the social, ethical and just and benefited from the opportunities of neoliberalism. For him, “those semi-intellectual (entel) traitor types who dominate in the media and supposedly promoting the cause of human rights”44 are imminent threats to the Turkish republic and the Turkish nation especially stemming from their lack of any national sentiments and principles and even hostility to national sentiments. This perception was so ubiquitous that the dictionary of the semi-official Turkish Language Society defined liboş as “someone who espouses liberal economics and politics, aims at becoming rich quickly and sees all means as legitimate to use in enriching himself and disregards ethical values.”45 This definition apparently perceived liberalism as negative and something to be abhorred and ashamed of. Evidently, the label dönek is also heavily charged with sexist and homophobic connotations (reminding one of transsexuality and transgression of sexual mores and sexual identities). Thus, liberalism and, especially, subscribers of liberalism coming from the Left, transgress acceptable norms and values of the social order and thus had to be denounced outright.

The labels dönek and liboş gained popularity among both Kemalist and leftist circles, especially within the left-Kemalist circles, which became radicalized throughout 1990s in response to the emergence of a liberal-left and liberal intellectual axis. Atilla İlhan, a prominent left-Kemalist intellectual,46 was particularly ardent at leveling attacks on the döneks. Although he had previously been aloof to the nationalist and Stalinists wings of the Turkish socialist movement, in the second half of 1990s, he developed a particular ideology in which he merged his Kemalist and socialist commitments and added a Turkist dimension to his ideology in the name of anti-imperialism.47 In his articles printed on the back pages of the daily Cumhuriyet, he consistently assailed the liberal and left-liberal intellectuals and associated them with the liberal intellectuals of Istanbul during the Allied occupation in Istanbul and accused them of collaborating with the imperialist Western powers, like those who had accommodated to the British occupation and rule.48 The dichotomy was established between those who are nationally-minded and have faith in social and cultural progress and the döneks who are cosmopolitan, nihilist and lacking any social concerns and sensibilities.49 For him, a dönek was the very incarnation of political opportunism and debasement of the social and ethical values in the age of neoliberalism and postmodernism. He perceived the döneks as an important issue to be dealt with and thus he called his book published in 2002 consisting of his articles published in Cumhuriyet “Dönek Bereketi” (Abundance of Renegades).50 

With the rise of neo-nationalism in the centrist Kemalist and left-Kemalist ideological axis throughout the 2000s (predominantly as a reaction to the conservative and neoliberal Islamist reformist JDP), these labels as insults gained an unprecedented popularity. Atilla İlhan initiated and edited a book series entitled A Nation is Awakening, named after a book he edited with the same name,51 published by a mainstream commercial publishing house (Bilgi Yayınevi), which gathered the essays of nationalists from leftist (Erol Manisalı, Ataol Behramoğlu, Mehmet Perinçek), centrist (Vural Savaş, Sinan Aygün), and right-wing (Sadi Somuncuoğlu, Arslan Bulut) backgrounds. These contributors subsequently published books in the series in nationalist and anti-liberal veins.52 Attila İlhan gained popularity among the right-wing neo-nationalist circles as well.53 What united left-wing Kemalists, centrist Kemalists, and right-wing nationalists was the common enemy, which was imperialism, domestic threats and the ascendancy of liberalism and liberal hedonist values. In the preface to the first book of the series, Atilla İlhan wrote that the series was organized to serve “those readers who were committed to protecting the independence of the Turkish Republic under the most severe conditions”, paraphrasing the words Atatürk employed to portray the British and Greek occupation in 1918-1922.54 The common enemy created a “holy alliance” subsuming ideological differences. Kemalism was reinvented, independent from its historicity, as the diametric opposite of the contemporary predatory liberalism. This liberalism was more a “fantasy” than a reality. It was imagined as representing all the malicious developments and threats. In the post-Gutenbergian galaxy, not only in the essays of the neo-nationalist authors but also on the websites, blogs and mailing groups, idioms and pejorative terms such as dönek55 and liboş56 became rampant and normalized.57 These liboşes and döneks were depicted as being in the service of this imperialist plot, bearing enmity towards the solidaristic and altruistic values and social order of the secular Turkish republic and Turkish nation due to their unsocial and degenerate personalities.58 Thus, as apparent from the vile connotations of the labels liboş and dönek, the criticisms leveled against liberalism and its subscribers were not perpetrated at the political realm but at the very personal level and moral realm. Liberalism was discredited not as a political ideology but as a socially unapproved and deviant behavior. It was depicted as a non-altruistic and unsocial ideology. Thus, liberalism could be easily debased as a degenerated, feminized and debauched ideology with the employment of terms such as liboş and dönek

Leftist intellectuals gradually became critical of the Turkish Left’s democratic deficit, its proclivity toward militarism and authoritarianism and its affinity with Kemalism



Left-Revisionism and the Turkish Path to Liberalism?

As argued above, the label Second Republic became an umbrella term subsuming the constellation of disillusioned socialists who were disappointed both with the socialist project in general and the course of the Turkish Left in particular. Beginning in the 1980s, these leftist intellectuals gradually became critical of the Turkish Left’s democratic deficit, its proclivity toward militarism and authoritarianism and its affinity with Kemalism.

In time, they ended up renouncing socialism and endorsing a liberal democratic agenda. Nevertheless, probably due to the negative connotations of liberalism within the Left and in Turkey in general, many refrained from identifying themselves as “liberals.” No “liberal axis” has developed in Turkey between the “left” and “right” poles. The concept of the Second Republic filled this vacuum temporarily in the 1990s. In fact, we may call this process “left-revisionism.” In a sense, such Western intra-Left debates as the “New Left” and Eurocommunism had its impact in Turkey after a delay of two decades. 

In the post-Cold War era, these left-revisionists acknowledged the lack of any revolutionary potential in the working class.59 The working class was no more regarded as inherently “progressive.” It was democracy and the espousal of civil liberties that had to be prioritized. For these revisionists, the Turkish Left lacked an intellectual and ideological thrust to work towards these ends. They did not necessarily convert to liberalism or any other ideology but merely denounced the old-fashioned Left and became “independents.”60 

As argued above, the Second Republic was associated with these intellectuals a posteriori. Except for Mehmet Altan, almost none of them enthusiastically endorsed this label. The concept was popularized as an insult to these left-revisionists. Other derogatory labels such as liboş and dönek emerged due to the perception of liberalism in Turkey not as a legitimate ideology and worldview but as the quintessence of “unprincipledness.” There is no one single trajectory subsuming the intellectual odyssey of all these “heretic leftists” and “left-revisionists” with diverse political leanings and commitments. However, we can detect a certain pattern subsuming these independent trajectories from their former socialist politics to post-socialist politics. While many of them did not refer to themselves as “liberals,” and even consciously dismissed any such claim, it can be argued that this was a genuine trajectory toward Turkish liberalism.

In the 20th century liberalism was conspicuously non-existent in Turkey both as a political and intellectual current. Furthermore, it was perceived as treacherous not only by Kemalist ideology61 but also from 1960s onwards by the Right and the Left. Although a few individuals and circles may be legitimately identified as “liberal,” we can hardly speak of an organized liberalism movement. Only with the end of the Cold War and the end of a right-left polarization could an environment favorable to liberalism flourish and develop. The Association for Liberal Thinking (ALT) was founded in Ankara in 199262 by academicians with right-wing origins who endorsed a Hayekian liberal perspective in the 1980s. It was the first institution that could proudly style itself “liberal.” Nevertheless, it was the emergence of a new political/intellectual axis comprised of disillusioned leftists throughout 1990s that entailed the emergence of an influential and publicly visible non-leftist and liberal intellectual space given that in Turkey, the Left had owned the intellectual hegemony and capital.

Lacking any endonym besides the derogatory labels attached to these intellectuals, in the second half of the 2000s, this intellectual axis endorsed the idiom “democrats” for self-identification. With its launching in November 2007, the daily Taraf became the de facto medium of the left-liberals and left-revisionists. With the Taraf, liberalism finally began to be regarded as a credible ideology that had to be taken into consideration. Curiously, although they (and the daily Taraf) identified themselves as “democrats”,63 their foes identified them as liberals (given that “democrat” is a word with positive connotations as opposed to “liberal”). While the ideological dispositions and the subscribers of Taraf were hardly liberal, this process partially resembled and reproduced the European pattern of the development of liberalism with some other aspects deriving from the peculiar historicity of Turkey and the culture of Turkish liberalism. This was the path dependency of the Turkish liberalism.




This paper has attempted to explain the course of the emergence of left-liberalism and left-revisionism. It points out that in Turkey neither liberalism nor socialism has corresponded to its European counterpart. While socialism emerged as a popular ideology among intellectuals and the youth in the 1960s, as a composite of progressive Kemalism and nationalism infused with some of the tenets of European socialism, liberalism could not find a legitimate space on the Turkish political and intellectual landscape and was perceived as limited to an advocacy of laissez-faire and unregulated capitalism. The uniqueness of the Turkish structure of ideological patterns became even more complicated with the end of the Cold War. In Turkey, the conventional paradigms of left and right had collapsed by the late 1990s due to the complexities emerging from the increasing role of the military in politics to encounter Islamism, the collapse of the center-right parties and creeping democratization and liberalization. Subsequently, political realignments were restructured within a new polarization in which the opposite poles emerged as liberalism and nationalism. The Turkish Left responded in three ways to these developments. Whereas some endorsed liberal democratic or left-liberal postures, others became left-neo-nationalists (in opposition to the encroaching neoliberalism and imperialist threat), siding with the Kemalist establishment. The third response was aloofness towards both ends of this polarization in the name of socialism and dismissal of bourgeoisie politics. 

With the mechanism of moralizing as seen in the widespread employment of the derogatory labels discussed above, liberals were indicted with treason and regarded as morally corrupt by Kemalists (and by opportunism and subordination to predatory capitalism and neoliberalism by socialists) and seen as acknowledging no legitimacy to those who do not espouse and champion nationalism and “republican values and virtues” which were regarded as the code of political ethics. The liberals were also prone to the same strategy, moralizing their political views and indicting their opponents with moral corruption and demonizing Kemalism and nationalism. This is because in the post-Cold War Turkish politics were conducted not on the basis of differences in political views but rather on moral judgments and indictments as a legacy of the Kemalist/nationalist political culture. In this Manichean imagery, while references to nationalism and Kemalist republican values was regarded as “socially appropriate” attitude, liberalism was identified as a transgression from social norms as this perception was crystallized in such insulting labels as liboş and dönek. The liberals are also arguably prone to perceive their opponents as not only politically but also morally corrupt. The Turkish political culture, as of 2011, still awaits a normalization (and elimination of the identification of nationalism with morality) although one could legitimately question if the “normal” of the West and Western political vocabulary and pattern may be regarded as “normal” for Turkey with its distinctive political culture and history.




  1. For the “history of concepts” see Reinhart Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History (Stanford: Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002); Reinhardt Koselleck, Critique and Crisis: Pathogenesis of Modern Society (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988); Melvin Richter, The History of Political and Social Concepts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995); Keith Tribe, “The GG Project: from History of Ideas to Conceptual History,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 31 (January 1989), pp. 180-184; Melvin Richter, “Begriffsgeschichte and the History of Ideas,” Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 48, No. 2 (April 1987), pp. 247-263.
  2. J.G.A. Pocock, The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law (Cambridge: University Press, 1957); J.G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975); Quentin Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism(Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Sarah Maza, The Myth of the French Bourgeoisie (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2003); William Hamilton Sewell, A Rhetoric of Bourgeois Revolution: The Abbe Sieyes and What is the Third Estate (Durham: Duke University Press, 1994); Michael Sonenscher, Sans-Culetes: An Eighteenth Century Emblem in the French Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008); Keith Michael Baker, Inventing the French Revolution (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
  3. For the establishment of MP and the 1983 elections, see Üstün Ergüder, “The Motherland Party, 1983-1989”, Metin Heper, Jacob Landau (ed.), Political Parties and Democracy in Turkey (London; New York: I.B.Tauris, 1991), pp. 152-157; Ersin Kalaycıoğlu, “The Motherland Party”, Metin Heper and Barry Rubin (ed.), Political Parties in Turkey, (London; Portland: Frank Cass, 2002); Ali Eşref Turan, Türkiye’de Seçmen Davranışı, (Istanbul: Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, 2006), pp. 127-134.
  4. For a portrayal of Özal see Feride Acar, “Turgut Özal: Pious Agent of Liberal Transformation,” Metin Heper, Sabri Sayarı (ed.), Political Leaders and Democracy in Turkey (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2002). For the Motherland Party of 1980s, see Ersin Kalaycıoğlu, “The Motherland Party”, Metin Heper, Barry Rubin (ed.), Political Parties in Turkey (London; Portland: Frank Cass, 2002). Also for some insightful portraits of Özal, see Yavuz Gökmen, Özal Sendromu (Ankara: V Yayınları, 1992); Hasan Cemal, Özal Hikayesi (Ankara: Bilgi Yayınevi, 1989).
  5. For the discourses and imagery of the Turkish Right and right populism, see Tanel Demirel, Adalet Partisi: İdeoloji ve Politika (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2004); Yüksel Taşkın, Milliyetçi Muhafazakar Entelijansiya (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2007). 
  6. Mehmet Barlas (ed.), Turgut Özal’ın Anıları (Istanbul: Sabah Kitapları, 1996), p. 123.
  7. Mehmet Barlas (ed.), Turgut Özal’ın Anıları, p. 123.
  8. Mehmet Barlas (ed.), Turgut Özal’ın Anıları, p. 142.
  9. Murat Belge, “Sosyalist Parti,” Yeni Gündem, Vol. 2, No. 2 (November 17-23, 1986), Murat Belge, Yeni Gündem, “Orta Kademe,” Yeni Gündem, Vol. 3, No. 10 (May 12-18, 1986).
  10. “TKP’nin Öyküsü: 67 Yıllık Efsane,” Nokta, Vol. 5, No. 41 (October 18, 1987). Haydar Kutlu (Nabi Yağcı), the chairman of the Turkish Communist Party in exile, argued that their political program was drastically different from their earlier political programs. Ibid., p. 14. 
  11. For a comparison between the Turkish ’68 events and the European ’68 events, see Murat Belge, “‘68 ve Sonrasında Sol Hareket,” Toplum ve Bilim, No. 41 (Spring 1988), pp. 153-166; Kürşat Bumin,“ ’68 Türkiye’de Yaşandı mı?” Birikim, No. 109 (May 1998), pp. 61-63; Şahin Alpay, “ ‘68 Kuşağı Üzerine,” Toplum ve Bilim, No. 41 (Spring 1988), pp. 187-192.
  12. In the mid-1980s, Murat Belge and his journal Yeni Gündem became a bete noir of disagreeing leftists. Two concepts associated with Murat Belge, namely civil society and liberalism, were employed exhaustively to discredit and “unmask” his right revisionism. See “Sol’da Muhasebe İhtiyacı,” Saçak, No. 21, October 1985, pp. 3-6; Doğu Perinçek, “Liberal Akımın Saçak’taki İzleri,” Saçak, No. 55, August 1988, pp. 5-17; Salih Ural, “Murat Belge’nin Geçmiş Arayışı,” Saçak, No. 32/3 (April 1984), pp. 16-83. Also see “Tarih, Devrim, ‘Sivil Toplum’culuk’, Saçak, No. 32/3 (April 1984), pp. 3-12.
  13. Yalçın Küçük, Bir Soran Olursa (Istanbul: Tekin Yayınevi, 1987), pp. 78-79.
  14. Yalçın Küçük, Bir Soran Olursa (Istanbul: Tekin Yayınevi, 1987), pp. 82, 128-129, Yalçın Küçük, Küfür Romanları (Istanbul: Tekin Yayınevi, 1988), p. 71.
  15. For an overview of the socialist Left’s assessment of Özal, his value system and his MP, see “ANAP Parti Oldu mu?,” İkibin’e Doğru, Vol. 1, No. 12 (March 22, 1987), pp. 16-22.
  16. “Sosyalist Parti Tartışmaları: Niyet de Talep de Var, Peki Niye Yok,” Yeni Gündem, Vol. 2, No. 2 (March 17-23, 1986), p. 17; “SHP: Bunalımı Aşabilecek mi?,” İkibin’e Doğru, Vol.1, No. 16 (April 19, 1987), pp. 16-23; “Erken Seçim: Sosyalist Sol Ne Yapacak?,” İkibin’e Doğru, Vol.1, No. 39 (September 20, 1987), pp. 28-30.
  17. When Nabi Yağcı, the chairman of illegal TCP (Turkish Communist Party), who recently returned to Turkey from his political exile (and jailed after his arrest at the airport), in an interview on TV in November 1990 said that the “Motherland Party is the party closest to us in terms of their approach to free market,” it was a great blow for the members and sympathizers of the party. Naciye Babalık, Türkiye Komünist Partisi’nin Sönümlenmesi (Ankara: İmge Kitabevi, 2005), p. 352. In this interview, he praised free markets and since then Nabi Yağcı has become a great admirer of Turgut Özal and his deeds.
  18. For example, the socialists who were interviewed on the issue of Second Republic in 1993 expressed their distaste with the project of Second Republic. For them, it was a lackey of imperialism and the neoliberal world order and had to be opposed. They advocated indifference and neutrality between the defenders of the Kemalist authoritarian state and the liberal Second Republic. See the interviews in Metin Sever, Cem Dizdar (ed.), 2. Cumhuriyet Tartışmaları (Istanbul: Başak Yayınları, 1993), “Melih Pekdemir: Özal Gerçek Anlamda Revizyonist ve Oportünisttir,” pp. 223-255; “Sungur Savran: 2. Cumhuriyet Demokratik Bir Açılım Değildir,” pp. 257-281; “Ertuğrul Kürkçü: Sosyalistler ne 1. Cumhuriyetçilerin ne de 2. Cumhuriyetçilerin Yanında Yer Almalıdır.” pp. 301-329, “Fikret Başkaya: 2. Cumhuriyet Dünya Kapitalizminin Yeni Evresine Uyum Sağlama Çabasıdır,” pp. 355-366.
  19. Korkut Boratav, Türkiye İktisat Tarihi,1908-1985 (Istanbul: Gerçek Yayınevi, 1989), p. 126.
  20. Metin Sever and Cem Dizdar (ed.), 2. Cumhuriyet Tartışmaları (Istanbul: Başak Yayınları, 1993), p. 236.
  21. Mümtaz Soysal, “İkinci Cumhuriyet, Yeni Züppelik”, Cumhuriyet, December 23, 1994.
  22. See Mehmet Altan, İkinci Cumhuriyet’in Yol Hikayesi (Istanbul: Hayykitap, 2008), pp. 127-148. For the “leftists of Özal,” see “Sağ Yanımda Yare Var, Sol Yana Dönder Beni,” Nokta, Vol.5, No.40 (October 11, 1987), pp. 12-19. 
  23. Mehmet Altan, İkinci Cumhuriyet’in Yol Hikayesi (Istanbul: Hayykitap, 2008), p. 149-152. In 1990s, Mehmet Altan emerged as a public intellectual articulating, developing and formulating his views in op-eds in dailies, essays, easy-reading books and interview-books, committing himself to popularizing his views. See Mehmet Altan, Birinci Cumhuriyet Üzerine Notlar (Istanbul: Birey, 2001); Mehmet Altan, II. Cumhuriyet, Demokrasi ve Özgürlükler (Istanbul: Birey, 2004); Mehmet Altan, Birinci Cumhuriyet Üzerine Notlar (Istanbul: Birey, 2001).
  24. See Mehmet Altan, “İkinci Cumhuriyet Zorunluluğu…,” Sabah, April 19, 1997; Mehmet Altan, Kapitalizm Bu Köye Uğramadı (Istanbul: Afa Yayınları, 1994); “Mehmet Altan: Sorun Politik Devletten Liberal Devlete Geçememektir”, Metin Sever, Cem Dizdar (ed.), 2. Cumhuriyet Tartışmaları (Istanbul: Başak Yayınları, 1993), pp. 33-59.
  25. See “2. Cumhuriyet Tartışma Masasında,” Milliyet, August 5, 6, 7, 1992 (excerpted in Orhan Koloğlu, Numaracı Cumhuriyetçiler (Istanbul: Pozitif, 2007), pp. 90-100).
  26. For example, for Attila İlhan, “second republicanism is forged by the new rightists of Turkey” who abandoned their former leftist utopia associating Turkish left-liberals with the French and British new rights. Orhan Koloğlu, NumaracıCumhuriyetçiler, p. 90. Also see Uğur Mumcu, “Kaçıncı?”, Cumhuriyet, July 28, 1992; İlhan Selçuk, “2’nci Ne Demek, 3’üncüyü Kurmazsak Gücenirim,” Cumhuriyet, July 28, 1992; Nami Çağan, “Yeni Sağ ve İkinci Cumhuriyet,” Milliyet, September 1, 1992.
  27. The demonization of Özal and the demonic imagery of Özal and his cultural cosmology was a prevalent theme in the Left. For a book written in this vein with lively depictions see Can Kozanoğlu, Cilalı İmaj Devri (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1992).
  28. See Mehmet Altan, Kapitalizm Bu Köye Uğramadı (Istanbul: Afa Yayınları, 1994). Also for similar views articulated by the Turkish ex-leftists at the end of 1980s see “Soldan Sağa, Sağdan Sola, Her İki Taraftan Ortaya,” Nokta, Vol.7, No.3 (January 22, 1989), p. 35.
  29. For Francois Furet’s arguments, its impact and reactions to him in the historiographic community and in the public, see Steven Laurance Kaplan, Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies, France 1789/1989 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995); Steven Laurance Kaplan, Farewell Revolution: The Historians’ Feud, France 1789/1989 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996). Also see Francois Furet, The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999).
  30. V.I. Lenin, “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky,” V.I. Lenin, Lenin’s Collected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1974), Vol. 28, pp. 104-112.
  31. For some recollections on the impact of the translations from Lenin and the provocative and aggressive style of Lenin on the Turkish socialist movement in the late 1960s and 1970s, see Çetin Yetkin, Soldaki Bölünmeler (Istanbul: Toplumsal Dönüşüm Yayınları, 1998), pp. 257-258.
  32. Artun Ünsal, Türkiye İşçi Partisi (1961-1971) (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 2002), p. 301; Mahir Çayan, Toplu Yazılar (Istanbul: Su Yayınları, 2008), pp. 33-82, 89-92,120-121.
  33. Korkut Boratav, Aydınlık Bir Adam-Korkut Boratav (Ankara: İmge Kitabevi, 2010), pp. 208-209.
  34. Hasan Yalçın, Dönekler (İstanbul: Kaynak Yayınları, 2003), p. 7.
  35. Doğu Perinçek, ÖDP’nin Kimliği (Istanbul: Kaynak Yayınları, 1998), p. 126.
  36. “Soldan Sağa, Sağdan Sola, Her İki Taraftan Ortaya,” Nokta (January 22, 1989), No. 7-3, pp. 28,32,33,35; Uğur Mumcu, “Para ve Faiz,” Cumhuriyet, October 22, 1988; Uğur Mumcu, “Arapsaçı,” Cumhuriyet, December 9, 1988; Uğur Mumcu, “Akılyolu,” Cumhuriyet, December 11, 1988. Also see Mehmet Altan, İkinci Cumhuriyet’in Yol Hikayesi (Istanbul:Hayykitap, 2008), pp. 147-148.
  37. Uğur Mumcu, “Barolar”, Cumhuriyet, October 7, 1988.
  38. Uğur Mumcu, “Akılyolu”, Cumhuriyet, December 11, 1988. For his more comprehensive and balanced views on “renegadism”, see “Döneklik Tartışması”, Nokta, Vol. 7, No. 3, (January 22, 1989), pp. 33-34, 35. 
  39. All his articles published in the left-Kemalist daily Cumhuriyet from 1975 to his assassination in 1993 were published posthumously along with his numerous books by a foundation founded in his memory. 
  40. According to Attila Yayla, it was Hasan Celal Güzel who used the label liboş (to stigmatize the liberal wing of the Motherland Party). “Attila Yayla: Liboş Lafı Hasan Celal’e Ait,” Zaman, June 28, 2001.
  41. “Ekranda Söz Düellosu,” Milliyet, December 28, 1994; “ ‘Ateş Hattı Tartışma Yeri’ ,” Milliyet, October 19, 1994; Emin Çölaşan, “Şu Bizim Gazetecilik,” November 29, 1997; Emin Çölaşan, “Geçmişin Gerçekleri,” Hürriyet, February 7, 1998; Emin Çölaşan, “Allah Kimseyi Düşürmesin,” Hürriyet, September 7, 1998; Emin Çölaşan, “Seni Gidi Liboş Mehmet,” Hürriyet, October 25, 2000.
  42. 42. Emin Çölaşan, Turgut Nereden Koşuyor? (Istanbul: Tekin Yayınevi, 1989); Emin Çölaşan, Turgut’un Serüveni (Istanbul: Tekin Yayınevi, 1990). 
  43. Emin Çölaşan, 24 Ocak: Bir Dönemin Perde Arkası (Istanbul: Milliyet Yayınları, 1984); Emin Çölaşan, 12 Eylül: Özal Ekonomisinin Perde Arkası (Istanbul: Milliyet Yayınları, 1984).
  44. Emin Çölaşan, “Bu Orduya Güvenin”, Hürriyet, April 15, 1998.
  45. See (retrieved on March 13, 2010)
  46. For Attila İlhan, see Erol Köroğlu, “‘Milli Hakikat’ Üzerine Tezler: Attila İlhan’ın Gazi Paşa’sı,” Toplum ve Bilim, No. 109 (2007), pp. 149-180. 
  47. For his transitional articles he penned in the first half of the 1990s before he became a full-fledged Turkish nationalist which attest to the “interwovenness” of his discourses, see Attila İlhan, Sosyalizm Asıl Şimdi (Ankara: Bilgi Yayınevi, 1995), Attila İlhan, Hangi Küreselleşme? (Ankara: Bilgi Yayınevi, 1997). 
  48. For example see, Attila İlhan (ed.), Bir Millet Uyanıyor (Istanbul: Bilgi Yayınevi, 2005), pp. 9-32.
  49. Attila İlhan, “Nerede O Eski ‘Dönekler’?...,” Cumhuriyet, June 3, 1995; Attila İlhan, “ ‘Dönek’ Lüks Bir Tüketicidir…,” Cumhuriyet, June 8, 1995. 
  50. Attila İlhan, Dönek Bereketi (Istanbul: İş Bankası Yayınları, 2002), pp. 99-102; Attila İlhan, “Dönek Bereketi,” Cumhuriyet, May 25, 1998.
  51. Attila İlhan (ed.), Bir Millet Uyanıyor (Istanbul: Bilgi Yayınevi, 2005).
  52. For some titles from the series; see Avrupa Birliği: Çıkmaz Sokak-Erol Manisalı (2005), Batılı İşçi Sömürüye Ortak-Yıldırım Koç (2005), Küresel Haçlı Seferi-Arslan Bulut (2005), Avrupa Tuzağında Mankurtlaşan Türkiye-Sinan Aygün (2006), Şu Değişen Dünya/Türkiye-Avrasya-Yıldız Sertel (2006), Türkiye’de Amerikan Misyonerleri-Ali Rıza Bayzan (2006), Türklerin Jeopolitiği ve Avrasyacılık-Suat İlhan (2005), Avrasyacılık: Türkiye’de Teori ve Pratiği-Mehmet Perinçek (2006), Kürtçülük Sorununun Analizi ve Çözüm Politikaları-Ümit Özdağ (2006).
  53. For example see Arslan Bulut, “Attila İlhan’ı Hala Hazmedemediler,” Yeniçağ, October 16, 2007.
  54. Attila İlhan, Bir Millet Uyanıyor, p. 7.
  55. Emre Kongar, “Dönekler Neden Kindar ve Saldırgan Oluyor?” Cumhuriyet, March 2, 2010; Çetin Yetkin, “Dönek mi, Görevli mi?,” Yeniçağ, August 22, 2009; Çetin Yetkin, “Dönek,” Yeniçağ, January 10, 2010.
  56. Hikmet Çetinkaya, Liboş Tayfa Öyküleri (Istanbul: Cumhuriyet Kitapları, 2009); Deniz Som, Vatan Millet Fasarya (Istanbul: Cumhuriyet Kitapları, 2009).
  57. For the popularization of the neo-nationalist craze in the cyberspace see Tanıl Bora, “ ‘Kitle İmhalarla Yok Etmek Lazım’ - Gelişen Anti-Kürt Hınç-,” Birikim, No. 191 (March 2005), pp. 36-47.
  58. For example, see Cahit Kayra, ’38 Kuşağı (Istanbul: İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, 2002), p. 24.
  59. Ömer Laçiner, “ ‘Sosyalist Hareket’te Durum ve Yönelimler, Birikim, No. 8 (December 1989), pp. 12-18; Türkay Demir, “Sosyalist İdeoloji ve İşçi Sınıfı,” Birikim, No. 7 (November 1989), pp. 34-40; İrfan Yavru, “ ‘Devrimcilik’/Reformculuk Ayrımı ve Devrimci Marksizm,” Birikim, No. 7 (November 1989) , pp. 14-21. 
  60. Etyen Mahçupyan, İdeolojiler ve Modernite: Bir Demokrat Manifestoya Doğru (Istanbul: Yol Yayınları, 1997); Etyen Mahçupyan, Radikal Yazılar (Istanbul: Yol Yayınları, 1998); Ali Bayramoğlu, 28 Şubat: Bir Müdahalenin Güncesi (Istanbul: Birey, 2001).
  61. Murat Yılmaz, “CHP İlkelerinin 1937’de Anayasaya Girişi ve Liberalizmin Yasaklanışı,” Murat Yılmaz (ed.), Liberalizm: Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2005), pp. 199-201. 
  62. Bekir Berat Özipek, “Liberal Düşünce Topluluğu,” Murat Yılmaz (ed.), Liberalizm: Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2005), p. 620.
  63. Ahmet Altan, “Dindarlar ve Demokrasi,” Taraf, July 11, 2008.

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