Angry Nation

Turkey since 1989

Kerem Oktem


Charts the contemporary history of Turkey by looking at the country's erratic transformation from a military dictatorship to a maturing democracy.
Since its re-emergence as nation-state in 1923, Turkey has often looked like an odd appendix to the West situated in the borderlands of Europe and the Middle East, economically backward, inward looking, marred by political violence, yet a staunch NATO ally, it has been eyed with suspicion by both 'East' and 'West'. The momentous changes in the regional and world order after 1989 have catapulted the country back to the world stage. Ever since, Turkey has turned into a major power broker and has developed into one the largest economies in the world. In the process, however, the country has failed to solve its ethnic, religious and historical conflicts peacefully.

At this historical turning point, Kerem Oktem charts the contemporary history of Turkey, exploring such key issues as the relationship between religion and the state, Kurdish separatism, Turkey's relationship with Israel and the ongoing controversy over Turkey's entry into the EU. Readable but comprehensive, this is the definitive book on the country's erratic transformation from a military dictatorship to a maturing, if still troubled, democracy.

Author Bio

Kerem Öktem is a research fellow at the European Studies Centre, St Antony's College and lectures the politics of the Middle East at the Oriental Institute.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I: Empire and Nation: The Late Ottoman State and the Turkish Republic before 1980
    • 1. Reform and Imperial Dissolution
    • 2. The Kemalist One Party-State (1920s - 1946)
    • 3. The Guardian State's Incomplete Democracy (1946 - 1980)
  • Part II: The Özal Years: Rupture, Promise and Missed Chances (1980 - 1991)
    • 4. Silence and Torture: 12 September 1980
    • 5. Motherland Promise: Wealth and Stability
    • 6. Re-Engagement with the World: The US, Europe and 1989
  • Part III: The 'Lost Decade': Wars, Crises and Weak Coalitions (1991 - 2002)
    • 7. State of Emergency in the East: The Kurdish War in the 1990s
    • 8. Fighting Terror: The Guardian State in Western Turkey
    • 9. Post-modern Coups and Cracks in the System (1997 - 2001)
    • 10. Crises, Hopes and Saviours (2000 - 2002)
  • Part IV: Justice and Development: 'Islamic Calvinists' versus the Guardian State (2002 - 2007)
    • 11. Islamic Calvinists in Office
    • 12. War and Peace in Kurdistan 
    • 13. Memory and Reality: The Return of the Guardians
  • Part V: Another Nation: Moving Towards the Present (2007-2010)
    • 14. The Guardian State Exposed
    • 15. Home Affairs: Kurdish, Alevi and Human Rights
    • 16. Engaging with the World
    • 17. Turkey's Possible Futures


'An admirably clear and well-researched account of the recent history of a complex, conflict-ridden and fascinating country. Essential reading.'
Margaret MacMillan, Oxford University

'Kerem Oktem has written a compelling book about an indispensable nation - and done both scholarship and modern Turkey a true service.'
David Hayes, openDemocracy

'Oktem carefully maps out all the public discourses and significant key moments in excellent prose.'
Fatma Müge Göçek, University of Michigan

'An unusually lucid and well-structured account of developments in Turkey since the end of the Cold War.'
Elisabeth Özdalga, Director of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul


Publication Date: 10 March 2011
240 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781848132115
Hardback: 9781848132108
eBook ePub: 9781780321165
eBook PDF: 9781848132122
eBook Kindle: 9781780322469

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