The Army and the Radical Left in Turkey: Military Coups, by Özgür Mutlu Ulus

By Özgür Mutlu Ulus

In Nineteen Sixties Turkey, the defense force and the unconventional leftist circulation supplied very dynamic, yet very assorted, political forces. in spite of the fact that, a little bit strangely, nearly all of radical leftists believed within the innovative capability of the militia in overthrowing the present regime and exchanging it with a quasi-socialist one. This booklet considers the altering views of the unconventional leftist move in the direction of the political function of the army in Turkey. utilizing a textual research of other leftist teams, together with the Communist celebration of Turkey, Özgür Mutlu Ulus describes the advance of the leftist move in Turkey after the 1960 coup and explains why so much leftists selected to motivate an army revolution, which they was hoping may result in the triumph of socialism in Turkey.

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The Yön circle actually doubted that a radical reform programme would be implemented by the current government, where the majority was held by the conservatives. However, their hopes still rested in the government as it was led by the elderly İsmet İnönü – the commander and victor of the West Front during the Independence War and one of the main founders of the republic – and therefore one of the most prestigious members of the revolutionary civil and military intelligentsia cadre. Yön tried to influence Prime Minister İnönü directly through various editorials37 to convince him not to seek the support of the merchants and local gentry within the party to implement a reform programme, but to rely on the vigorous forces, with the armed forces as its most important or powerful constituent.

As long as these strata were conscious of their strength, they could prolong their independence.

This was the main role delegated to the armed forces, to support or push the present government into carrying out radical reforms. Thus, Yön tried to persuade the CHP in government and the bureaucrats and ex-MBK members now in parliament as life-time senators on the one hand to prepare a reform programme, and on the other hand to unite opponents around this reform programme. According to Yön, the opponents were the progressives (military, workers, intellectuals and bureaucrats), the vigorous forces versus the reactionary forces of the ağas, bourgeoisie, local gentry and their political representatives who supported the status quo.

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