Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet


This dissertation seeks to answer to this question: what was the nature and significance of political and cultural opposition in the Kemalist single party state? It examines the careers and output of several key members of the Turkish literary and political elite who enjoyed significant popularity throughout this period, were supportive of some form of Turkish nationalism, but ultimately found themselves at odds with the state establishment, and silenced, suppressed or exiled by the time multiparty politics opened up in Turkey at the dawn of the Cold War. Many of these figures offered alternative visions of Turkish nationalism and modernity inspired by international movements to the left of Kemalism, some of them espoused liberal economic views or a friendlier attitude towards religious conservatives, some of them offered ultranationalist visions infused with racism and inspired by Nazi Germany. By recovering these narratives through state archives, private archives, published and unpublished memoirs found in Turkey, the United States, and Europe, as well as a close reading of the political press in this period, it provides a clearer picture of how contentious the Turkish democratic project was during the single party era, and what types of political voices found themselves on the outside looking in once the first successful opposition party, the Democrat Party, came to power in 1950.