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Eternal DawnTurkey in the Age of Atatürk$
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Ryan Gingeras

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791218

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791218.001.0001

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The Eternal Leader

The Eternal Leader

(p.367) 6 The Eternal Leader
Eternal Dawn

Ryan Gingeras

Oxford University Press

In the final year of his life, Mustafa Kemal’s health had deteriorated significantly. His temperament changed, leading to a dramatic shift in the character and stability of his rule. Long-simmering divides between the president’s oldest associates grew more apparent while confusion reigned as to who was to succeed him. Although somewhat obscured by the mythos that surrounds Atatürk’s death struggle, it is clear that the Gazi begot a government beset by deep personal grudges and ideological differences. In death, Atatürk’s veneration created a culture and an ideology that demanded obedience to the state and the revolution he engendered. In upholding Turkey’s era of transformation as finished and unflawed, Atatürk’s successors committed themselves to the fiction that the nation had consented to all that the Gazi had prescribed in their name. The idolatry of this culture, along with the insecurities it thinly conceals, ranks still as his most visible legacy.

Keywords:   Adnan Menderes, Syria, Second World War, Mussolini, İsmet İnönü

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