Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Six Arrows or Return of the Caliphate?

With the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, efforts to modernise the country started. The new government analyzed the institutions and constitutions of Western states such as France, Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland and adapted them to the needs and characteristics of the Turkish nation. Highlighting the public's lack of knowledge regarding Kemal's intentions, the public cheered: "We are returning to the days of the first caliphs."[54] Mustafa Kemal placed Fevzi Çakmak, Kâzım Özalp and İsmet İnönü in political positions where they could institute his reforms. Mustafa Kemal capitalized on his reputation as an efficient military leader and spent the following years, up until his death in 1938, instituting political, economic, and social reforms. In doing so, he transformed Turkish society from perceiving itself as a Muslim part of a vast Empire into a modern, democratic, and secular nation-state.
Mustafa Kemal's basic tenet was the complete independence of the country.[55] He clarified his position:
...by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence.[56]
He led wide-ranging reforms in social, cultural, and economical aspects, establishing the new Republic's backbone of legislative, judicial, and economic structures.
Mustafa Kemal created a banner to mark the changes between the old Ottoman and the new republican rule. Each change was symbolized as an arrow in this banner. This defining ideology of the Republic of Turkey is referred to as the "Six Arrows", or Kemalist ideology. Kemalist ideology is based on Mustafa 
Kemal's conception of realism and pragmatism.[57]  The fundamentals of nationalism, populism and etatism were all defined under the Six Arrows. These fundamentals were not new in world politics or, indeed, among the elite of Turkey. What made them unique was that these interrelated fundamentals were formulated specifically for Turkey's needs. A good example is the definition and application of secularism; the Kemalist secular state significantly differed from predominantly Christian states.

Emergence of the state, 1923–1924

Mustafa Kemal Pasha in 1923, with members of the Mevlevi Order, before its institutional expression became illegal and their dervish lodge was changed into the Mevlana Museum. The Mevlevi Order managed to transform itself into a nonpolitical organization which still exists.

In 1924, during his speech in Bursa.

political satire from the single-party period depicting Mustafa Kemal, the leader of the RPP, choosing the party's candidates for prospective MPs, to be elected in the incoming parliamentary elections. During the single-party state, the candidates had only one party's (RPP) list to join.
Mustafa Kemal's private journal entries dated before the establishment of the republic in 1923 show that he believed in the importance of the sovereignty of the people. In forging the new republic, the Turkish revolutionaries turned their back on the perceived corruption and decadence of cosmopolitan Constantinople and its Ottoman heritage.[58] For instance, they madeAnkara the country's new capital. A provincial town deep in Anatolia, it was turned into the center of the independence movement. Atatürk wanted a "direct government by the Assembly"[59] and visualized a representative democracy,parliamentary sovereignty, where the National Parliament would be the ultimate source of power.[59]
In the following years, he altered his stance somewhat; the country needed an immense amount of reconstruction, and that "direct government by the Assembly" could not survive in such an environment. The revolutionaries faced challenges from the supporters of the old Ottoman regime, and also from the supporters of newer ideologies such as communism and fascism. Mustafa Kemal saw the consequences of fascist and communist doctrines in the 1920s and 1930s and rejected both.[60] He prevented the spread into Turkey of the totalitarian party rule which held sway in the Soviet Union, Germany and Italy.[61] Some perceived his opposition and silencing of these ideologies as a means of eliminating competition; others believed it was necessary to protect the young Turkish state from succumbing to the instability of new ideologies and competing factions.[citation needed]
The heart of the new republic was the GNA, established during the Turkish War of Independence by Mustafa Kemal.[62] The elections were free and used an egalitarian electoral system that was based on a general ballot.[62] Deputies at the GNA served as the voice of Turkish society by expressing its political views and preferences. It had the right to select and control both the government and the Prime Minister. Initially, it also acted as a legislative power, controlling the executive branch and, if necessary, acted as an organ of scrutiny under the Turkish Constitution of 1921.[62] The Turkish Constitution of 1924set a loose separation of powers between the legislative and the executive organs of the state, whereas the separation of these two within the judiciary system was a strict one. Mustafa Kemal, then the President, occupied a powerful position in this political system.
The single-party regime was established de facto in 1925 after the adoption of the 1924 constitution. The only political party of the GNA was the "Peoples Party", founded by Mustafa Kemal in the initial years of the independence war. On 9 September 1923 it was renamed the Republican People's Party (Turkish Cumhuriyeti Halk Partisı).
Civic independence and the Caliphate, 1924–1925
Abolition of the Caliphate was an important dimension in Mustafa Kemal's drive to reform the political system and to promote the national sovereignty. By the consensus of the Muslim majority in early centuries, the caliphate was the core political concept of Sunni Islam.[63] Abolishing the sultanate was easier because the survival of the Caliphate at the time satisfied the partisans of the sultanate. This produced a split system with the new republic on one side and an Islamic form of government with the Caliph on the other side, and Mustafa Kemal and İnönü worried that "it nourished the expectations that the sovereign would return under the guise of Caliph.”[64] Caliph Abdülmecid II was elected after the abolishment of the sultanate (1922).
The caliph had his own personal treasury and also had a personal service that included military personnel; Mustafa Kemal said that there was no "religious" or "political" justification for this. He believed that Caliph Abdülmecid II was following in the steps of the sultans in domestic and foreign affairs: accepting of and responding to foreign representatives and reserve officers, and participating in official ceremonies and celebrations.[65] He wanted to integrate the powers of the caliphate into the powers of the GNA. His initial activities began on 1 January 1924, when[65] İnönü, Çakmak and Özalp consented to the abolition of the caliphate. The caliph made a statement to the effect that he would not interfere with political affairs.[66] On 1 March 1924, at the Assembly, Mustafa Kemal said
The religion of Islam will be elevated if it will cease to be a political instrument, as had been the case in the past.[67]

On 3 March 1924, the caliphate was officially abolished and its powers within Turkey were transferred to the GNA. Other Muslim nations debated the validity of Turkey's unilateral abolition of the caliphate as they decided whether they should confirm the Turkish action or appoint a new caliph.[66] A "Caliphate Conference" was held in Cairo in May 1926 and a resolution was passed declaring the caliphate "a necessity in Islam", but failed to implement this decision.[66]

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