Mehmet Cem Akaş / Collective Political Action in the Turksih Press (1950-1980)

Abstract of the Dissertation by Mehmet Cem Akaş for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History to be taken February 2004

Title: Collective Political Action in the Turkish Press (1950-1980)

This dissertation examines the types of collective political action undertaken in Turkey between 1950 and 1980. Instead of examining the period in a purely chronological order, this study groups types of collective action together, and describes and analyzes them in chronological development. Seven such groups are identified: association formation, symbolic action, action in writing, demonstrations and protests, collective action involving the press, boycotts and sit-ins, and contentious action involving violence.

The research for this study is based primarily on a close reading of the newspapers of the period, coupled with the application of the relevant theoretical literature in analyzing the history of collective action in Turkey. The study has found that such action has been wide-spread in Turkey since the beginning of the democratic era, even during periods of exceptional repressive measures taken by governments to stifle all forms of criticism and opposition. The types of action range from the universal (found in most contentious political action all over the globe) to actions unique to Turkish society; some types of popular action have also been adapted to local conditions and requirements. The variety of these types, however, steadily diminished in the 1970s and was eventually blotted out by a single type: violent action. The role of the youth and the military as the designated guardians of the regime has very much determined both the ideology of actors and the types of action they undertook.

Başlık: Türk Basınında Toplu Siyasal Eylemler (1950-1980)

Bu tez çalismasi Türkiye’de 1950-1980 arasinda görülen toplu siyasal eylemleri ele aliyor. Söz konusu dönemi yalnizca kronolojik bir sirayla incelemek yerine, bu çalismada toplu eylem türleri bir araya gruplandi ve kendi içlerindeki kronolojik gelisimleri incelendi. Bu tür yedi grup saptandi: dernek kurma, simgesel eylem, yazili eylem, gösteri ve protesto eylemleri, basini içeren eylemler, boykot ve isgaller, siddet içeren muhalif eylemler.

Bu çalismaya temel olusturan arastirma, dönemin gazetelerinin ayrintili olarak okunmasina ve Türkiye’deki toplu eylemlerin analizinde ilgili kuramsal literatürden yararlanilmasina dayaniyor. Çalismanin sonucunda, Türkiye’de bu tür eylemlerin demokratik sisteme geçisten beri çok yaygin oldugu, hatta en baskici dönemlerde bile bu yayginligini yitirmedigi ortaya çikti. Eylem türleri, evrensel olanlardan (tüm dünyada muhalif siyasal eylemlerde kullanilan eylem biçimlerinden) Türk toplumuna özgü olanlara kadar çesitlilik gösteriyor; bazi eylem türleriyse yerel gereksinim ve kosullara uyarlanmis. Ne var ki eylemlerde görülen bu çesitlilik 1970’lerde hizla azaldi ve sonunda tek bir eylem biçimi döneme damgasini vurdu: siddet içeren eylem. Gençligin ve askerin rolü, rejimin onlara emanet edilmesi nedeniyle, hem eylemcilerin ideolojik yapisinda hem de eylemlerin biçiminde çok belirleyici oldu.