Murat Kaya / Reha Oguz Türkkan and Pan-Turkist Movement in Turkey (1938-1947)

An abstract of the Thesis of Murat Kaya for the degree of Master of Arts from the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History to be taken August 2005.

Reha Oguz Türkkan and Pan-Turkist Movement in Turkey (1938-1947)

This thesis aims to examine the discourse and activities of Reha Oguz Türkkan, a leading representative of the Pan-Turkist revival during the Second World War in Turkey. The Pan-Turkist ideology, which began to develop among the Turkic peoples living within the borders of the Russian Empire at the end of the nineteenth century and targeted to establish a political and cultural unity among the all Turkic peoples from the Balkans to Central Asia, was carried to the Ottoman Empire by the Turkic intellectuals such as Yusuf Akçura, Ahmet Agaoglu ve Hüseyinzade Ali. Pan-Turkism, through the activities of the Turkist associations like the “Turkish Hearths”, the serious trauma that the Balkan War created in the Ottoman-Turkish society and the contributions of the Ottoman-Turkish intellectuals such as Ziya Gökalp, Ömer Seyfettin, Moiz Kohen and Mehmet Emin Yurdakul, became a serious ideology and gained numerous supporters, including some of the leading members of the Committee and Union and Progress, which was the ruling party at the time. However, Pan-Turkism was not able to maintain its popularity after the foundation of the Turkish Republic and was rejected clearly by the Kemalist regime. In this period, although Zeki Velidi Togan and Nihal Atsiz tried to keep Pan-Turkist ideology vivid, it lost a considerable momentum. Begin with the war; a clearly racist anti- Communist and militarist discourse accompanied Pan-Turkism, which was revived again by a new generation the leader of which was Reha Oguz Türkkan and this continued until the end of the war. In addition to the new political athmosphere in the country, created by the Second World War, paradoxically, the Kemalist regime itself, which rejected Pan- Turkism officially, played an important role in the revival of Pan-Turkist ideology among the young generation which had been taught in the thirties the pseudo scientific theories like “The Turkish History Thesis” and “The Sun-Language Theory”, which exalted Turks as race and showed Central Asia as the motherland of Turks, used to create a new national consciousness and Turkish identity by the regime.

Atatürk Ilkeleri ve Inkilap Tarihi Enstitüsü’nde Yüksek Lisans derecesi için Murat Kaya tarafindan Agustos 2005’te teslim edilen tezin kisa özeti.

Reha Oguz Türkkan ve Türkiye’deki Pan-Turkist Hareket (1938-1947)

Bu tez, Ikinci Dünya Savasi sirasinda Türkiye’de yeniden canlanan Pan-Turkist ideolojinin en önemli temsilcilerinden biri olan Reha Oguz Türkkan’in o dönemdeki söylemini ve eylemlerini inceleme amacindadir. 19. Yüzyilin sonlarinda Rus Imparatorlugu sinirlari içerisinde yasayan Türki halklar arasinda filizlenmeye baslayan ve Balkanlardan Orta Asya’ya bütün Türki halklar arasinda siyasi ve kültürel bir birligin kurulmasini hedefleyen Pan-Turkist ideoloji Yusuf Akçura, Ahmet Agaoglu ve Hüseyinzade Ali gibi Türki entelektüeller tarafindan Osmanli Imparatorlugu’na tasinmistir. Pan-Turkizm, “Türk Ocaklari” gibi Türkçü derneklerin faaliyetleri, Balkan Savasi’nin Osmanli-Türk toplumu üzerinde yaratmis oldugu ciddi travma ve Ziya Gökalp, Ömer Seyfettin, Moiz Kohen ve Mehmet Emin Yurdakul gibi Osmanli-Türk entelektüellerinin katkilari sayesinde ciddi bir ideoloji haline gelmis ve o dönemde iktidar partisi olan Ittihat ve Terakki’nin bazi önde gelen üyeleri de dahil Imparatorluk içinde birçok taraftar kazanmistir. Fakat, Pan-Turkizm, Türkiye Cumhuriyetinin kurulmasindan sonra ayni ortami bulamamis ve iktidari elinde bulunduran Kemalist rejim tarafindan açik bir sekilde reddedilmistir. Bu dönemde, Pan-Türkist ideolojiyi Zeki Velidi Togan ve Nihal Atsiz gibi isimler canli tutmaya çalissa da, Pan-Turkist ideoloji önemli bir oranda güç kaybetmis bu durum Ikinci Dünya Savasi’na kadar devam etmistir. Savasin baslamasiyla birlikte, Reha Oguz Türkkan’in liderligini yaptigi yeni bir jenerasyon tarafindan yeniden canlandirilan Pan-Turkist ideolojiye açik bir sekilde irkçi, anti-komunist ve militarist bir söylem de eslik etmistir ve bu durum savasin sonuna kadar devam etmistir. Ikinci Dünya Savasi’nin ülkede yarattigi yeni siyasi atmosfere ek olarak, paradoksal bir sekilde, resmi olarak Pan-Turkismi reddeden Kemalist rejimin kendisi, yeni bir milli bilinç ve Türk kimligi yaratmak amaciyla kullandigi, Orta Asya’yi Türklerin ana vatani olarak gösteren ve Türkleri bir irk olarak yücelten “Türk Tarih Tezi” ve “Günes-Dil Teorisi” gibi sözde bilimsel teorilerle 1930’lu yillarda egitilen genç nesil arasinda Pan-Turkist ideolojinin yeniden canlanmasinda önemli bir rol oynamistir.