Uğur Dalak - Kadro and Kemalism

Kadro and Kemalism: A Search for Ideology in the Early 1930s

The primary reason for the present research questioned whether the political, economic and social philosophy of Kadro influenced Kemalism, or Kemalism used Kadro to implement the political directions of the single party regime at its inception.

Kadro's philosophy which may be defined as a superficial combination of Marxism, nationalism and fascism was expounded in the early 1930s by a group of radical intellectual. Kadro's theses and its problematical relationship with Kemalism (which it was developed as a modernizing pragmatic ideology emanated from Tanzimat era) were treated within a theoretical approach using the conceptual framework of populism, modernization and cooptation.

Populist policy of Kemalism in the 1930s was for a classless and united society within the single party regime as state capitalism, namely etatism was still being maintained. Kadro was attempting to combine the post-revolutionary anti-imperialist and capitalist rhetoric of the 1920s with the populism of 1930s. The claim of Kadro in 1932 is to contribute to the reproduction of the Kemalist ideology and put it into a mature (doctrinaire) form. This contribution was a 'peculiar hybrid' of Kemalism, in other words a kind of endeavor to give a strict "authoritarian/totalitarian" mixture of a socialist-fascist form to it however Kemalist leaders did not want any ideology other than that of their own. Moreover, Kadro's very strong anti-West/liberal leanings in both political, cultural and economic aspect were not compatible with Kemalist prospects. Therefore, it is not impossible to assume that Kadro had influenced the Kemalist single party regime. With these stances it is difficult to imagine that Kadro could have been tolerated by Atatürk.

The reason why Kadro's cessation was dealt with comprehensively between Kadro and the ruling Kemalist elite was to show the enormous disparity in their views on political revolution., ideology and civilization. In order to understand the closure of Kadro hermeneautical interpretation was used to analyze the relevant data, including Atatürk's message, published in Kadro. Furthermore, relevant parts of Yakup Kadri's book named "Zoraki Diplomat" and the interview with İsmail Hüsrev, was also used.