The Power of The People: Everyday Resistance and Dissent in the Making of Modern Turkey, 1923-38

Metinsoy M.

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (MA), USA , New York, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book / Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (MA), USA 
  • City: New York


Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the founding of the Republic in 1923 under the rule of Atatürk and his Republican People's Party, Turkey embarked on extensive social, economic, cultural and administrative modernization programs which would lay the foundations for modern day Turkey. The Power of the People shows that the ordinary people shaped the social and political change of Turkey as much as Atatürk's strong spurt of modernization. Adopting a broader conception of politics, focusing on daily interactions between the state and society and using untapped archival sources, Murat Metinsoy reveals how rural and urban people coped with the state policies, local oppression, exploitation, and adverse conditions wrought by the authoritarian polity and the Great Depression through diverse everyday survival and resistance strategies. Showing how the people's daily practices and beliefs survived and outweighed the modernizing elite's projects, this book also gives new insights into the social and historical origins of Turkey's backslide to conservative and Islamist politics, demonstrating that the making of modern Turkey was an outcome of intersection between the modernization and the people's responses to it.