Turkey’s ‘state-oriented’ parties upholding nationalism – Professor Gökhan Bacık

Turkey has maintained a steady brand of nationalism since the founding of the republic, despite what appears to be an image of an old and new Turkey, Gökhan Bacık, political science professor at Palacký University in the Czech Republic told an Ahval podcast.

The country has always adhered to “different brands of nationalism,” Bacık told Ahval editor-in-chief Yavuz Baydar, while “failing” to form a legal concept of citizenship, which remains ideologically shackled to Turkish ethno-nationalism.Bacık described how different political groups are trying to impose their concept of nationalism on the country, naming the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the centre-right nationalist Good Party (İYİP).

The similarity of all these parties are their “state-orientation,” Bacık said, saying all of these parties remained on the same page regarding issues including the deployment of troops to Iraq.

Moreover, these parties are also united in their belief of Turkish history being  “flawless,’’ Bacık said.

Turkey’s main political groups see “Turkish Islam,’’ as the best form of the religion, as compared to Persian or Arab Islam in particular, Bacık said, adding however that “what exactly is meant by Turkish Islam is not really known.’’

The ruling alliance of the AKP and MHP are the dominant nationalist forces in power, which are unlikely to leave each other any time soon, Bacık said