Universiteit Leiden

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Onur Ada

PhD candidate

O. Ada MA
+31 71 527 2171

PhD research

Turkey’s Westernization
Supervisor: Prof. Erik-Jan Zürcher


PhD project

Paris or Rome? Rethinking the impact of the Enlightenment and totalitarianism on the Kemalist perception of European modernity in the era of the one-party state (1923-1945) 

My research interests generally pertain to Turkish modernisation and political and intellectual history of Turkey and Europe in the twentieth century. The political and ideological influence of the Western civilisation on Turkey and Turkish perception of modernity are at the core of my research which questions the major assumptions of the traditional Turkish historiography based on the modernist paradigm. 

My current project aims to discuss how and to what extent the Enlightenment and European totalitarianism affected the modernisation of Turkey, with particular reference to the selectivity of the Turkish state ideology, Kemalism towards European modernity. The time frame examined by this research lasts from 1925 until 1945, when Turkey was governed under the Kemalist one-party state in which the Republican People’s Party (RPP), established in 1923 and led by the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal, was the major political instrument.


Key words

Kemalism, Westernisation, European Modernity, Western civilisation, One-Party State, Enlightenment, Totalitarianism

PhD candidate

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • Geen relevante nevenwerkzaamheden

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