In a work of considerable analytic elegance, Caglar Keyder provides the first genuinely radical text on the political economy of modern Turkey. Keyder describes how, with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the traditional Muslim bureaucratic class of the old regime attempted to create a new nation state and effect its transition to modernity. Yet by expelling the Christian bourgeoisie between 1914 and 1924 the bureaucracy initially controlled Turkey's integration into the world capitalist system.
Within the framework of the literature of peripheral development, Keyder argues that, in contrast to the Latin American experience, the lack of a dominant landlord class and the continued existence of an independent peasantry had a formative influence on Turkey's political and economic development.
Keyder explains how the simmering conflict between the bureaucracy and the bourgeoisie was suppressed during the successful period of import-substituting industrialization in the 1960s and 1970s, to erupt again, soon after the world economic crisis of 1973. He recounts the way in which the rapid industrialization and urbanization transformed Turkey's social structure and shows how the severe economic difficulties of the late 1970s sparked off latent conflicts and led to the spread of fascist violence, culminating in the military coup of 1980. The book concludes with a look at Turkey's prospects for economic development and social change.