Tracing the Ottoman Legacy of Deficient Horizontal Relations in Turkish Civil Society
This paper attempts to supplement a literature concerned with Turkey‘s Ottoman legacy, especially as it pertains to the functioning of civil society in Turkey. It does so because the efficacy of civil society in Turkey is a major topic of discussion in light of its European Union accession bid, and Turkey‘s Ottoman legacy is yet to be comprehensively teased out. While the strong state tradition which is part of the Ottoman legacy is well documented, relations within society separate from the state‘s influence are yet to be subjected to an historical analysis. While the influence of the state on Turkish society is pervasive, and must be a component of any analysis of civil society in Turkey, analysis focusing on Turkey‘s strong state legacy has obscured other interesting facets of the country‘s Ottoman legacy. This paper posits that deficiencies in Turkish civil society are not just the result of the strong state tradition, but also reflect social attitudes that can be traced to a number of policies implemented in the late-Ottoman Empire.