The construction and re-construction of the civil religion around the cult of Ataturk


MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES, vol.55, no.6, pp.945-957, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00263206.2019.1608187
  • Title of Journal : MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
  • Page Numbers: pp.945-957


The longest living among its twentieth-century counterparts, the century-old cult of Ataturk is deeply rooted in the collective conscience in Turkey. In this essay, we will try to show the dual role of the image of Ataturk in the political struggle, both in current times and in the past, as a national hero created around civil religiosity. In the case of Ataturk, not only do we encounter a figure that primarily facilitates the legitimation of the existing political and social system, but also an eternal saviour who is called upon in order to oppose that system at various times.