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Zeynep Ertuğrul

(Gerda Henkel Doctoral Fellow)

Preaching the Republic: The Spokespeople of the Single-Party Regime in Turkey

Preaching the Republic: The Spokespeople of the Single-Party Regime in Turkey 

In her project, Zeynep Ertuğrul explores circulation of knowledge, ideas and concepts central to the normalization and legitimization of the order brought by the newly established republican regime in Turkey. Ertugrul concentrates on the Halk Hatipleri (People’s Preachers) as local spokespeople of the single-party regime and study the speeches they delivered all around Turkey between 1931 and 1950. The study of People’s Preachers public addresses offers a privileged prism to explore the intellectual foundations of the post-Ottoman Turkish Republic by using non-canonical texts and decentering the analysis from the political and intellectual elites acting as norm-makers and policymakers. The People’s Preachers as political brokers and their public addresses taken as dialogic speeches allow a multilayered understanding of the social and political process in place in the early republican Turkey.