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Ideology, Discourse, and Alliance Structures: Explaining Far-Right Political Violence in Turkey in the 1970s

Causes of radicalisationIdeologiesPathways to radicalisationRadicalisation

Journal Abstract

During the 1970s, Turkey’s radical nationalist youth were ideologically and culturally shaped by their involvement in the idealist (ülkücü) movement. The idealists also played a significant role on the streets in fomenting the mass political violence that characterized Turkey at this time. Based on the social movements literature, this paper analyzes why and how far-right movements used political violence, departing from the case of the ülkücü movement in Turkey. In doing so, the paper employs Protest Event Analysis with an original dataset of 5,361 protest events for 1971–1985. The findings suggest that far-right violence was facilitated by discursive and political opportunities, namely the praise of ruling politicians and the non-critical rhetoric of and opportunities provided by the alliance structures.

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