What is it about?

Although scholars have examined different aspects of bilateral relations between Turkey and the Soviet Union, many aspects of the relationship remain to be studied and contextualized. This article examines how the Kemalist transformation in Turkey and particularly the ideology of Kemalism were seen and interpreted by Soviet actors between the 1920s and 1960s. Initially viewed as an ally in the struggle against the West, Kemalism was later treated mainly negatively by the Communist regime. However in the 1960s, with the rise of leftist politics in Turkey, the Soviets revisited Kemalism with more favorable interpretations. Looking at these shifts through the lenses of Soviet diplomats, Communist party functionaries, and scholars helps us to understand the underlying dynamics.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Understanding the Soviet perspectives helps us to advance the transnational history of Kemalism.


Kemalism has been and remains a challenging ideological and political project. Understanding its ups and downs through the study of internal dynamics and problems of interpretation will help us to identify existing gaps and invest efforts in investigating them.

Dr. Vahram H. Ter-Matevosyan
American University of Armenia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Kemalism and Communism: From Cooperation to Complication, Turkish Studies, September 2015, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/14683849.2015.1081071.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page