A Comparative Study of Modernization of Turkey and Iran: Summary
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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Reza Shah Pahlavi: A Comparative Study of Modernization of Turkey and Iran
In this work has been demonstrated that that for the successful modernization are decisive not only the goals set by reformists but also political procedures of their implementation. By means of comparative method I have come to the conclusion that though implemented reforms in Turkey and Iran were similar, the determinant factor of their reception was the nature of political system. Basically, I see two main reasons for which the final output of modernization was different.
First of all, in the work has been verified that socio-political background in Turkey was more favorable for modernization than in Iran. While the modernization process in Ottoman Empire started at eighteen century, the similar process in Persia began not until the period of the Constitutional revolution. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk inherited notably better socio- political conditions for modernization from the past governments than Reza Shah Pahlavi. This was significant especially within the context of secularization and establishment of new elites.
Secondly, I consider the difference between these two political systems significant as well. In contrast to Turkey, where the political system was republican and allowed certain political participation, Reza Shah’s monarchical government became the arbitrary role. One of the main reasons of Ataturk’s success was the foundation of the Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP), which concentrated regime elites and supported Ataturk’s leadership. Last but not least, important role played also the kemalist ideology, which was strongly connected with CHP. Although Ataturk’s regime was authoritarian, he apparently had much more public support than the arbitrary rule of Reza Shah. Besides the fact, that Reza Shah did not create any coherent ideology, neither his economical modernization was very efficient. However, probably the most important aspect of this period is the development of nationalism. Since the role of Atatürk and Reza Shah both countries are above all national states.
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