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Center Periphery Relations

Center Periphery Relations

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Published by Sıla Günebakmaz

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Published by: Sıla Günebakmaz on Feb 26, 2013
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Center-Periphery Relations: A Key to Turkish Politics?Author(s): Şerif MardinSource:
Daedalus,
Vol. 102, No. 1, Post-Traditional Societies (Winter, 1973), pp. 169-190Published by: The MIT Press on behalf of American Academy of Arts & SciencesStable URL:
Accessed: 29/10/2009 08:25
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?ERIFMARDINCenter-PeripheryRelations:AKeytoTurkishPolitics?
"Societyhasacenter."Yetjustascertain societieshavestrongercentersthanothers,the materials of whichcentersareforgedvarygreatlybetweensocieties.1The MiddleEasthashadalonghistoryofattemptstoconstructtheinstitutional frameworkof suchcenters,eventhougheffortstomarshallthese "freefloating"2resourceswere,moreoftenthannot,ephemeral.Here,theOttomanEmpireemergesasanoutstandingexception.Therewas,inthe OttomanEmpire,alastingcentersupportedbyasophisticatednetwork of institutions.The methods the Ottomansusedwereingeniousandvaried.Bycooptingintherulingeliteindividualslargelyrecruitedatanearlyagefromreligiousminorities,bysocializingthemintotheofficialclass,bytightlycontrolling,thoughnotnecessarilycentralizing,thesystemof taxationandlandadministration,andbydominatingthereligiousestablishment,thecenteracquiredstrongleverageinthespheresofjusticeandeducation,andinthedisseminationof thesymbolsoflegitimacy.8Theseimperialachievementsemergeevenmoreclearlyinrelationtothe situationinneighboringIran. Iranianrulerswereoftenmerely "grand manipulators," gingerlyjugglingthemanysocialforcesoverwhichtheywereunabletoestablishcontrol.But Ottomansuccessinthesematterscannotfullybe evaluatedbyasimplecontrastwiththeinstitutionsofitsneighbors.4Toestablishafullerperspectiveanothercomparisonisinorder,onethatplacestheOttomanEmpiresidebyside withtheemerging,Westerncentralizedstate,andits
successor,themodernnation-state.
Both"Leviathan,"theformofgovernmentwhichemergedinthe Westinthe middleoftheseventeenthcentury,and thelaternation-statehadaroletoplayinthedevelopmentof Ottomaninstitutions.AtfirsttheywereseenasrivalswhowerebeginningtoexcelinpreciselythoseareaswheretheOttomanshadtraditionallypridedthemselvesforachievement.Eventually,however,duringtheprocessofmodernization,theOttomanslookedtothesenewforms of thestateasmodelsfor reformintheirown
government.
Leviathanand thenation-statearealsoimportantforTurkishhistory
169
 
170
?ERIFMARDINbecausetheypresentstructuralcontraststoOttoman institutions.TheforcesthatshapedthestateintheWestseemtovarysignificantlyfrom thosethatshapedtheOttomanstatebeforemodernizationsetin.Becauseofitsfeudalantecedents,theprocessofcentralizationthat created the modernstateincludedaseries ofconfrontationsleadingtocompromiseswithwhatmaybe calledtheforces oftheperiphery:thefeudalnobility,thecities,theburghers,andlater,industriallabor.TheconsequenceofthesecompromiseswasthatLeviathanandthenation-statewererelativelywell articulatedstructures.Eachtimeacompromise?oreven aone-sidedvictory?wasobtained,someintegrationoftheperipheralforceintothecenterwasachieved.Thus thefeudalestates,orthe"privil?gi?s,"ortheworkers becameintegratedintothepolitywhile,atthesametime,obtainingsomerecognitionof theirautonomousstatus.Thesesuccessiveconfrontationsandco-optationshadimportantconsequences.Theconfrontationshadbeenvaried:conflictsbetweenstateandchurch,between nationbuildersandlocalists,betweenownersandnon-ownersof themeansofproduction.Thesecross-cuttingcleavagesintroducedavarietyofpoliticalidentificationswhichprovidedformuch oftheflexibilityofmodernWesternEuropeanpolitics.5Also,thecenterexisted withinasystemoflinkageswithperipheralelements:medievalestatesfoundaplaceinparliaments;thelowerclasseswereaccordedthefranchise.IntheOttomanEmpirebeforethe nineteenthcenturythesecharacteristicsofmultipleconfrontationandintegrationseemtobemissing.Rather,themajorconfrontationwasunidimensional,alwaysaclash betweenthecenterand theperiphery.Inaddition,theautonomyofperipheralsocial forceswasmorethananythingdefacto,animportantdifferencefrom theinstitutionalrecognitionaccorded,forexample,toestatesinWesternEurope,whichwere"separatefromtheLordorPrince"6evenwhentheywere"dependentcorporations."7Untilrecently,the confrontationbetweencenterandperipherywasthemostimportantsocialcleavageunderlyingTurkishpoliticsandonethat seemedtohavesurvivedmorethanacenturyofmodernization.Thispapertakesupthewaysinwhichthiscleavagewasperpetuatedduringmodernization.
The TraditionalSystem
ThereweremanyreasonswhytheoppositionofcenterandperipherybecametheoutstandingissueofOttomanpoliticalandeconomiclife. Oneof thesewastheincompatibilityof urbandwellerswith thealwayslargecontingentofnomadsinAnatolia,thecoreof theEmpire.The state'sdifficultyindealingwith nomadsontheperipherywasendemic.Butmorethanthis,the clashbetweennomads and urban dwellersgeneratedtheOttoman cultivatedman'sstereotypethat civilizationwasacontestbetweenurbanizationandnomadism,andthatallthingsnomadicwere

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