Cover Osteuropa 10-12/2018

In Osteuropa 10-12/2018

Kemalism and Bolshevism
Unequal brothers and their historical legacy

Stefan Plaggenborg

Deutsche Fassung


After the end of the First World War, the Russian and Ottoman empires lay in ruins. Bolshevism and Kemalism were concepts for a radical new future. However, the ideals on which they were based differed considerably. Kemalism was oriented to middle-class Europe, at least on principle, while the Bolsheviks wanted to overcome the bourgeoisie with socialism and soviet-based democracy – and created a state ruled by terror. The Soviet model collapsed after 70 years, while Kemalism created the foundation for democracy, the progressive development of society and a cultural upswing in Turkey. Since the political and cultural counterrevolution in Turkey, the regimes in Moscow and Ankara have begun to resemble each other, however. Both are attempting to legitimise rule by invoking the past glories of empire, and the mechanisms they use to retain their hold on power are also similar.

(Osteuropa 10-12/2018, pp. 51–80)