Sovereignty and the Nation in Mustafa Kemal’s Nutuq
This thesis approaches the problematic of nation and sovereignty with particular reference to Mustafa Kemal’s Nutuq. This speech narrates the story of the Turkish war of independence and the establishment of the republic. It has been a major symbol of modern self-interpretation of Turkish identity, one which is based on the celebration of the modern concepts of nation and sovereignty. These two major concepts are said be to among the fundamental ideographs and rhetorical decorations used by Mustafa Kemal in Nutuq. In this thesis I argue that sovereignty and the nation in Nutuq cannot be reduced to rhetoric and ideography and that they must be approached within the wider context of political philosophy and the theories of sovereignty. Sovereignty and the nation in Nutuq are related to the modern ideas of nationalism, representation, exclusion, violence and suppression. In Nutuq, it is possible to trace the modern contrast between suzerainty and sovereignty. This sharp contrast was evoked, however, only after Kemal had already founded the republic and established his power and authority in Turkey. The ultimate question will be how the different forms of sovereignty are evoked, how some forms of sovereignty replace others and how the change in the form of sovereignty requires a change in the conception and the perception of the nation.