Horizontal and Vertical Ideological Axes Building the Left-Right Distinction in Türkiye: A Political Spectrum Proposal


The left-right distinction in Türkiye, which resemble in many aspects to examples in the West, became clear in 1970’s, and described differences between revolutionary demands towards economic equality and conservative attitudes emphasizing national identity. Although both have different tendencies, on the left end, socialist movements can be found, while nationalist movements occupy the right end. However, considering the presence of synthesizing political ideologies, it becomes highly challenging to categorize political movements along a linear spectrum in Türkiye. For instance, it is almost impossible to properly array the right-political movements when the Islamism is included this spectrum. Additionally, it can be argued that in Türkiye, the primary determinant is a distinction based on cultural conflict rather than a class-based distinction. In this context, it can be argued that the tension between Westernism and Islamism, rooted in the experience of Ottoman-Turkish modernization, constitutes an axis that shapes the left-right distinction in Türkiye, and even intersects the Socialism-Nationalism axis vertically. In the synthesis areas of this intersection, there are political tendencies such as Kemalism, Ulkuculuk, social democracy, and Islamic socialism. This study proposes a political spectrum model composed of the axes of Socialism-Nationalism (horizontal) and Westernism-Islamism (vertical) to analyze political ideas and movements in Türkiye. It is thought that this model will provide a clear understanding of the ideological contexts and areas of discussion within center-left and center-right movements in Türkiye.


Sağ sol Batıcılık İslamcılık milliyetçilik sosyalizm Kemalizm Ülkücülük sosyal demokrasi İslami sosyalizm.