Entrepreneurship – Cornwall
History & Culture Essay – Turkey
History’s Effect on Turkish Entrepreneurship
Before the Turkish Republic was established in 1923, the Ottoman Empire ruled territory from Eastern Europe to the Middle East for more than 600 years. When its dissolution finally occurred in a civilian uprising led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk a secular state replaced an Islamic empire. Under the Ottoman Empire influence and power came with position, which was designated from the top down, and desirable jobs were those in the government, military and religious institutions. Business and entrepreneurship was looked down upon and most small enterprises were started by religious and ethnic minorities living in Turkey.1 Unsurprisingly few Ottoman citizens took on entrepreneurial endeavors. Divided social classes resulted in a large portion of the population being confined to a peasant lifestyle of subsistence farming.
Ataturk’s takeover in 1923 led to complete reform of these old Ottoman principles. Ataturk secularized the government of the new Turkish Republic and gave women equal political and legal rights. A parliamentary democracy was established and a middle class of professionals (i.e. businessmen, lawyers, doctors) began to grow. The new government worked to eliminate corruption in the army and organized representation for various industries and groups of laborers.2 The main focus of Ataturk’s campaign, though, was the importance of westernization: political and economic growth would result from adaption of European practices and values.
Though Ataturk’s reforms helped to modernize Turkey it was not till the 1950 Turkish Parliamentary elections that real political and social change was able to take root. The Democratic Party gained the majority over the Republicans who had dominated for nearly 30 years. In the 20 years following the elections the Democratic Party created a new social order that allowed for vertical movement...