The jurists who entered Turkish academia during the 1930s built the foundations of their discipline under a regime that became increasingly authoritarian as war drew closer. Like their peers in Italy and France, therefore, they had to produce coherent doctrines but also support the frequent use of exceptional emergency powers. How did they solve this contradiction? More importantly, what consequences did their solutions have for the use of emergency powers after the war? This article adopts a Deleuzian reading of two strategies with which Turkish jurists met that challenge, approaching their work not simply as theories about law but also as models for the role law should play in the articulation of public authority. Focusing on Ali Fuad Başgil and Sıddık Sami Onar, law professors at Istanbul University, I argue that although both professors supported the regime, only a situational doctrine of the kind Onar produced was capable of ensuring that jurists would have a place in the exercise of “exceptional” state powers after the 1950 transition to democracy.
Author's note: This article grew out of my PhD work at the University of Washington. I am grateful to my advisor Rachel A. Cichowski for introducing me to the world of law, and to my other two advisors, Joel S. Migdal and Reşat Kasaba, for thoughtful comments throughout the entire process. The research and time needed to write it was made possible by grants from the American Research Institute in Turkey, the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, a University of Washington Chester Fritz grant, and the Institute of Turkish Studies. For encouragement and feedback on several iterations of this article, I wish to thank everyone who attended the February 2014 meeting of CETOBaC at the Collège de France, the participants in the University of Washington's Turkish Circle, in particular Reşat Kasaba, Mehmet Kentel, Matthew Goldman, and Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano, and the participants in the publication seminar at the Centre for Islamic and Middle East Studies at the University of Oslo, in particular Rania Maktabi. I also want to thank the three anonymous referees at IJMES for their insightful critiques, as well as Jeffrey Culang and Akram Khater.
1 Reproduced in the Resmi Gazete (Official Gazette, hereafter RG) no. 10539, 30 June 1960, 1,632. A translation can be found in Hale, William, Turkish Politics and the Military (London: Routledge, 1994), 119–20.
2 Camelio, Nicolas, “‘The Military Seize the Law’: The Drafting of the 1961 Constitution,” in Order and Compromise: Government Practices in Turkey from the Late Ottoman Empire to the Early 21st Century, ed. Aymes, Marc, Gourisse, Benjamin, and Massicard, Élise (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 122 .
3 Erkanlı, Orhan, Anılar, Sorunlar, Sorumlular (Istanbul: Baha Matbaası, 1972), 67.
4 Varol, Ozan O., “The Democratic Coup d’État,” Harvard International Law Journal 53 (2012): 292–356 .
5 Tanör, Bülent, “States of Exception in Turkey 1960–1980,” in States of Exception: Their Impact on Human Rights (Geneva: International Commission of Jurists, 1983), 315.
6 See, for example, Kaynar, Reşat, Türkiyede hukuk devleti kurma yolundaki hareketler (Istanbul: Tan Matbaası, 1960); Savcı, Bahri, “Yeni Bir Anayasa Rejimine Doğru Gelişmeler (I),” Ankara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Dergisi 16, no. 1 (1961): 62–101 ; and Soysal, Mümtaz, 100 Soruda Anayasanın Anlamı (Istanbul: Gerçek Yayınevi, 1969).
7 Rumpf, Christian, Das Türkische Verfassungssystem. Einführung Mit Vollständigem Verfassungstext (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996), 68 .
8 Yıldırım, Engin, “İktidar, Üniversite ve Aydınlar,” Bilgi 2 (2000): 4.
9 Nimet Baş, ‟Hurdles before Independence, Impartiality of Military Judiciary,” Today's Zaman, 13 January 2013.
10 Dyzenhaus, David, The Constitution of Law: Legality in a Time of Emergency (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 7 .
11 Dölen, Emre, Darülfünun'dan Üniversiteye Geçiş: Tasfiye ve Yeni Kadrolar (Istanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, 2010), 378–88.
12 Tunçay, Mete and Haldun, Özen, “1933 Darülfünun Tasfiyesinde Atılanlar,” Tarih ve Toplum, no. 10 (1984): 21–25 .
13 A point made by Boğaç Erozan in “Producing Obedience: Law Professors and the Turkish State” (PhD diss., University of Minnesota, 2005).
14 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “La Constitution et le Régime politique,” in La vie juridique des peuples: Bibliothéque de droit contemporain, ed. Lévy-Ullmann, Henri and Mirkine-Guetzévitch, Boris, vol. 7, Turquie, by Ali Fuad Başgil, Cevdet Ferit Basman, Kemaleddin Birsen, et al. (Paris: Librairie Delagrave, 1939), 20 .
15 Schmitt, Carl, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, trans. Schwab, George (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985).
16 Agamben, Giorgio, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Heller-Roazen, Daniel (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1998); Agamben, Giorgio, State of Exception, trans. Attell, Kevin (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
17 Schmitt, Political Theology, 13.
18 Agamben, State of Exception, 32.
19 Humphreys, S., “Legalizing Lawnessness: On Giorgio Agamben's State of Exception,” European Journal of International Law 17 (2006): 683 .
20 Sarat, Austin, “Introduction: Towards New Conceptions of the Relationship of Law and Sovereignty under Conditions of Emergency,” in Sovereignty, Emergency, Legality, ed. Sarat, Austin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 3 .
21 I thank an anonymous reviewer for reminding me to make this point.
22 Camelio, “‘The Military Seize the Law,’” 128.
23 Mussawir, Edward, Jurisdiction in Deleuze: The Expression and Representation of Law (New York: Routledge, 2011), 5 .
24 For an overview of recent Deleuzian engagement with the law, see, in addition to Mussawir's study, Lefebvre, Alexandre, The Image of Law: Deleuze, Bergson, and Spinoza (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2008); and de Sutter, Laurent and McGee, Kyle, eds., Deleuze and Law (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012).
25 Cormack, Bradin, A Power to Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of the Common Law, 1509–1625 (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2007), 4.
26 Valverde, Mariana, “The Sociology of Law as a ‘Means against Struggle Itself,’” Social & Legal Studies 15 (2006): 591–97.
27 Dorsett, Shannaugh and Mcveigh, Shaun, “Questions of Jurisdiction,” in Jurisprudence of Jurisdiction, ed. McVeigh, Shaun (London: Cavendish/Routledge, 2007), 5 .
28 Cormack, A Power to Do Justice, 5.
29 Deleuze, Gilles, Difference and Repetition (London: Continuum, 2004), chap. 3.
30 Rustow, Dankwart A., “Connections,” in Paths to the Middle East: Ten Scholars Look Back, ed. Naff, Thomas (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1993), 267 .
31 On the once proudly independent Ottoman ulema's surrender to centralization and careerism after the 16th century, see Zilfi, Madeline C., “The Ottoman Ulema,” in The Cambridge History of Turkey, vol. 3, The Later Ottoman Empire, 1603–1839, ed. Faroqhi, Suraiya (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 209–25. After the 1960 coup, Başgil himself argued that Onar's defense of the mass trial of the DP leaders amounted to a fetva. Fuad Başgil, Ali, 27 Mayıs İhtilalı ve Sebepleri (Istanbul: Kubbealti, 1966), 184 .
32 Parla, Taha, The Social and Political Thought of Ziya Gökalp, 1876–1924 (Leiden: Brill, 1985), 124 .
33 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Muasır Devlette Memur Meselesi ve Memurların Mesleki Vazife ve Terbiyesi,” İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 7, no. 4 (1941): 794 .
34 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Dördüncü Kurultay Münasebetiyle,” Aylık Siyasal Bilgiler Mecmuası, no. 50 (1935): 1–5 ; cited in Parla, The Social and Political Thought of Ziya Gökalp, 124. For Ahmet Mithat's critique, see his article “Faşistlik,” İstanbul Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 8, no. 48 (1930): 929–34.
35 Başgil, Ali Fuad, Türkiye Teşkilat Hukukunda Nizamname Mefhumu ve Nizamnamelerin Mahiyeti ve Tabi olduğu Hukuki Rejim (Istanbul: Kenan Basımevi ve Klişe Fabrikası, 1939), 76 .
36 Başgil, Ali Fuad, Klasik Ferdî Hak ve Hürriyetler Nazariyesi ve Muasır Devletçilik Sistemi (Ankara: Hukuk İlmini Yayma Kurumu, 1938).
37 Başgil, “La Constitution et le Régime politique,” 22.
38 Mithat, “Hukuku Amme Dersleri 2: Devlet Anasırının Hukuki Şeraitti,” İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 8, no. 46 (1930): 665–696.
39 Başgil, “La Constitution et le Régime politique,” 20, 22–23, 36–38.
40 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Esas Teşkilatımızın Umumi Hatları,” in Üniversite Haftası, Erzurum, 13-7-1940–19-7-1940 (Istanbul, 1941), 240 .
41 Gregor, A. James, Mussolini's Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004), 87 .
42 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Kanunun hâkimiyeti prensibi,” İzmir Barosu Dergisi 2, nos. 1–5 (1936): 63–75.
43 Başgil, “Muasır Devlette Memur Meselesi,” 802.
44 Paxton, Robert O., The Anatomy of Fascism (New York: Knopf, 2004), 143.
45 Başgil, Ali Fuad, Siyasal Bilgiler Okulunun 86ıncı Yıl Dönümü Münasebetiyle 4/12/1943 Tarihinde Yapılan Merasimde Söylenen Nutuk (Ankara, 1943).
46 Başgil, “Muasır Devlette Memur Meselesi,” 790.
47 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Vatandaşların Amme Hakları ve Milli Camianın Emniyet ve Disiplin Meselesi,” İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 6 (1940): 289–300.
48 Başgil, “Muasır Devlette Memur Meselesi,” 794.
49 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Hürriyete Dair I,” Siyasi İlimler Mecmuası, no. 181 (1946): 1–6 ; “Hürriyete Dair II,” Siyasi İlimler Mecmuası, no. 182 (1946): 49–52; “Demokrasi ve Hürriyet,” Siyasi İlimler Mecmuası, no. 184 (1946): 149–52.
50 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Devlet Nizamı ve Hukuk, Hukuk ve Hak ile Kanun Arasındaki Münasebete Dair Bir İzah Denemesi,” İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 19 (1954): 576–91.
51 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Devlet Nizamı ve Hukuk, Devletle Hukuk Arasındaki Münasebet Üzerine bir İzah Denemesi,” İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 16 (1950): 27–50.
52 Önder, Tuncay, “Ali Fuad Başgil,” in Muhafazakârlık, ed. Çiğdem, Ahmet, vol. 5, Modern Türkiye'de Siyasi Düşunce (Istanbul: İletişim, 2003), 291–301 .
53 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Nemmamlık, Ahlâksızlıktır,” in İlmin Işiğinda Günün Meseleleri, ed. Hatiboğlu, Ali and Dayı, İsmail (Istanbul: Yağmur Yayınları, 1960), 194–97.
54 Başgil recounted his discussions with cabinet leaders and president Celal Bayar in his 27 Mayıs İhtilalı ve Sebepleri, 132–46.
55 Azak, Umut, “Secularists as the Saviors of Islam: Rearticulation of Secularism and the Freedom of Conscience in Turkey (1950),” in Secular State and Religious Society: Two Forces in Play in Turkey, ed. Turam, Berna (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 68.
56 I borrow the term “Republican alliance” from Belge, Ceren, “Friends of the Court: The Republican Alliance and Selective Activism of the Constitutional Court of Turkey,” Law and Society Review 40 (2006): 656.
57 Başgil, Ali Fuad, Ord. Prof. Dr. Ali Fuad Başgil'in Hatiraları (Istanbul: Boğaziçi Yayınları, 1990), 83 .
58 His recommendations were presented at a conference in 1956 but only published after the 1960 coup as “Vatandaş Hak ve Hürriyetlerinin Korunma Meselesi ve Anayasamız,” in İlmin Işiğinda Günün Meseleleri, ed. Ali Hatiboğlu and İsmail Dayı (Istanbul: Yağmur Yayınları, 1960), 43–85.
59 Erozan also alludes to a ‟strange continuity between some of [Başgil's] pre- and post-1945 thoughts.” Erozan, “Producing Obedience,” 171–72.
60 Schmitt, Carl, “Der Führer Schützt Das Recht.” Deutsche Juristen-Zeitung 39 (1934): 950.
61 Başgil, Ali Fuad, “Demokrasiye Dair,” Siyasi İlimler Mecmuası, no. 179 (1946): 579–85; “Demokrasi ve Müsavat Kaideleri,” Siyasi İlimler Mecmuası, no. 183 (1946): 93–97; “Demokrasi ve Müsavat,” Yeni İstanbul, 10 and 13 September 1963.
62 Başgil, Ord. Prof. Dr. Ali Fuad Başgil'in Hatiraları, 65–79.
63 “Ord. Prof. Dr. Sıddık Sami Onar’ın Hayat Hıkayesi,” İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 39, nos. 1–4 (1974): x–xi; Ozankaya, Özer, “Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Tarihinden Bir Belge,” Ankara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Dergisi XLIV, nos. 1–2 (1989): 15–16 .
64 For Onar's publications from 1924 onwards until his move to the Mülkiye Mektebi, see Cihan, Ahmet, “Cumhuriyet Dönemi Türk İdare Hukukçuları,” İdare Hukuku ve İlimleri Dergisi 13 (2000): 110–12.
65 Sami Onar, Sıddık, “Tetkik Mevzulari,” Mülkiye Mektebi Mecmuası, no. 2 (1931): 1–3 .
66 Sami Onar, Sıddık, “İlim ve Tatbikat,” Mülkiye Mektebi Mecmuası, no. 5 (1931): 5 .
67 Sami Onar, Sıddık, “Bizde Cemiyet Fikri ve Hayati Niçin İnkişaf Edemiyor?,” Mülkiye Mecmuası, no. 22 (1933): 5 .
68 Onar, “İlim ve Tatbikat,” 5.
69 Sıddık Sami Onar, Devletçilik ve İdare Hukuku, Hukuk İlmini Yayma Kurumu konferanslar serisi 54 (Ankara: Hukuk İlmini Yayma Kurumu, 1937), 8.
70 Ibid., 21.
71 Sami Onar, Sıddık, “İdari Kazaya Lüzum Var Mı?,” İzmir Barosu Dergisi 3, nos. 1–9 (1937): 1–18 .
72 Recent scholarship has to some extent corroborated Onar's assertion that administrative law continued to operate in Nazi Germany. Stolleis, for example, shows that the administrative courts enjoyed a large degree of institutional continuity until the end of the war because they were willing to discard their liberal provenance in order to retain formal jurisdiction. Stolleis, Michael, The Law under the Swastika: Studies on Legal History in Nazi Germany, trans. Dunlap, Thomas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 112–44.
73 Onar, Devletçilik ve İdare Hukuku, 22.
74 Sami Onar, Sıddık, “İdare Hukukunun Tatbik Sahası ve Salahiyet İhtilafları,” Aylık Siyasal Bilgiler Mecmuası, no. 46 (1935): 26.
75 Sami Onar, Sıddık, “İdarenın Takdir Hakkı,” Mülkiye İçtimai İlimler Mecmuası, no. 37 (1934): 36 .
76 Ibid., 36–37.
77 Ibid., 36.
79 Ibid., 37.
80 Tunceli Vilâyetinin İdaresi hakkında kanun, Law no. 2884, in RG 3195, 2 January 1936.
81 van Bruinessen, Martin, “Genocide in Kurdistan? The Suppression of the Dersim Rebellion in Turkey (1937–38) and the Chemical War against the Iraqi Kurds (1988),” in Conceptual and Historical Dimensions of Genocide, ed. Andreopoulos, George J. (Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), 141–70.
83 McDowall, David, A Modern History of the Kurds, 3rd ed. (London: I.B.Tauris, 2004), 209 .
84 Semih Gemalmaz, Mehmet, “Historical Roots of Martial Law within the Turkish Legal System: Perspectives and Texts,” Turkish Yearbook of Human Rights 13 (1991): 102–6.
85 Beşikçi, İsmail, Tunceli Kanunu (1935) ve Dersim Jenosidi (Istanbul: Belge Yayınları, 1990), 112 .
86 Ibid., 107.
87 Feldman, Leonard C., “The Banality of Emergency: On the Time and Space of ‘Political Necessity,’” in Sovereignty, Emergency, Legality, ed. Sarat, Austin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 138 .
88 Agamben, State of Exception, 13.
89 Milli Korunma Kanunu, Law no. 3780, in RG 4417, 26 January 1940.
90 Örfi idare kanunu, Law no. 3832, in RG 4518, 25 May 1940, replacing both the 1877 İdarei Örfiye Kararnamesi and the 1919 İdarei Örfiye Kararnamesi.
91 Kararname no. 14705, in RG 4668, 23 November 1940.
92 Üskül, Zafer, Siyaset ve Asker. Cumhuriyet Döneminde Sıkıyönetim Uygulamaları (Istanbul: AFA Yayınları, 1989), 111–22.
93 Varlık Vergisi hakkında kanun, Law no. 4305, in RG 5255, 12 November 1942.
94 Sami Onar, Sıddık, “İdare Hukuku bakımından İktisadi Devlet Teşekkülleri,” İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 7 (1941): 736 .
95 Sami Onar, Sıddık, Fevkâlade Hallerin Hukukî Nizam Üzerindeki Tesirleri (Istanbul: Kenan Basımevı, 1943), 380 .
96 Ibid., 378.
97 Ibid., 383.
98 Ibid., 381.
99 Ibid., 384.
100 Ibid., 385.
101 Beşikçi, Tunceli Kanunu (1935) ve Dersim Jenosidi, 119.
102 See, for example, Sarıca, Ragıp, “Fransa'da ve Türkiye'de Örfi İdare Rejimi,” İstanbul Barosu Mecmuası 15, no. 2 and 3 (1941).
103 Dyson, Kenneth H. F., The State Tradition in Western Europe: A Study of an Idea and Institution (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1980), 148.
104 Sami Onar, Sıddık, İdare Hukukunun Umumi Esasları (Istanbul: Marifet Basımevi, 1952).
105 Onar's textbook is referred to as gayrimenkûl by his students in “Üniversite: Sokrat Yaşıyor,” Akis, 26 April 1958, 12.
106 Deleuze, Gilles and Foucault, Michel, “Intellectuals and Power,” in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, ed. Bouchard, D. F. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977), 206.
107 Sami Onar, Sıddık, “Hukuk Telakkimizin Geçirdiği Buhranlar,” Siyasi İlimler Mecmuası 20, no. 233 (August 1950): 173–78.
108 Stolleis, Michael, “Reluctance to Glance in the Mirror: The Changing Face of German Jurisprudence after 1933 and Post-1945,” in Darker Legacies of Law in Europe: The Shadow of National Socialism and Fascism over Europe and Its Legal Traditions, ed. Joerges, Christian and Singh Ghaleigh, Navraj (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2003), 15 . For the legal legacy of Fascism in Italy, see Pavone, Claudio, “La continuità dello Stato. Instituzioni e uomini,” in Italia 1945–48: Le origini della Repubblica, ed. Pavone, Claudio (Turin: Einaudi, 1974), 137–289 .
109 Deleuze and Foucault, “Intellectuals and Power,” 206.
110 Statutory decrees were added to the 1961 Constitution's Article 64 and are currently present in the 1982 Constitution's Articles 91, 121, and 122.
111 Onar's comments were only published years later in “Benim Anayasalarım,” İstanbul Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuası 69, nos. 1–2 (2011): 1–36.
112 Dölen, Emre, Özerk Üniversite Dönemi (1946–1981) (Istanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, 2010), 71–74 .
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