Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 by pro-modernization and westernization elites who were able to attain power during the final years of the Empire. The formation of this new state required not only the construction of a new nation, but also a 20th century identity. While modern Turkey was being constructed, numerous cultural, social, economic and legal reforms were being introduced. The founders used written, oral and visual means of communication during this strategic process. During the period following the establishment of the Republic, several public relation activities were used in the process of building a nation/community of citizens and a national identity. The public relation activities, which can be claimed to have been based upon a more systematic and programmatic approach in the 1930's, which coincides with the institutionalization and establishment of the Single-Party Rule, were carried out by means of many instruments including organizations like Halkevleri [i.e. Community Centres] and radio, as well as theatre, cinema, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and ceremonies. These institutions and instruments have up to this date been the subject of studies conducted by historians, political scientists and sociologists to shed light upon the developments during the process of establishment of a new state. The communication scientists have not yet paid sufficient attention to this topic and no detailed research on the public relation activities were carried out so far. This study focuses on these activities and the impact they had during the construction of the state and the national identity of modern Turkey. This process has gone largely unstudied in the public relations literature in Turkey. In order to do this, the author has analyzed various elements including people, events, institutions and campaigns.
Public relations, nation-building, nation building and PR, Turkey