Turkey has the distinction of being the first modern, secular state in a predominantly Islamic Middle East. This is the result of the determination of suceeding generations of reformers to constantly remake their society so to withstand the challenge of an agressive West. The nineteenth century reformers hoped to do this by simply adopting western institutions. But their successors, the so-called Young Turks, realised that that was not enough and that the entire social structure would have to be transformed so that Turkey too could have classes like those of the advanced countries of Europe. Written at a time when the Turkish military has been playing a prominent poltical role, The Making of Modern Turkey puts this role in a perspective which challenges conventional wisdom of a monolithic and unchanging army. After a chapter on "the Ottoman Legacy", the book covers the period since the revolution of 1908 examining the processes (Political, social and economic) by which the new Turkey was formed.
Successive chapters chart the progress through the single-party regime set up by Ataturk (1923-1945), the multi-party period (1945-1960) and the three military interventions of 1960,1971 and 1980. The book ends in 1989 with the election of Turgat Ozal as president. In contrast to most current analyses of modern Turkey, the author emphasises the socio-economic changes rather than continuities as the motor of politics.