Invention of Lausanne: Day of Peace as an instrument to construct charismatic leadership in traditional society

Varuzhan Geghamyan


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The role of the charismatic power and charismatic leadership increases during the authoritarian modernization of traditional society. Authoritites use different methods to construct and fabricate their images of charismatic leadership. During the one-party period in Early Turkish Republic the leader of the state exalted his personality through the transmission of his images, translating it into political cult. Common ground for this process was national holidays. Examining these ceremonies and rituals as invented traditions we look at the fabrication of the cult. Through these events collective historical memory and identity were formed and citizens imagined New Turkey and Turkish power. Using the example of Lozan Day Holiday as an illustration of construction of charismatic leadership in traditional societies, this paper demonstrates the history of representations of power in authoritarian regimes. Large range of textual and visual materials (archival documents, memories, newspapers and journals) are examined.


modernization; authoritarianism; Kemalism; memory; cult of personality; traditionalism; charismatic leadership


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