Who rules Turkey? : the Turkish power elite and the roles, functions and social backgrounds of Turkish elites
The research aims to make descriptive and explanatory generalisations about Turkish
elites and the Turkish power elite by using empirical data which is gathered from the Turkish
elite groups themselves. The major goals were to construct a social portrait of Turkish elites
and to test the idea of the existence of a Turkish power elite. If a power elite existed in
Turkish society, what is its social anatomy?
Multiple methodological approaches were used to define the research subject, to
outline the research universe. Extensive field researches comprise the major data sources of
the study. Very detailed interviews were conducted with members of Turkish elite groups and
the Turkish power elite. Four large original data sets were created from the data which was
gathered in the field. In addition to this, several subsidiary techniques were used to achieve the
goals of the research, including documentary and historical data techniques. Also, secondary
data was obtained from the studieso f other researchersw hich was rather useful.
The study demonstrates the existence of a Turkish power elite, which comprised four
major key elite groups: business, political, military and media elites. The Turkish power elite,
or in other words the key elites of contemporary Turkish society is composed of people of
broadly similar social origins, similar educational backgrounds and broadly similar
occupational backgrounds. Furthermore, they have similar styles of life and life views. It was
perceived that various attitudes, interests, values, norms and behaviour patterns are shared by
the members of Turkish elites and the Turkish power elite.
At the end of a detailed investigation, it can be said that the Turkish elites present a
higher level consensually unified national elite character. Also, there has been both
fundamental and operative consensus inside each elite group. This consensus can be labelled
the "relative internal consensus".
Findings clearly show that, there is a high degree of "relative elite consensus" among
the Turkish elites. This consensus confirms the existence of "relative elite homogeneity"
among Turkish elites. As a result of these findings, it is possible to claim the existence of a
relatively cohesive power elite in contemporary Turkey.