Zeitschrift für die Welt der Türken / Journal of World of Turks, Vol 9, No 1 (2017)

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Legal and Power Foundations of Political Authority in Turkish States from Past to Present

Ali Sinan BİLGİLİ, Mehmet TAKKAÇ


German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) focuses on three ideal types of sovereignty in his description of power emerging differently throughout history. These typologies which are indicative of political authority are as follows:
1-Traditional authority: based on customs and traditions.
2-Rational-Legal authority: based on a system of rules.
3-Charismatic authority: based on supreme and sacred features.
The above typologies that Weber determined have existed in Turkish states from past to present. In Huns and Gokturks the foundations of power were traditions and sacred objects. Law took an important place in Mongol (Chenghizid) and Timurid states. In Seljuk and Ottoman States the foundation of power become religious due to the influence of Islam; and a new model was formed with the integration of religious rules into traditions in these two states. The present foundations of power in Republic of Turkey have been based on democratic rules but still involve features of charismatic authority.
This study is intended to take into consideration the foundations of power for political authority, the process of transformation and development of these foundations, and the factors contributing to this transformation and development process in Turkish states starting from the first Turkish state organization, Huns, to Republic of Turkey. Not all the Turkish states have been included in the study; only those with features representing a turning point have been considered.

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