[STRONG IMAGES OF PROPAGANDA OF NEW REPUBLIC / AVANTGARDE COVERS FOR PROPAGANDA] La Turquie Kamâliste - Kemaliste. 1-49. 1934 - Mars 1948 (All published). [plus] La Turquie contemporaine. [i.e. The contemporary Turkey]

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LA TURQUIE KEMALISTE, Direction Generale de la Presse et de l'Information, Ankara, 1934-1948. [+] COMMISSION, La Direction Generale de la Presse au Ministere de l’Interior, Ankara, 1935.

COMPLETE TITLE:  [STRONG IMAGES OF PROPAGANDA OF NEW REPUBLIC / AVANTGARDE COVERS FOR PROPAGANDA] La Turquie Kamâliste - Kemaliste: Revue paraissant tous les deux mois et publiee par la Direction Generale de la Presse au Ministere de l’Interieur [i.e., Kemalist Turkey: Magazine appearing every two months and published by the General Directorate of Press at the Ministry of the Interior. 1-49. 1934 - Mars 1948 (All published). [plus] La Turquie contemporaine. [i.e. The contemporary Turkey].

Original illustrated wrappers. 4to. (32 x 24 cm). In French, German, English. Each issue 35-40 pp., richly illustrated. The first 19 issues are housed in separate two modern half-clothes (Vol. 1: 1-10; Vol. 2: 11-19). All issues have original covers. Tissue guards to the first full page colour illustrations on the first page of every issue. From the 20th issue through the last 49th issue are loosely in original wrappers. Minor wear to spines of loose issues, otherwise a very good and complete set. [plus] Original avant-garde wrappers. Roy. 8vo. (23,5 x 16,5 cm). In French. 304 p., b/w photographs, many maps (one folded).

Extremely rare complete run of this main propaganda organ of the New Turkish Republic, profusely illustrated with photographs which were the strong images of new progressing Kemalist Turkey by mostly Austrian photographer Othmar Pferschy (1898-1984), who worked primarily in Istanbul and Ankara. It was a bimonthly prestige journal published by the “DGP” that acted as important material for the propaganda department of the Ministry of the Interior. La Turquie Kemaliste was published in 49 issues between June 1934 and 1948. From June 1939 onwards, because of the deteriorating conditions of the Second World War, it was published once a year; twice in 1941, was not published in 1942, and only once in 1943 and 1947. The last issue was published in March 1948 under a different intellectual climate.

For the book: The first and only edition of this uncommon propaganda book of the new Turkish Republic published by the DGP in 1935 containing a wide description of the country, starting with its geographical conditions, geological structure, and land. The book also includes some of the content of the propaganda periodical titled “La Turquie Kemaliste” issues such as the historical conditions and transformations that took place at the turn of the century, from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey, the birth of a new Turkey, economic conditions, resources, and economic activities, agriculture and emerging industries, sources of energy, mining, communication, roads and developments in traffic, motorways, domestic and foreign financial activities, credits and commerce, social and cultural transformations, changes in the moral principles of the society, developments in public health and the social security system, and the end, creation and construction of new Ankara as a capital city. As an appendix, the book gives a comparison between the 1927 and 1935 population censuses, claiming that the population in new Turkey had reached 16,188,767 after a long period of consecutive wars.

This propaganda periodical was published under the leadership of the press director of the time, Vedat Nedim Tör (1897-1985), to introduce the Kemalist revolutions in Turkey to the world public. It was printed at the "DGP" [i.e., State Printing House] and was published in French and containing a small number of articles in German and English as well. The French language was chosen as the diplomatic language in the Mediterranean Basin and in the Balkans at that time. The photographs of Turkey in the periodicals were taken by its staff photographer Pferschy.

The periodicals started to be published under the name "La Turquie Kemaliste"; then it took the form of "La Turquie Kamâliste" from the sixth to the twentieth issue. The reason for this was that Atatürk changed the name "Kemal" to "Kamâl" after the Letter and Language Revolution in 1928. Starting with the 21-22nd issue dated December 1937, "La Turquie Kemaliste" was reverted to and this name was retained until the forty-ninth and the last issue dated March 1948.

This historically significant highly collectible complete run of this periodical, and extremely rare main propaganda organ of Young Kemalist Turkey includes regular writers as authors staff such as Falih Rifki Atay (1894-1971), Burhan Belge (1899-1967), Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu (1889-1974), as well as Friedrich Falke (1871-1948), the founding rector of the Ankara Higher Agricultural Institute, Necip Fazil Kisakürek (1904-1983), and Paolo Vietti-Violi (1882-1965), the architect of the BJK Inönü Stadium in Dolmabahçe. Local and foreign people from many different fields took part, including Agriculturalist Nihat Iyriboz (1893-1988), who established the first pesticide factory in Turkey. Austrian diplomat Norbert von Bischoff (1894-1960), French merchant and an expert on international market economies Charles Gruére (1906-1990), architects and archaeologists such as Pierre Devambez (1902-1980) or Albert Gabriel (1883-1972), and Thomas Whittemore (1871-1950), the founding president of the Byzantine Institute of America, are among the foreign writers whose articles were published in the periodicals.

From the first to the sixth issue of La Turquie Kémaliste, an attractive illustration symbolizing industry through the stylization of factory chimneys was used as the cover image. From the seventh to the twelfth issue, a new illustration was used, representing large industrial facilities together with agriculture in a figurative form; Between the 13th and 18th issues, stylized “factory chimneys” are depicted on the cover highlighting the human element. On the covers of the nineteenth and twentieth issues, as well as the 23-24th and 25-26th issues, there is a pattern expressing agricultural production of the new Republic in a "social realist" style. The Second Turkish History Congress is highlighted in the graphic arrangement on the cover of the special issue 21-22. After the twenty-seventh issue dated October 1939, a photo of Atatürk's bust appeared on the covers.


The political propaganda activities during the Single Party Regime of the Republic of Turkey were divided into two periods: The Revolution and the War Era Propaganda. While “Revolution Propaganda” was mainly based on the Six Arrows,4 “War Era Propaganda” exploited the features of patriotism and nationalism. In both periods, DGP, one of the first institutions in the history of the Republic, was the official state institution, which was responsible for the works of propaganda (Akçali-Uzunhasan).

In the 1930s and 40s, the past, the present, and the future views of society were exemplified and shown in the images and texts in La Turquie Kemaliste. The project is well studied and actualized by a group of intellectuals influenced by the leftist ideals of the period, having in mind the model of socialist construction and central planning efforts well-tried in Soviet Russia in the 1930s. Turkish governments in Ankara started planning in 1932 with the help of a group of Soviet experts, and then they prepared a five-year industrial plan that was successfully applied until 1939 (Boratav, 1982, p.111). This magazine shows that the lives of ordinary people, peasants and urban middle classes, men and women changed a lot with the help of the Republican reforms and statist policies of the Kemalist regime.

La Turquie Kemaliste was a search for international legitimacy for the new regime. Turkish intellectuals of the time identified with the powerful Western powers instead of the socialist trials and experiences of the third world. So, they accepted and supported the westernization efforts of the existing government and Turkish nationalism. As a result, Kemalist cadres moved smoothly from Soviet friendship and support to Cold War policies, as an early example of a Cold War position. After the Soviet-friendly atmosphere in 1933, anti-Sovietism, even Nazi sympathy became a prominent political preference among official and civil circles, especially at the beginning of the 1940s (Örnek, ibid., p.30). Anti-Sovietism reigned in the second part of the 1930s because of the preferences of the emerging business circles and interest groups who developed close relations with state officials. Nazi advocacy and hostility towards Soviet Russia came to a climax between 1941-43, while the German army gained ground in Soviet land.


The photographs in these works were taken by Othmar Pferschy. Pferschy was an Austrian photographer who worked primarily in Turkey. Pferschy began as a well-paid assistant to Romanian Jewish photographer Jean Weinberg, who hired him in 1926. He opened his own Istanbul studio in 1931.

Pferschy worked for Weinberg until 1931 and then opened his studio in Istanbul. On 11 June 1932, the Turkish parliament passed Act 2007 (concerning Arts and Occupations Reserved for Turkish Citizens), which prohibited foreigners from working as photographers. The ruling ended a tradition that dated back to the middle of the 19th century when numerous European photographers moved their studios to Constantinople (Istanbul). Abdullah Freres and Pascal Sebah were two of the most successful foreign-run studios that opened in Constantinople in the mid-19th century. Shortly after the ban went into effect, Pferschy and Weinberg traveled together to Egypt. Pferschy was asked to teach photography to Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim, who was residing in Alexandria at the time. Prince Abdel Moneim was the son of the former Sultan of Egypt, Abbas Hilmi II.

After they visited Egypt, the two photographers decided to abandon Turkey for good and move their studios to Cairo. However, just before Pferschy was about to leave he got an offer in Turkey that he could not refuse. When Vedat Nedim Tor, director of the state printing office, failed to find a suitable Turkish photographer, he asked Pferschy to be the official photographer for the institution. Between 1935 and 1940 Pferschy moved to Ankara, the new Turkish capital, and from there he traveled throughout the country taking photos of landscapes, villages, cities, archeological sites, people, and most importantly the achievements of the new “Kemalist Turkey.” The photographs were printed in numerous magazines, books, and calendars, made into postcards, and used on stamps and banknotes.

Sources: BUILDING THE MEMORY OF THE EARLY REPUBLICAN PERIOD: LA TURQUIE KEMALISTE, E. Zeynep Suda.; Wikipedia.; Bugünün Bilgileriyle Kemal'in Türkiye'si: La Turquie Kemaliste, Uysal - Tüzün.

As of January 2024, OCLC shows the sole complete set in the British Library (504715139).