Atilla Yayla

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Atilla Yayla
Born (1957-03-03)3 March 1957
Kaman, Kırşehir, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Field Political economy, ethics, civil rights theory
School/tradition Libertarian economics
Alma mater Ankara University
B.A. in Economics, 1980;
M.A. in Public Administration, 1983;
PhD in Political Sciences, 1986
Influences Plato · Aristotle · Hobbes · Locke · Hume · Bentham · Mill · Smith · Ricardo · Tocqueville · Bastiat · Hayek
Influenced Akyol · Şahin · ALT · ALP · 3H · LİYA
Atilla Yayla
2nd Chairman of Association for Liberal Thinking
In office
Preceded by Kazım Berzeg
Succeeded by Bican Şahin

Atilla Yayla (Turkish: [atiɫɫa jajɫa], born (1957-03-03)March 3, 1957), is a Turkish political thinker and a proponent of liberal democracy. He was Professor of Politics, Political Economy and Political Philosophy at Gazi University in Turkey[1] He is the department head of the International Relations department at Faculty of Commercial Sciences of Istanbul Commerce University in Turkey.[2] He also writes articles to the daily national Yeni Şafak newspaper.

Life and career[edit]

He was born in 1957 in Kaman, Kırşehir.[1]

As an undergraduate, he studied economics at Ankara University, going on to earn a master's degree in public administration and a Ph.D in political science (1986).[1]

As one of the founders of Association for Liberal Thinking, he had also served the institution as the chairman between 1997 to 2008. He is still member of the institution.[1][3]

He was a visiting professor at the University of Buckingham.[4] He was the winner of the Anthony Fisher Prize in 2000 for his book "Islam, Civil Society and Market Economy".[4] Yayla was awarded the Person of the Year Award by the Stockholm Network in 2007.[5]

Work and views[edit]

Yayla is the author of many books and articles in English and Turkish on terrorism, liberalism, constructivist rationalism, social justice, and Friedrich Hayek.

In a 1998 article "Türkiye'de İslam, İnsan Hakları ve Demokrasi" (Islam, Human Rights, and Democracy in Turkey), he suggests that the human rights and democracy should be implemented by Islamists in Turkey.[6]

In 2006, Yayla was charged with insulting the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk by calling him "that man" in a speech where he argued that the early years of the republic were less democratic than the period after Turkey became a multi-party system,[7] and the cult of personality that has grown up around Atatürk since.[8]

Court case and exile[edit]

Yayla's views on Atatürk and the early years of the Turkish Republic led certain conservative newspapers, notably Yeni Asır, to proclaim him a traitor.[9][10][11][12] In a court case, he was convicted and received a suspended 15 month jail sentence, which he appealed.[13][14] Yayla was also dismissed temporarily from his academic post.[7]


Several of Yayla's books are published by Liberte Yayınları (Liberte Publications), a company associated with the Liberal Düşünce Topluluğu.

  • On Terrorism (1990)
  • Liberalism (1992,1994,1997,2000,2003)
  • Liberal Approaches (1993, 2000)
  • The Road to Freedom (1993, 2000)
  • Social and Political Theory (ed.) (1994, 2000)
  • Rules and Order (Turkish translation of book by F.A. Hayek, 1994)
  • On the Welfare Party (with Melih Yürüsen) (1996, in Turkish and German)
  • On Turkish Political Parties (with Melih Yürüsen) (1996, in Turkish and German)
  • Introduction to Political Theory (1998)
  • Islam, Civil Society and the Market Economy (ed.) (1999, in English)
  • Road to Freedom: the Social and Economic Philosophy of Hayek (2000, in Turkish)
  • Guide to Protect Democracy (2001, in Turkish)
  • Statist Mentality and Market Economy (2001, in Turkish)
  • Dictionary of Political Thought (2007, 5th ed., in Turkish)
  • Market Civilization (2004, in Turkish)

Selected articles[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Academic Web site, Gazi University
  2. ^ Academic Web site, Istanbul Commerce University[dead link]
  3. ^ "Atilla Yayla" (in Turkish). Liberte Publications. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "New Visiting Professor in Economics and International Studies". Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  5. ^ "Golden Umbrella Think Tank Awards". Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  6. ^ Megalommatis, Muhammad Shamsaddin (2007-06-20). "Anti-Turkish Hysteria from the Financial Times: A Challenge to Democracy". American Chronicle. Ultio LLC. Retrieved 2008-04-15. "Suffice it that you learn Turkish and read his brilliant publication "Türkiye'de İslam, İnsan Hakları ve Demokrasi" (1998); you will immediately realize that this theoretician of Turkey’s islamization and barbarization suggested that Human Rights and Democracy should be implemented in Turkey by … the Islamists!" 
  7. ^ a b Tavernise, Sabrina (2008-01-25). "Turkey to Alter Speech Law". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  8. ^ Rainsford, Sarah (2008-01-28). "Academic sentenced over Ataturk". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  9. ^ Kaya, Nuray (2006-11-19). "Hain Sözler (Treacherous Remarks)". Yeni Asır (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  10. ^ İnce, Devrim (2006-11-20). "Haine Tepkiler Yağıyor (The Traitor Receives Flak)". Yeni Asır (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  11. ^ Yilmaz, Murat (2008-07-02). "Yayla'yı kim mahkum etti? (Who condemned Yayla?)". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  12. ^ Elidemir, Yücel (2006-11-29). "Hakaretin adı, fikir özgürlüğü (The insult is called freedom of thought)". Yeni Asır (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  13. ^ Daren Butler and Gareth Jones (2008-01-28). "Turkish academic convicted of insulting Ataturk". Reuters UK. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  14. ^ "Professor convicted of insulting Ataturk". USA Today. 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 

External links[edit]