The Analytical Process of a Republican Reform: The Adoption of Sunday as a Holiday in Turkey
This article deals with the ways in which economic, political and ideological factors made it necessary for the Kemalist government in Turkey to switch the weekly rest day from Friday to Sunday the 1920s and 1930s. Muslim-Turkish merchants brought the rest day change into agenda in the second half of the 1920s. Although this change had remained on the agenda for a long time, it was procrastinated by the Kemalist government. Behind this delay were not only the existing “religious sensitivities” or a possible “traditionalist reaction” but also the constriction in foreign trade transactions that was stipulated by the Great Depression in 1929. As such the Westernist identity politics of the secular Turkish regime played only a secondary role and had an indirect effect on the adoption of Sunday as a rest day in May 27 1935, while the economic reasons had a primary and more direct influence on such a decision.

Weekly rest day, Kemalism, Sunday, merchants, traditionalist reaction