The essential novelty of the Kemalist republic and its making a clean break with the Ottoman past was the theme of many books published in the West from the 1920s onwards. This view was obviously incorrect because political reform does not eradicate elements of historical legacy such as legal doctrines, social ideals and ideologies, social structure etc. A continuity between the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic is underlined in modern literature about Turkey's modernization. The stress is laid on the state autonomy as one of the most distinguishing aspects of this continuity. It is discussed in this article on three levels: bureaucratic continuity which dealt in taking over the Ottoman cadre by the Turkish Republic, intensification of state activity (horizontal as well as vertical), petrification of some elements of the traditional political concept of state (the state tradition) and existence of social structure conducive to authoritarian decision-making by state power.