An Intellectual History of Turkish Nationalism

An Intellectual History of Turkish Nationalism

Contemporary Muslim World

An Intellectual History of Turkish Nationalism
etween Turkish Ethnicity and Islamic Identity

Author(s): Umut Uzer

Reviewed by: Abdullah Drury, University of Waikato, New Zealand

 

Review

The Turkish scholar Umut Uzer has published an excellent summary of the history of Turkish nationalism, giving special attention to the intellectual roots and origins of this complex and evolving phenomena. He especially wants to tackle the role played by thinkers, poets and writers in their efforts to articulate, influence and shape nationalist discourses. The author addresses several main questions: When, why and how did Turkish nationalism begin and evolve? Why did it follow the trajectory that it did? Who was involved and why? He suggests Turkish nationalism went through several distinct stages due to three main factors. Firstly, there was a rise in nationalism amongst the subject peoples of the Ottoman Empire (the Greeks, the Serbs and so forth). Secondly, there was a huge impact by Western scholarship of Turkish and Turkic language and peoples on these Turkish and Turkic social elites. Thirdly, Tatar-Turkic émigrés from Russia provided a significant impetus within the Ottoman Empire for change. The focus here is equally balanced between that of the Ottoman Empire, the Republic under Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha and the period afterwards....


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