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    Moudouros, Nikos 2016. Between anti-Westernization and Islamism: Turkey’s ‘Islamic’ vision in Cyprus?. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Vol. 16, Issue. 2, p. 317.

    Aksoy, Hürcan Aslı 2015. Invigorating Democracy in Turkey: The Agency of Organized Islamist Women. Politics & Gender, Vol. 11, Issue. 01, p. 146.

    Erickson, Edward J. 2013. Ottomans and Armenians.

    Erickson, Edward J. 2013. Ottomans and Armenians.

    Yardumian, Aram and Schurr, Theodore G. 2011. Who Are the Anatolian Turks?. Anthropology & Archeology of Eurasia, Vol. 50, Issue. 1, p. 6.

  • Volume 4: Turkey in the Modern World
  • Edited by Reşat Kasaba, University of Washington

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Book description

Turkey's modern history has been shaped by its society and its institutions. In this fourth volume of The Cambridge History of Turkey a team of some of the most distinguished scholars of modern Turkey have come together to explore the interaction between these two aspects of Turkish modernization. The volume begins in the nineteenth century and traces the historical background through the reforms of the late Ottoman Empire, the period of the Young Turks, the War of Independence and the founding of the Ataturk's Republic. Thereafter, the volume focuses on the Republican period to consider a range of themes including political ideology, economic development, the military, migration, Kurdish nationalism, the rise of Islamism, and women's struggle for empowerment. The volume concludes with chapters on art and architecture, literature, and a brief history of Istanbul.


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  • 1 - Introduction
    pp 1-8
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    This chapter presents an overview of concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. Turkey has been subject to world-historical processes of modernisation, characterised by the expansion of capitalist relations, industrialisation, urbanisation and individuation. The book describes the Ottoman context and shows how these leaders dealt with the dilemmas it created. The mobility of the people of Turkey has played a decisive role in shaping both their national identity and their evolving characteristic as an urban and industrial people. The book considers Kurdish politics, political Islam and women's movements as the main entry points to discussing the substantive aspects of Turkey's modernisation. Just as Turkish nationalism cannot be understood without taking the Kurds into account, Turkish secularism, the other key plank of modern Turkish identity, makes sense only in conjunction with the deep religiosity of the people of Turkey. The book also focuses on how people in Turkey expressed their modern identities in different contexts and through different modules.
  • 2 - The Tanzimat II
    pp 9-37
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    In Ottoman history, the term Tanzimat designates a period that began in 1839 and ended by 1876. The catastrophes that alerted Ottomans to the menace of European imperialism began with the Russo-Ottoman War of 1768-74, ending with the disastrous Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca. Tanzimat policy represents a continuation and intensification of reform. The Tanzimat was both a time of crises, which implied impending collapse, and of accelerating reforms, which signified renewal. While reformist initiatives proliferated in this period to a degree that defies summary, they cohere around certain themes. They are legislation; education and elite formation; expansion of government; intercommunal relations; and the transformation of the political process. Although the Tanzimat ended with state bankruptcy, this was a period of significant socio-economic changes. Namik Kemal epitomises the widened cultural horizons that accompanied these social changes better than any other writer. The Tanzimat reforms produced new legislation, programmes, institutions and elites.
  • 3 - The reign of Abdülhamid II
    pp 38-61
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    This chapter considers Abdülhamid reign in the context of both the historical development of the late Ottoman Empire and the subsequent historiographical turns. It focuses mainly on the events and currents of the Hamidian era. Histories of the Tanzimat era have tended to emphasise the Western sources of emulation for Ottoman reforms and the passive reception of Western influence. The problems facing the young sultan on Abdülhamid accession were immense. The fragility of Sultan Abdülhamidis's position was further emphasised by two failed coups d'état that occurred during the first years of his reign. The '93 War left Abdülhamid II with a more Asian and a more Muslim empire, demographic realities that would affect the development of his policy in the years to come. Abdülhamid II saw education as a crucial battleground for the empire's future, and one in which the Ottoman state, as in the military, commercial and cultural fields, was badly behind.
  • 4 - The Second Constitutional Period, 1908–1918
    pp 62-111
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    The Young Turk Revolution of July 1908 inaugurated the Second Constitutional Period, which lasted until the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The Second Constitutional Period emerged from the shadow of the first, and bore the burden of its ambiguous legacy. The Young Turk Revolution overthrew the Hamidian regime under the banner of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Justice. The Revolution was not, as the name suggests, a largescale popular uprising of Young Turks throughout the empire. Single-party rule was solidified and the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) control remained effectively unchallenged until the empire surrendered. All Ottoman political organisations were equal before the law throughout the Second Constitutional Period. The event that prompted the CUP to launch the revolution was the Anglo- Russian initiative for Macedonian reforms in the summer of 1908. The magnitude of the Ottoman contribution to the Great War effort is appreciated by considering the size of the forces thrown against the empire.
  • 5 - The struggle for independence
    pp 112-146
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    This decade of warfare, 1920s, began with the Ottoman-Italian war over Libya in 1911 and culminated in a struggle for independence in those territories of the Ottoman Empire. Defeat had become certain by the autumn of 1918 with the British push into northern Syria and the severing of Ottoman communications with allies Germany and Austria-Hungary following Entente victories in the Balkans. The organisation of the military struggle proceeded against the background of diplomatic developments. The Anatolian movement had consolidated progressively starting with its coordination in the congresses of 1919, which culminated in the reconstitution of the parliament in Ankara and a clear breach from the imperial government. The ceasefire had been signed by the delegates of the Ankara government, whose forces had won the wars against the Greek occupation. Lausanne accommodated the premise of the independence movement as an armed struggle of the Muslims for the Muslims.
  • 6 - Atatürk
    pp 147-172
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    Atatürk was born in Ottoman Salonica in 1881. Salonica was a cosmopolitan city of some 100,000 inhabitants, roughly half of whom were Sephardic Jews whose ancestors had sought refuge in the Ottoman state after their expulsion from Spain. The Ottomans had always enlisted European military expertise and imported European military technology. In May 1908, the British government, which had gradually moved away from its traditional policy of supporting the Ottoman state against the Russians, joined the latter and the French in an agreement under which they would appoint the governor of Ottoman Macedonia. Mustafa Kemal became involved in military conspiracies as a cadet in the War College in Istanbul, where he began his studies in 1899. In Istanbul the Ottoman war ministry served as the nerve centre of Turkish resistance. The casualties suffered by the nationalist army in the course of what became known as the Turkish War of Independence or National Struggle, or the Liberation War were light.
  • 7 - Migration and Turkey: the dynamics of state, society and politics
    pp 173-198
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    The Turkish Republic and its predecessor state, the Ottoman Empire, have been shaped by migration in its many variations. The uprooting of the Greek community came after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of the Turkish Republic. Turkey's gradual democratisation process, along with demographic and economic developments, changed the nature of migration in the country. The founding fathers of the Turkish Republic initially espoused a civic definition of citizenship and national identity. The nation-building policies of the Turkish state had been relatively successful, until the beginning of the 1984 separatist uprising led by the Partiyi Karkara Kurdistan in the Kurdish-populated provinces. The Turkish state's nation-building project has also deeply marked its immigration and asylum policies. Economically driven internal migration has had a profound impact on the Turkish state, society and politics. Demographic factors linked to Turkey's transformation played a significant role in yet another form of migration: labour migration to Western Europe starting in the early 1960s.
  • 8 - The migration story of Turks in Germany: from the beginning to the end
    pp 199-225
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    This chapter discusses a short history, which saw the establishment of Turkish populations in Germany, amid much heated debate on migration and culture and integration within and without Europe. Fictional works from the early period of migration present similar elaborations on separation and exploitation. In the annals of scholarly writing, public policy and popular culture, the migration story unfolds in three distinct stages: labour, culture and transnationalism. Integration, also debated as 'assimilation', is the most central and contentious theme in the immigration story of Turks in Germany, or foreigners in Europe. The high rates of school dropouts and unemployed youths are customarily presented as the proofs of lack of integration. Since the arrival of Turkish migrants and the opening of the first Turkish restaurants, döner kebap, spit-roasted meat served in bread has become a ubiquitous fast food in Europe. Religion is the most contentious issue as regards the 'integration' of immigrants.
  • 9 - Politics and political parties in Republican Turkey
    pp 226-265
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    In the transition from a multinational empire to a nation-state, political life in the new Turkey experienced a radical transformation. When Ankara was declared the capital of Turkey in October 1923, Istanbul was marginalised from political life. The July 1958 military coup and the overthrow of the monarchy in Iraq had a detrimental effect on political life in Turkey. On 18 April 1960 the government established a committee of Democrats to investigate whether the Progressive Republican Party (RPP) had transgressed the legal limits of opposition. Having captured political power the military junta of thirty-eight officers, calling itself the National Unity Committee (NUC), adopted the opposition's ideas of amending the 1924 constitution and bringing Turkey's institutions in line with the requirements of the post-war world. Broadly speaking, there were two factions in the NUC: moderates and radicals. In May 1972 Bulent Ecevit had succeeded in capturing the RPP's leadership from Ismet İnönü and began to steer the party towards social democracy.
  • 10 - Economic change in twentieth-century Turkey: is the glass more than half full?
    pp 266-300
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    In recent years, a growing literature has emphasised the contribution of the social and political environment, and more specifically of institutions defined as written and unwritten rules and norms, to long-term economic change. This chapter outlines a framework for understanding the linkages between the evolution of institutions and economic change in twentieth century Turkey. It examines the world economic conditions, government economic policies and the basic macro-economic outcomes for Turkey in several sub-periods, in order to gain additional insights into its absolute and relative growth record. The chapter also focuses on two themes, agriculture and income distribution and regional disparities. The Ottoman economy, including those areas that later comprised modern Turkey, remained mostly agricultural until the First World War. The principal mechanism for the transmission of the Great Depression to the Turkish economy was the sharp decline in prices of agricultural commodities. One important outcome of economic liberalisation after 1980 has been the increasing export orientation of the economy.
  • 11 - Ideology, context and interest: the Turkish military
    pp 301-332
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    Since the founding of the Turkish Republic, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) has enjoyed a pervasive sense of its own prerogative to watch over the regime it created and to transcend an exclusive focus on external defence. The challenges to fostering a democratic role change in the TAF are formidable. The formal separation of the military from politics in the early Republic was not intended to establish civilian supremacy in a way commensurate with its Western European and American counterparts. Its only aim was to inhibit the military's potential as a rival source of power to the ruling group. The TAF has been provoked into upholding its 'guardianship' mission, because it has continued to regard the government's discourse and true intentions with deep suspicion. The officer corps has been dissociated from Turkish society to a much larger extent than other professional groups. Since the end of the Cold War, hopes for a more democratic structure of civil-military relations have emerged.
  • 12 - Kurds and the Turkish State
    pp 333-356
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    Official state policy either denied the very existence of a distinct group called Kurds, or presented the Kurds as a threat to Turkey and the Turks as a national entity. This chapter concerns the Kurds and the Kurdish regions, also known in the academic literature as Kurdistan of Turkey or Turkish Kurdistan. The origins of the Kurdish issue date back only to the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. The activities of the Kürd Teali Cemiyeti were not the only signs of a possible Kurdish radicalisation. The Koçgiri revolt, which took place in 1921 in the Alevi Dersim area, threatened the Kemalist-Kurdish alliance. The written legacy of the period of silence played a decisive role in the codification of Kurdish nationalism. The chapter describes long and problematic renewal of a Kurdish movement in Turkey between 1961-1980. Like the Turkish population, the Kurdish population welcomed the coup d'état, seeing it as a chance to stop the widespread violence.
  • 13 - Islam and politics in contemporary Turkey
    pp 357-380
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    The role of Islam in the public and political spheres has been a matter of contestation throughout the history of the Turkish Republic. Kemalists have tried to ensure a laic state and secular Turkish society through the government, judiciary and education system. The Republican government de-emphasised the legacy of the multi-denominational and multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire and its Muslim leadership. The Republican state under the Republican People's Party monopolised all legitimate political expression until the introduction of multi-party politics in 1945. The Islamist phenomenon has been studied as a political ideology focusing on the role played by Islam-inspired political parties or organisations in Turkish political life. In 1983, Necmettin Erbakan founded a new Islamic party, the Welfare Party (WP). The WP was succeeded by the Virtue Party, which had been founded pre-emptively by Erbakan's lawyer, Ismail Alptekin. The Justice and Development Party began to assert that it no longer made policy decisions on the basis of Islamic philosophy.
  • 14 - Sufism and Islamic groups in contemporary Turkey
    pp 381-387
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    Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, is based on the pursuit of spiritual truth by transcending Islamic law through ascetic and esoteric practices. Each sufi order formulates a distinctive way of seeking divine love and truth, based on the teachings of a spiritual master, or şeyh. The spiritual genealogy of the Nakşibendi order goes back to Abu Bakr, the first caliph of Islam. Other sufi orders, such as the Mevlevi and Kadiri, are not as widespread in contemporary Turkey as the Nakşibendi. There are also a number of Islamic communities in Turkey that have evolved out of the sufi orders. The Nur Movement is the leading Islamic movement in Turkey, comprising about a dozen communities with followers estimated to number between 2 and 6 million. Despite the retreat of sufi tradition to the private sphere with the establishment of Republican Turkey and its secularisation policies, sufi orders and Islamic communities have made a strong comeback in Turkish civil life.
  • 15 - Contestation and collaboration: women’s struggles for empowerment in Turkey
    pp 388-418
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    Women's struggles for empowerment in Turkey have been intimately linked to the state-initiated modernisation process. This chapter overviews the historical development of the women's movement in Turkey since the Young Turk era. Muslim women demanded legal reforms that would alleviate the prevailing institutions of Islamic marriage, opportunities for education and economic power. With the declaration of the new Republic in 1923, a new phase of women's struggles began. The state undertook reforms that promoted its modernising goals and at the same time radically extended women's opportunities. The feminist activism of the 1980s distanced itself from the state. There had been some attempts to amend the civil code since the 1950s, but it was during the early 1980s that feminists in Turkey began criticising the code from a feminist perspective. In the 1980s, feminists prioritised the fight against domestic violence and in the 1990s they began building institutions around this cause.
  • 16 - Art and architecture in modern Turkey: the Republican period
    pp 419-471
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    For many people, foreigners and Turks alike, 'modern Turkish art and architecture' is more than a lamentable story of progressive decline from the past glory of their classical Ottoman counterparts. This chapter shows how Turkey's perennial dilemmas of cultural and national identity, deriving from and complicated by the unique history and geography of the country, find compelling visual expression in modern Turkish art, architecture and urbanism. It discusses the most paradigmatic cultural, artistic and architectural works, trends and debates in Republican Turkey during four periods, starting in the 1910s, 1930s, 1950s and 1980s respectively. In art, the paradigmatic Group D, the closest movement in spirit to the modernist avant-garde in Europe, was formed in 1932 and the journal Ar started its publication as the group's major voice. With the election victory of the Democrat Party in 1950, a new era opened up in modern Turkish history, marking the end of the Republican People's Party hegemony over politics and cultural life.
  • 17 - The novel in Turkish: narrative tradition to Nobel prize
    pp 472-503
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    This chapter describes not only the characteristics of literature in Turkey, but also catalogues the mix of figures, images and tropes at play in that literature. Ottoman novel writing targeted an urban readership and was influenced by romantic and realist genres often concerned with social and ethical issues. The late nineteenth-century Ottoman modern was an urban figure seduced by the trappings of European culture. Ottoman modernism corresponds to the reformist political movements of the Young Ottomans and Young Turks. The period of Ottoman Turkism, one of almost constant warfare, witnesses the contestation between ideologies meant to consolidate the Ottoman state and provide a locus of individual and group identification. Developing from the cultural Turkism, the period of Turkist social nationalism emphasised the political and social realities of European injustice, war and poverty. In his famous novel Devlet Ana, Tâhir combines the Turkish literary tradition of Anatolian socialist realism with what might be termed socialist idealism.
  • 18 - A brief history of modern Istanbul
    pp 504-523
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    The history of modern Istanbul, like the history of modern Turkey, begins with the end of the First World War and the demise of the Ottoman Empire. The high Republican period of 1923-50 had imposed on Istanbul the nationalist project of the Ankara elites. The story of Istanbul from the end of the Second World War is one of a Third World primate city that served as the portal to the economic growth of the country as a whole, nourishing a new bourgeoisie and transforming peasants into workers. In the 1970s more than half of all private manufacturing employment in Turkey was located in Istanbul. The most recent phase in the Istanbul's history can best be narrated through the construct of globalisation. Trade and finance were centred in the city, as were the small communications and media sectors catering to the country as a whole. Turkey's unresolved bid for membership in the Europe has of course affected Istanbul's fortunes.

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