Turkey did not rise phoenix-like out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. It was ‘made’ in the image of the Kemalist elite which won the national struggle against foreign invaders and the old regime. Thereafter, the image of the country kept changing as the political elite grew and matured, and as it responded to challenges both at home and abroad. This process of ‘making’ goes on even today (Ahmad 1993, p.i).
The process of contemporary globalization in its most general form involves a tension between universalism and particularism (see Robertson, 1992, pp. 8-61). On the one hand, with Francis Fukuyama’s “the end of history thesis” which suggests universalization of liberal democracy, along with the globalization of free market ideology, the dissolution of differences into sameness can be said to mark an emergence of cultural homogenization. On the other hand, it can be suggested that particularistic conflicts have begun to dictate the mode of articulation of political practices and ideological/discursive forms in global relations, which draws our attention to the tendency towards cultural heteroge-nization. Arjun Appadurai asserts in this context that “the central problem of today’s global interactions is the tension between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization”, or, as he puts it:
the central feature of global culture today is the politics of the mutual effort of sameness and difference to cannibalize one another and thus to proclaim their successful hijacking of the twin Enlightenment ideas of the triumphantly universal and the resiliently particular (Appadurai, 1990, p. 17).