The Young Turk Legacy and Nation Building: From the Ottoman Empire to Ataturk's Turkey

Overview

The decline and eventual collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the founding of the Turkish Republic were among the most momentous events of the early twentieth century. This book shows that, although traditionally considered to be a complete break with the Ottoman past, in fact, much of Kemalist rhetoric in the early years of the Republic was also evident in the Young Turk movement, the coalition of reformers in the late Ottoman Empire.

The acclaimed scholar Erik J. Zürcher here ...

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Overview

The decline and eventual collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the founding of the Turkish Republic were among the most momentous events of the early twentieth century. This book shows that, although traditionally considered to be a complete break with the Ottoman past, in fact, much of Kemalist rhetoric in the early years of the Republic was also evident in the Young Turk movement, the coalition of reformers in the late Ottoman Empire.

The acclaimed scholar Erik J. Zürcher here constructs a grand narrative of Turkish history from the late Ottoman Empire to the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. His conclusions challenge the official view of the Turkish republic stemming from Atatürk's famous Nutuk, the speech in 1927, which laid down that the Turkish nation state, founded on modern principles of secularism, science and technology, represented a complete break with the past. Instead, Zürcher shows that Atatürk's 'ideological toolkit' which included positivism, militarism, nationalism and a state-centered worldview, was shared by an earlier generation of reform-minded Young Turks in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. Authoritarian rule, the one-party state, a legal framework based on European legal principles, and advanced bureaucracy and financial administration, military reforms and state control of Islam, can all be found in the rhetoric of the Young Turk movement, as can policies of demographic engineering.

The Young Turk Legacy and Nation Building details the attempts of the Young Turks to save their empire through forced modernization as well as the attempts of their Kemalist successors to build a strong nation state based on similar principles. The decade of almost continuous warfare between 1911 and 1922 provides the backdrop on which these events were played out and is therefore the primary focus of attention here. Including important new insights on this eventful period in Turkish history and a strong revisionist narrative, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in modern Turkey and the legacy of the Ottoman Empire.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848852723
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Series: Library of Modern Middle East Studies Series
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,548,163
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Erik J. Zürcher is Professor of Turkish Studies at the University of Leiden and Director of the International Institute of Social History at Amsterdam. He is the author of numerous books on Turkey, including Turkey: A Modern History (I.B.Tauris), which has been translated into seven languages; Arming the State: Military Conscription in the Middle East and Central Asia, 1775-1925; Identity Politics in Central Asia and the Muslim World and Men of Order: Authoritarian Modernization under Atatürk and Reza Shah (all I.B.Tauris).

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Table of Contents

Preface: Thirty Years of Turkish History

I SOURCES AND LITERATURE 1

Introduction 3

1 The Politician as Historian, Historians in Politics: On the Nutuk (Speech) of Mustafa Kemal Pasha 6

2 Young Turk Memoirs as a Historical Source: Kazim Karabekir's Istiklal Harbimiz 17

3 The Historiography of the Constitutional Revolution: Broad Consensus, Some Disagreement and a Missed Opportunity 26

4 The Rise and Fall of 'Modern' Turkey: Bernard Lewis's Emergence Fifty Years On 41

II IMPERIAL TWILIGHT 55

Introduction 57

5 The Ottoman Empire 1850-1922: Unavoidable Failure? 59

6 The ides of April: A Fundamentalist Uprising in Istanbul in 1909? 73

7 Sultan Mehmet V's Visit to Kosovo in June 1911 84

8 Who Were the Young Turks? 95

9 The Young Turk Mindset 110

10 Ataturk as a Unionist 124

11 The Ottoman Legacy of the Kemalist Republic 136

III THE GREAT WAR 151

Introduction 153

12 The Ottoman Conscription System in Theory and Practice, 1844-1918 154

13 The Ottoman Soldier in World War I 167

14 The Ottoman Empire and the Armistice of Moudhros 188

15 Renewal and Silence: Post-war Unionist and Kemalist Rhetoric on the Armenian Genocide 195

IV TOWARDS THE NATION STATE 209

Introduction 211

16 Young Turks, Ottoman Muslims and Turkish Nationalists: Identity Politics 1908-38 213

17 Were the Progressives Conservative? 236

18 Institution Building in the Kemalist Republic Compared with Pahlevi Iran: The People's Party 246

19 Touring Anatolia at the End of the Ataturk Era: Kemalist Turkey Observed by Western Visitors 259

20 Islam in the Service of the Caliphate and the Secular State 271

21 Turning Points and Missed Opportunities in the Modern History of Turkey: Where Could Things Have Gone Differently? 285

Notes 297

Bibliography Erik J. Zurcher Zurcher, Erik J. 343

Index 351

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