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Death Rattle of an Empire – Birth Pangs of a Republic Resonant Themes in Turkish History.

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Presentation on theme: "Death Rattle of an Empire – Birth Pangs of a Republic Resonant Themes in Turkish History."— Presentation transcript:

1 Death Rattle of an Empire – Birth Pangs of a Republic Resonant Themes in Turkish History

2 Mixed Messages: Chania, Crete 2

3 Themes Towards the Republic Founding the Republic The population exchange Political consequences Musical consequences Modernisation and westernisation Language reform, literacy and Education Music and Dress Securing and mythologising the Republic The Republic today 3

4 Towards the Republic Survival? Balkan wars; lost territories, lost identities, new identities, population movements Creating and conflicting identities: Ottomanism, Islamism, Turkism, Westernism, Socialism Since 19 th century Tanzimat, new language of identity at centre of politics. Changes in military, political life and social life, from dress codes to education to protect and sustain the Empire. Impact of First World War Armenian question and repercussions Something genuinely new was necessary to construct a nation state. What? How? 4

5 Towards the Republic The rise of Ataturk in the First World War Gallipoli The fall of the Ottoman Empire, 1919 The Greek invasion, the ‘Asia Minor catastrophe’ Treaty of Sevres (1920) Carved up Ottoman lands 5

6 Sevres Syndrome Turkish war of independence Repulsion of the Greek invasion and rejection of Sevres Sevres Treaty signed by Ottoman delegation (but never by Sultan). Duality of political leadership: who represents Turks/Turkey? Ankara rejected it from the very beginning Still born Treaty increased resistance to occupation Never implemented but Sevres left a legacy in Turkey Sevres left a notorious legacy in Turkish collective memory as a symbol of defeat and capitulation. ‘Sevres mentality’ is to see every demand from the outside as a threat to integrity of Turkey. 6

7 Treaty of Lausanne (1923) Resolved boundaries of the Ottoman successor state in a territory bigger than that agreed for Turkey in never implemented Sevres. Established Turkey as a sovereign geo-political entity. Confirmed the triumph of ‘resistance’ and of war-torn (for decades) people. 7

8 The one and indivisible republic? 8

9 Founding the Republic Sultanate abolished in 1922 Following Treaty of Lausanne, Republic of Turkey founded 1923 Ankara chosen as capital Republic as unitary state Republic as Turkish state 9

10 The Population Exchange Military defeats, lost territories. Events of late 19th century paved way for big waves of migration within and outside territory that later became Turkey. Around two million Muslims migrated to Anatolia territories lost to Russia, Austria and Greece Balkan Wars created another wave of migration, this time including a reverse direction of Christian refugees. When Anatolian resistance drove the Greek army out of Anatolia most western Anatolian Greeks fled. Fear of reprisal 10

11 The population exchange Why? Who? Where? How? Treaty of Lausanne (1923) Criterion = religion, not language Consequences Economic Social Political consequences Precedent Musical 11

12 Twice a stranger’ Asia Minor’s Greek-Orthodox community, including the Karamanlıs of central Turkey and the Pontic Greeks of the Black Sea, left for Greece. Turkish-Muslim community of Western Thrace stayed in Greece Cretans to Cunda and elsewhere Greek-Orthodox communities of Istanbul and the Aegean islands of Gökçeada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos) exempted from the exchange. 12

13 Küçükkuyu ‘In commemoration of exchanges on both shores’ 13

14 The Population Exchange Exchange affected Asia Minor Greeks and Turkish-Muslim communities differently since Turkey and Greece were at “at different stages of nation-state formation” (Ç. Keyder, in Hirschon, 2003). Asymmetrical: added c25% to Greek population and c5% Parts of Greece became overcrowded and parts of Turkey seriously underpopulated Greek planning laws 14

15 Population exchange: Rebetika st=RDUaR1vKSV-dI st=RDUaR1vKSV-dI aR1vKSV-dI&index=8 aR1vKSV-dI&index=8 15

16 A busy time 1924: Abolition of caliphate 1924: Muslim sabbath, Friday, dropped in favour of Sunday. 1924: The Ministry for Islamic law (Shariat) and pious foundations (vakıfs) abolished = Islam stripped of state backing. 1924: Religious seminaries (madrassa) shut down; religious high Schools placed under authority of Ministry of Education. 1924: Presidency of Religious Affairs 1925: Sufi dervish lodges closed. 1925: Fez declared illegal. New law required men to wear western-style hats. 1925: Lunar calendar and clock dropped; Gregorian calendar/solar clock adopted 16

17 Even busier 1926: Turkish Grand National Assembly (Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi—TBMM) approved a secular civil code to regulate marriage, inheritance, divorce, and adoption. 1926: the government annulled Shariat courts, declaring Islamic law null and void. 1928: parliament removed from constitution declaration of Islam as Turkey’s state religion. 1928: Arabic alphabet to be dropped and new, Latin-based alphabet effective from January 1, Previous efforts from tanzimat onwards not very successful 17

18 Mythologising the Turkish Republic Nutuk 1927 Six day speech Nutuk as a performative Myth creation 18

19 Kemalism as a state doctrine The six principles: the “six arrows,” representing republicanism, nationalism, secularism, populism, statism, and revolutionism. Most important are republicanism, nationalism, secularism CHP: Republican People’s Party established 1923 Multi party system

20 The Shape of the Republic Turkish identity Unitary state Hobbesian conception of state sovereignty. Rejection of regionalism and autonomy. Minorities: e.g. Kurds and integration in Turkish Republic 20

21 Language Reform A reform in alphabet: Persian/Arabic script ill suited to Turkish, hard to read, fiendishly difficult to write A reform in language – words, spelling and grammar Purification of language – removal of Persian and Arabic words Most people could not read or write Mass literacy, education and language reform was a joint project Declaration of cultural and political westernisation Creating new Turkish identity Origins of Turkish and Turkish past 21

22 A ‘catastrophic success’? Cut Turks off from their own history. Nobody could read their grand great parents letters, diaries Only trained scholars can read official Ottoman documents and books Alienation 22

23 Secularisation Pushing Islam out of public domain. Atatürk’s vision of Turkey: as a modern nation state of citizens. “the regime targeted a new, national, and all-inclusive identity for the country’s inhabitants and... having turned its back on Islam, Ankara promoted a varied definition of the nation” Atatürk declared: “the people of Turkey, who have established the Turkish state, are called the Turkish nation.” Atatürk stressed shared past, interests and desire to live together as factors binding the nation together. Article 5 of CHP’s new by-laws adopted at the Second Congress, 1927, stipulated that one of “the strongest links” among the citizens was “unity in feelings and unity in ideas.” (Soner Çağaptay, 2006) 23

24 Professional life and education 24

25 Equality between the sexes On 17 February 1926, Turkey adopted a new civil code by which the rights of Turkish women and men were declared equal except in suffrage. In 1930, women gained the right to participate in municipal and, in 1934, national elections. 25

26 Women in public life 26

27 Modern Secular Life 27

28 Marriage, civil law and dress codes 28

29 Reform Westernisation and modernisation was not new Dated back to the Tanzimat reforms of the mid 19 th century However the way Ataturk exploited the opportunities provided by the formation of the Turkish Republic was new. 29

30 The Present Challenges to the republic Neo-Ottomanism Pan Turkism Unitary state Autonomy And unresolved issues with CHP (Republican People’s Party) Islam in Public Domain Electoral System 1915: Armenia and Armenians Kurdish autonomy and integration 30

31 Suggested Reading Alaranta, T. ‘Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's Six-Day Speech of 1927: Defining the Official Historical View of the Foundation of the Turkish Republic’ (Turkish Studies, 9: 1, , 2008) Çağaptay, S. Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern Turkey: who is a Turk? (Routledge, 2006) Clark, B. Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey (Granta, 2006) Hirschon, R.(ed) Crossing the Aegean: an appraisal of the 1923 compulsory population exchange between Greece and Turkey (Bergahn, 2003) İnalcık, H. Turkey and Europe in History (Eren, 2006) Kedourie, S. (ed) Turkey before and after Atatürk (Cass, 1999) Kili, S. The Atatürk Revolution: a paradigm of modernization (Türkiye Bankası, 2008) 31

32 Suggested Reading Lewis, G. The Turkish Language Reform: A Catastrophic Success (Oxford University Press, 1999) Mango, A. Atatürk (2 nd ed, Murray, 2004) Mango, A. Turkey: From the Sultan to Atatürk (Haus, 2009) Özkırımlı, U & Sofos, S.A. Tormented by History: Nationalism in Greece and Turkey (Hurst, 2008) Zürcher, E.J.Turkey: A Modern History (3 rd ed, Tauris, 2004) Zürcher, E.J. The Young Turk Legacy and Nation Building from the Ottoman Empire to Atatürk’s Turkey (Tauris, 2010) 32


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