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Creating a Turkish Identity : The Struggle for Nationalist Ideology After the Ottoman Empire (Hardcover)
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Any examination of modern Turkey quickly reveals its contradictory character. One of the most secular countries in the Middle East, its population is almost entirely nominally Muslim and non-Muslim citizens are often viewed as ‘an enemy within’. How then to explain this incongruity? Howard Eissenstat believes that the peculiar tension within Turkey can be traced back to its post-Empire transition and to a national state. Specifically, the aspects which lead to the contradictory nature of Turkish identity are the outgrowth of the highly piecemeal process of reimagining the nation in a context of social and political upheaval. Thus, Eissenstat argues that Turkish nationalism was the result of a chaotic and ad hoc construction process in which intellectual aspirations and the needs of the state were often in conflict. A fresh examination of the process of creating Turkish citizens after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, this will appeal to historians of the period and those looking at nationalisms in the wider Middle East.