Turkish nationalism

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Turkish nationalism is a political ideology that promotes and glorifies the Turkish people, as either a national, ethnic, or linguistic group.



Anatolianism (Turkish: Anadoluculuk) is a kind of Turkish nationalist thought. The starting point of this thought is that the main source of Turkish culture should be Anatolia (Anadolu), and the main base of this thought is that the Turkish people had built a quite new civilization in Anatolia after 1071 when they won at the Battle of Manzikert. In the early republic era, some intellectuals proposed that the origins of the Turkish nationalism should be sought in Anatolia, not in Turan.[1]

Hilmi Ziya Ülken, one of the founders of Anatolianism, was against the Ottomanism, Islamism and Turanism. Between 1918 and 1919 he published the periodical Anadolu with Reşat Kayı. In 1919 Ülken wrote a book titled Anadolunun Bugünki Vazifeleri (Present duties of Anatolia), but it was not published. In 1923, Ülken and his friends published the periodical Anadolu. They worked to form an alternative thought to Ottomanism, Islamism and Turanism, and they opposed the specificity of Turkish history traced origins outside of Anatolia. Their conclusion was Memleketçilik. "Memleket" means "Homeland" or "Fatherland" (or even simply "home town"), so roughly, the translation would be "Homelandism".


Main article: Kemalism

The Young Turk Revolution which overthrew Sultan Abdul Hamid II, allowed Turkish nationalism into power, eventually leading to the Three Pashas control of the late Ottoman government.

During the Turkish War of Independence, Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) rejected the political Pan-Turkism and said in BMM on December 1, 1921 as follows:

... We never established Pan-Islamism. Perhaps we said "We are establishing it and we shall complete it." Our enemies said "Let us kill them before they complete it." We never established Pan-Turanism. Perhaps we said "We are establishing it and we shall complete it." Our enemies said, "Let us kill them before they complete it." That is the whole problem, instead of bringing pressure and resentment upon ourselves from our enemies... Let us know our places!


After the Fall of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal came to power. Atatürk spoke positively about the Pan-Turkic view and he wanted to forge closer relationships with other Turkish states in Central Asia[citation needed] and the West. Atatürk introduced Hilaire de Barenton's Sun Language Theory into Turkish political and educational circles in 1935, at the high point of attempts to "cleanse" the Turkish language of foreign influence. Turkish researchers at the time also came up with the idea that Early Sumerians were proto-Turks.[4]


Main article: Pan-Turkism

Turkic nationalism began with the Turanian Society founded in 1839, followed in 1908 with the Turkish Society, which later expanded into the Turkish Hearth[5] and eventually expanded to include ideologies such as Pan-Turanism and Pan-Turkism.


Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which is perceived as being contrary to notion of freedom of speech, states "The person who publicly denigrates the Turkish Nation, the Republic of Turkey, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the judicial organs of the State, shall be punished with imprisonment of six months to two years. but also it can be only with permission of the minister of justice"[6] However, it also states that "Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime."

There have been recent indications that Turkey may repeal or modify Article 301, after the embarrassment suffered by some high-profile cases.[7] Nationalists within the judicial system, intent on derailing Turkey's full admission into the European Union, have used Article 301 to initiate trials against people like Nobel Prize–winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish novelist Elif Şafak, and the late Hrant Dink [8] for supporting the theories of the Armenian Genocide.

In May 2007, a law was put into effect allowing Turkey to block Web sites that are deemed insulting to Atatürk.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Identity, Culture and Globalization - Annals of the International Institute of Sociology.ISBN 9004128735, ISBN 978-90-04-12873-6, pg. 182 - 183.
  2. ^ Ayşe Hür, Mustafa Kemal ve muhalifleri (1), Radikal, February 18, 2007.
  3. ^ Guy E. Métraux, International Commission for a History of the Scientific and Cultural Development of Mankind, The new Asia, New American Library, 1965, p. 73.
  4. ^ Shay, Anthony (2002). Choreographic Politics: State Folk Dance Companies, Representation, and Power. Wesleyan University Press. p. 210. ISBN 0-8195-6521-0. 
  5. ^ "Turkish Society". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  6. ^ "Kanun No. 5759" (in Turkish). Turkish Grand National Assembly, official Web site. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  7. ^ "Turkey insult law 'may be dumped'". BBC News. 2005-12-28. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  8. ^ Schleifer, Yigal (2005-12-16). "Freedom-of-Expression Court Cases in Turkey Could Hamper Ankara’s EU Membership Bid". Retrieved 2007-04-13. 
  9. ^ "Turkey adopts law to block 'insulting' websites". AFP (Turkish Daily News). 2007-05-07. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Çetin, Zafer M. (October 2004). "Tales of past, present, and future: mythmaking and nationalist discourse in Turkish politics". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 24 (2): 347–365. doi:10.1080/1360200042000296708. 
  • Poulton, Hugh (May 1999). "The struggle for hegemony in Turkey: Turkish nationalism as a contemporary force". Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans 1 (1): 15–31. doi:10.1080/14613199908413984. 
  • Uslu, Emrullah (March 2008). "Ulusalcılık: The Neo-nationalist Resurgence in Turkey". Turkish Studies 9 (1): 73–97. doi:10.1080/14683840701814018. 

External links[edit]