Creating Turkishness: an examination of Turkish nationalism through Gök-Börü
Kıbrıs, Güldeniz (2005) Creating Turkishness: an examination of Turkish nationalism through Gök-Börü. [Thesis]
This M.A. thesis attempts to exhibit the cross-fertilization between the Pan-Turkist and Kemalist varieties of Turkish nationalism through their definitions of 'Turkishness. In the same vein with contemporary nationalisms, the late Ottoman/Republican nationalist elite created 'Turkishness' by referring to a mythical past. In that creation process, the Pan-Turkist and Kemalist nationalist discourses historically developed in the same pool and used similar intellectual sources. Though their ultimate goals were different, the two varieties scrutinized very similar racist and nationalist references in their imaginations of Turkish identity as racially superior. In the name of revealing the similarities and differences, a Pan-Turkist journal, Gök-Börü [Grey Wolf] has been examined. Published and edited by Reha Oguz Türkkan, the journal appeared between 1942 and 1943 as a byproduct of the special aggressive international environment. A discourse analysis shows that like the Kemalist elite, writers of the journal emphasized the superiority of the Turkish race the difference being that in order to 'prove superiority,' the latter highlighted the uniqueness of the Turkish race whereas the former put fingers on the similarities with the 'Western' civilization. Thus, it has been argued that Gök-Börü's Pan-Turkist discourse was not a deviance from the official ideology of the Kemalists; instead it was complementary to it. Combining theories of nationalism with practice and focusing mainly on similarities among different varieties, this thesis offers an examination of Turkish nationalism from a broader and continuous historical perspective.
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