TRACING THE ORIGINS OF IDENTITY FORMATION IN ATATÜRK'S NATIONALISM: INSIGHTS FROM TÜRK OCAKLARI AND HALKEVLERI
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Keywords:Nationalism, Committee of Union and Progress, Turkism, Ottomanism, Kemalism, Atatürk Nationalism
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Ottoman Empire first sought remedies for its relative backwardness in its struggle with Western Civilization, and then, in the disintegration phase, tried to establish a national state from the remaining remnants. The Ottoman Millet system, which was shaped around religious minorities, proved unsuccessful in granting independence to Christian nations inspired by the 1789 French Revolution, following the Balkan Wars. In the meantime, there emerged an idea to create a new nation from the Muslim Arab and Turkish populations under Ottoman rule. However, this project failed due to the Arab nations' collaboration with the Allied Powers against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. In the political sphere, the unsuccessful attempt to establish a Parliamentary Monarchy during the reign of Abdulhamid II (1876-1908) led to an increasing unrest among the Ottoman intellectuals of that time. The Young Turk Movement, founded by exiled intellectuals during Abdulhamid II's era, merged with a military-originated rebellion against the Sultan in the Balkans. Initially named the Committee of Union and Progress, this coalescence later transformed into a political party, becoming a powerful political force that left its mark on the final years of the Ottoman Empire. The predominant ideologies of this party during its brief period in power were Turkism and Nationalism, which significantly influenced the empire's concluding era. All of these efforts culminated in the establishment of the Republic of Turkey as a national state on October 29, 1923.In this context, this study aims to examine the historical background of the idea of establishing a modern nation-state and creating a nation, which can be defined through the analogy of first forming a national state and then constructing a nation. It aims to explore this concept from a psychopolitical perspective, taking into account relevant nationalism theories.
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