From the Abode of Islam to the Turkish Vatan The Making of a National Homeland in Turkey Behlül

Publication date:
26 Jun 2012
Yale University Press
288 pages: 235 x 156 x 18mm
27 b-w illus.
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How does a people move from tribal and religiously based understandings of society to a concept of the modern nation-state? This book examines the complex and pivotal case of Turkey. Tracing the shifting valences of vatan (Arabic for “birthplace” or “homeland”) from the Ottoman period—when it signified a certain territorial integrity and imperial ideology—through its acquisition of religious undertones and its evolution alongside the concept of millet (nation), Behlül Özkan engages readers in the fascinating ontology of Turkey’s protean imagining of its nationhood and the construction of a modern national-territorial consciousness.

Behlül Özkan teaches in the department of political science and international relations at Marmara University in Istanbul. He also works for Al Jazeera Network. He earned his doctoral degree from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

"An ambitious and important history that will appeal to readers interested in the history and politics of Turkey as well as the former Ottoman lands"—Carl Dahlman, author of Bosnia Remade: Ethnic Cleansing and its Reversal

"This book is a major contribution to the understanding of Turkish society, especially useful today, when the Kemalist paradigm is being challenged and when prominent Turkish leaders and intellectuals experiment with the renewal of identity...It is also an important contribution to the theory of political geography and international relations, offering a valuable view on the issue of the introduction of modern territoriality in a non-western context."—Georges Prevelakis, Professor of Geopolitics, Sorbonne University (Paris I)

"An excellent study of the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey that will be read with pleasure and profit for years to come."—Feroz Ahmad, Yeditepe University, Istanbul