Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey
Duke University Press, 2006 M08 30 - 240 pages
As the twentieth century drew to a close, the unity and authority of the secularist Turkish state were challenged by the rise of political Islam and Kurdish separatism on the one hand and by the increasing demands of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank on the other. While the Turkish government had long limited Islam—the religion of the overwhelming majority of its citizens—to the private sphere, it burst into the public arena in the late 1990s, becoming part of party politics. As religion became political, symbols of Kemalism—the official ideology of the Turkish Republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923—spread throughout the private sphere. In Nostalgia for the Modern, Esra Özyürek analyzes the ways that Turkish citizens began to express an attachment to—and nostalgia for—the secularist, modernist, and nationalist foundations of the Turkish Republic.
Drawing on her ethnographic research in Istanbul and Ankara during the late 1990s, Özyürek describes how ordinary Turkish citizens demonstrated their affinity for Kemalism in the ways they organized their domestic space, decorated their walls, told their life stories, and interpreted political developments. She examines the recent interest in the private lives of the founding generation of the Republic, reflects on several privately organized museum exhibits about the early Republic, and considers the proliferation in homes and businesses of pictures of Atatürk, the most potent symbol of the secular Turkish state. She also explores the organization of the 1998 celebrations marking the Republic’s seventy-fifth anniversary. Özyürek’s insights into how state ideologies spread through private and personal realms of life have implications for all societies confronting the simultaneous rise of neoliberalism and politicized religion.
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State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey Esra Özyürek ... military intervention into politics had banned the party, but my mother especially was relieved that political Islam had been contained, at least for the time being.
State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey Esra Özyürek ... and its secularist modernization project that dominated the public sphere through the past century was challenged by the rise of political Islam and Kurdish separatism, ...
I analyze how secular state ideology, politics, and symbolism found a new life and legitimacy in the private realms of the market, the home, civil society, life history, and emotional attachment just as political Islam began to occupy ...
State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey Esra Özyürek ... and has even gone backward in the past several decades and let slip away the stage of modernity it had earlier achieved, especially after political Islam came to power.
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