A Nation of Empire: The Ottoman Legacy of Turkish Modernity by Michæl Meeker

By Michæl Meeker

This cutting edge learn of contemporary Turkey is the results of a long time of ethnographic fieldwork and archival examine. Michael Meeker expertly combines anthropological and historic tips on how to study the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic in a big area of the rustic, the japanese Black beach. His most important discovering is state-oriented provincial oligarchy performed a key function in successive courses of reform over the process greater than 2 hundred years of imperial and nationwide heritage. As Meeker demonstrates, major contributors sponsored through interpersonal networks decided the end result of the modernizing method, first throughout the westernizing interval of the Empire, then throughout the innovative interval of the Republic.

To know how this type of state-oriented provincial oligarchy used to be produced and reproduced alongside the japanese Black coastline, Meeker integrates a modern ethnographic examine of public lifestyles in cities and villages with a historic examine of legitimate files, consular stories, and go back and forth narratives.

A state of Empire provides anthropologists, historians, and scholars of jap Europe and the center East with a brand new knowing of the complexities and contradictions of contemporary Turkish experience.

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12 for the significance of this move. Clan-Society and Nation-State / 13 from the Muradog˘lu and Selimog˘lu. These were towns where popular participation in public life was not so much under the regulation of the state system as under the regulation of a social system internal to the district of Of. Or so it seemed to me during the first period of my fieldwork. the ethnographic analysis of a clan-society Soon after my return to the district in 1966, I began to consider how best to understand the Selimog˘lu and Muradog˘lu as local social formations.

Aghas and Clans Questioning my acquaintances in the town of Of, I began to piece together a picture of leading individuals from large family groupings during the late Ottoman Empire. Since it appeared they had been even more socially prominent and politically powerful at that time, I assumed the local social order had been more assertive during the old imperial regime than during the new nationalist regime. 34 Some of my interlocutors believed that the backing of a large clan was necessary for someone to qualify as an agha, and, consistent with this presumption, they designated those large families that had once been the base of their support as “agha-families” (ag˘a akrabası).

Throughout the final decades of the Ottoman Empire, they usually monopolized the higher official positions open to locals. More often than not, they were able to intimidate, if not coerce, local representatives of the provincial government. After the declaration of the Turkish Republic, the two families were set back politically for only a few years. Toward the end of the one-party system, from 1945 on, leading individuals from the Muradog˘lu and Selimog˘lu rose in prominence through participation in political parties.

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