"All those who wish to understand the history of modern Turkey will read the book with pleasure."—International Journal of Turkish Studies
"By extending the scope of existing studies, by adding nuance and complexity, and above all by shifting the focus of inquiry from state to society, [Yilmaz] significantly enhances our understanding of this seminal period of radical reform, social engineering, and national identity construction."—American Historical Review
"This richly researched book makes an important contribution to the social history of early republican Turkey."—International Journal of Middle East Studies
"An invaluable resource for historians of the Turkish Republic for some time to come."—Middle East Journal
"This book shows that experiences of the Kemalist reforms cannot be understood solely in terms of support or resistance. Yilmaz points to multiplicity in the interpretation, implementation, and experience of these reforms in society, and at different levels and in different institutions of the state."—H-Net Reviews
Becoming Turkish deepens our understanding of the modernist nation-building processes in post—Ottoman Turkey through a rare perspective that stresses social and cultural dimensions and everyday negotiations of the Kemalist reforms. Yilmaz asks how the reforms were mediated on the ground and how ordinary citizens received, reacted to, and experienced them. She traces the experiences of the subaltern as well as the experiences of the elites and the mediators in the overall narrative—highlighting the relevance of class, gender, location, and urban and rural differences while also revealing the importance of nonideological, social, and psychological factors such as childhood and generations.
Hale Yilmaz is Assistant Professor of History at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. One of her articles has appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and she has written a chapter for the edited volume, Women’s Memory: The Problem of Sources from the Ottoman Period to Our Times.
6 x 9, 352 pages, 26 black and white illustrations