"Büke makes an important contribution to more standard explanations of othering under the influence of Orientalism and modern nationalism. . . This book will resonate with the renewed attention to race in the broader scholarship and interrogations of racism in non-western societies."—Hasan Kayali, author of Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Second Constitutional Period of the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1918
"A magisterial work utilizing primary sources in the late Ottoman and early republican periods, Büke has written the definitive book on the relationship between cartoons and national identity in Ottoman and Republican Turkey."—Umut Uzer, author of An Intellectual History of Turkish Nationalism
The emergence of Turkish nationalism prior to World War I opened the way for various ethnic, religious, and cultural stereotypes to link the notion of the Other to the concept of national identity. The founding elite took up a massive project of social engineering that now required the amplification of Turkishness as the founding concept of the new nation-state. This concept was shaped by the construction of various Others as a backdrop, and for Turkey in many ways, the Arab in his keffiyeh and traditional garb constituted the ultimate Other.
In this nuanced and richly detailed study, Ilkim Büke Okyar examines the development of Turkish national identity from the 1908 constitutional revolution to the inclusion of Alexandretta in 1939, using the lens of contemporary political cartoons. Okyar brings the everyday production of nationalist discourse into the mainstream political and historical narrative of modern Turkey. In doing so, Okyar shows how the cartoon press became one of the most important agents in the construction, maintenance, and mobilization of Turkish nationalism, reinforcing a perceived image of the Arab that was haunted forever by its ethnic and religious origins.
Ilkim Büke Okyar is assistant professor in political science and International Relations at Yeditepe University.
6 x 9, 344 pages, 98 black and white illustrations