Nostalgia for the Empire examines the social and political origins of beleaguered and wistful expressions of nostalgia about the Ottoman Empire. Political memories of the Ottoman past have been transformed in Turkish society, along with reactions from the outside world. The Ottoman past, as remembered now, is grounded in contemporary conservative Islamic values. Thus, the connection between memories of the Ottoman past and these values defines Turkey's new
identity. This new expression of national memory portrays Turkey as a victim of the major powers, justifying its position against its imagined internal and external enemies.
M. Hakan Yavuz is a professor of political science at The University of Utah. He has produced a body of scholarly work dealing with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the patterns of nation-state building, secularism, ethnic conflict, transnational Islamic networks, civil society and the public sphere. His books include Turkey's July 15th Coup, Islamic Political Identity in Turkey (Oxford), and Secularism and Muslim Democracy
in Turkey, among others.
Nostalgia for the Empire is a comprehensive analysis of the genealogy and permutations of neo-Ottomanism, a commonly invoked concept referring to resurrections of the Ottoman past in Turkey and the broader region. The book caps the author's findings over two decades of research and reflection on Islam in the Turkish Republic. Yavuz dissects Ottomanist political rhetoric, socio-cultural manifestations, and foreign policy aspirations against the canvas of
Turkish history during the last century. Written with passion, authority, and clarity, the study bares the idealized and opportunistic dimensions of Ottoman nostalgia, as it poignantly critiques the related populist-authoritarian turn in Turkey in recent years. * Hasan Kayali, Associate Professor of History, University of California, San Diego * Yavuz has yet again produced an invaluable volume on Turkey's complex modern political history. Charting the evolution of how references to the Ottoman past enter into modern notions of political development, modernization, and nationalism, Nostalgia for the Empire sheds fresh light on a critical phase in Turkey's state-building story. This is a must-read for scholars of political Islam, the modern history of Turkey, and the larger story of the modern state
throughout the twentieth century. * Isa Blumi, Docent and Associate Professor of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish Studies, Stockholm University * In this new insightful book, Yavuz offers a detailed historical and sociological analysis of one of the most striking features of contemporary Turkey, the widespread neo-Ottomanism, or nostalgia for the Ottoman past. He demonstrates that, rather than a single ideology, it is a multi-faceted phenomenon in which the Ottoman past is imagined and instrumentalized in very different ways. Yavuz shows the deep roots of neo-Ottomanism but also convincingly argues that it is
about (dreams of) the future as much as about the past. * Erik-Jan Zurcher, former Professor of Turkish Studies, Leiden University, and author of Turkey: A Modern History *
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