A Nation of Empire: The Ottoman Legacy of Turkish Modernity

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University of California Press, Mar 29, 2002 - Social Science - 420 pages
This innovative study of modern Turkey is the result of many years of ethnographic fieldwork and archival research. Michael Meeker expertly combines anthropological and historical methods to examine the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic in a major region of the country, the eastern Black Sea coast. His most significant finding is that a state-oriented provincial oligarchy played a key role in successive programs of reform over the course of more than two hundred years of imperial and national history. As Meeker demonstrates, leading individuals backed by interpersonal networks determined the outcome of the modernizing process, first during the westernizing period of the Empire, then during the revolutionary period of the Republic.

To understand how such a state-oriented provincial oligarchy was produced and reproduced along the eastern Black Sea coast, Meeker integrates a contemporary ethnographic study of public life in towns and villages with a historical study of official documents, consular reports, and travel narratives.

A Nation of Empire provides anthropologists, historians, and students of Eastern Europe and the Middle East with a new understanding of the complexities and contradictions of modern Turkish experience.
 

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Contents

Amnesia ClanSociety and NationState
5
Prohibition Social Relations and Official Islam
42
THE DISSEMINATION OF AN IMPERIAL MODERNITY The Ottoman Province of Trabzon
85
Horizons Markets and States
87
Empire Gaze Discipline Rule
112
Dissemination Soldiers and Students
155
THE OLD STATE SOCIETY AND THE NEW STATE SYSTEM The Ottoman Province of Trabzon
185
A State Society State Officials and Local Elites
187
Scandal Aghas and Hodjas
255
OLD MODERNITY AND NEW MODERNITY The Republican Town of Of
287
Revolution Amnesia and Prohibition
289
Democracy The Old Republic Inhabits the New Republic
322
Civil Society Coffeehouses and Cooperatives
346
The City Nations and Empires
376
References
401
Index
411

Blindness A Feudal Past Without a Modern Future
231

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Page xxii - ... administered in such a way that what must surprise us is that they produced as many able and conscientious men as they did. The breakdown in the apparatus of government affected not only the supreme instruments of sovereignty but also the whole of the bureaucratic and religious institutions all over the Empire. These suffered a catastrophic fall in efficiency and integrity, which was accentuated by the growing change in methods of recruitment, training, and promotion. This deterioration is clearly...

About the author (2002)

Michael E. Meeker is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, and author of Literature and Violence in North Arabia (1979) and The Pastoral Son and the Spirit of Patriarchy (1989).

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