Osmanlı-Türk romanında ulusal oryantalizm ve oryantalist uluslaşma
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The Ottoman-Turkish novel had been restricted to Istanbul for a quite long period of its relatively short history. When certain authors started to expand the fictive geography of texts towards Anatolia, this movement from the center to the periphery was under the influences of an “atmosphere of mind” (the general mentality of the time) that was determined by the overwhelming apprehensions of belated modernization and nationalization. The texts produced in this period, however, are rather problematical with regard to the representation of Anatolia, which is textualized as an internal Orient. Applying Orientalism, Edward Said’s influential and inspiring archeological analysis of the Western hegemony on Orient as the theoretical frame, this study aims to analyze the process of orientalization of Anatolia by the early Republican intellectuals and bureaucrats. The analysis will leave the question of whether these misrepresentations and, strongly manipulated knowledge and discriminative discourses had something to do with the truth of Anatolia or not aside. Rather, it will attempt to clarify the main motive behind Kemalists’ burden of modernization and reconstruction. The corpus of the texts that are discussed includes The Little Pasha (Küçük Paşa) by Ebubekir Hazim, Beat the Slut (Vurun Kahpeye) by Halide Edip, Savage (Yaban) by Yakup Kadri, The Smell of Earth (Toprak Kokusu) by Resat Enis, Our Village (Bizim Köy) by Mahmut Makal and If the Soil Wakes (Toprak Uyanırsa) by Sevket Sureyya Aydemir. Since the process of orientalization that is examined in this study is not an inter-national/cultural one, but rather a domestic one, and since this phenomenon is intrinsically related to the rise of nationalization, I decided to conceptualize it as “national orientalism”. After discussing Orientalism and its effects in the first chapter, I examine the textual politics and strategies from the perspective of “national orientalism”. In the last chapter my aim is to reveal the nexus between orientalization of Anatolia and Turkification of it by reversing the point of view and textual politics concerning “national orientalism”. That is why the last chapter is entitled as “Orientalist Nationalization”. According to the analyses within the scope of this study, by orientalizing Anatolia, the re-constructist cadre’s goal in the Republic was to alleviate the oppression resulting from the confrontation with the West. In addition, it was to gain control over a community (Anatolians and/or villagers) that comprised nearly 85 percent of the population at the time –a community that could have potentially posed an obstacle to the Kemalist revolutions and transformation. These goals were related to the early Republican politics and practices regarding the creation of a new collective identity: the Turkification of homo-Ottomanicus, which aimed to maintain social solidarity and the prevention of the development of social classes. The process produced a militarist community that would voluntarily die and kill for the symbols, rituals and borders of the nation-state. Thus, on the basis of the novels that are analyzed in this study, my thesis is that in Turkey during the construction of nationhood, the nation-state produced its own texts and the texts produced their own nation-state.