By A.Holly Shissler
World-shaking revolutions in Russia in 1905 and 1917, in Ottoman Turkey in 1908, international warfare I, the defeat of the primary Powers and triumph of the Entente, the Turkish battle of Independence and the institution of the hot Turkish state kingdom lower than Atatürk, and the institution of Azerbaijan: those occasions shape the backdrop to Ahmet Agaoglu’s existence, which spanned the momentous interval from 1869-1939. This highbrow biography of this significant participant is a notable access element during which those turbulent occasions are introduced sharply into aid.
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Extra resources for Between Two Empires: Ahmet Agaoglu and the New Turkey
33 In other words, these are categories that have been, and are currently, in use by scholars and statesmen to judge countries’ degree of ‘Westernness’. And yet, Brubaker has pointed out the inadequacies of these formal types, both analytically and normatively, since any careful study of 26 BETWEEN TWO EMPIRES nationalism shows that virtually all ‘civic’ nationalism contains some elements of cultural identification and almost none of the ethnic nationalisms are wholly racial or descentbased. Moreover, the fact that a state adopts an assimilationist, rather than exclusionary, stance towards national identity does not necessarily tell us anything about how coercive it is likely to be.
But I was not to acquire a new wholeness. I was to become a halfway patched up thing. This patchedup quality is an endless drama. It is an inner drama, it is a spiritual tragedy. At no time now do I feel complete and whole. And you know, it is a torment of Hell to feel halfpatched. 3 The contrast between the two descriptions could hardly be more stark. The father is a man secure in his world, untormented by any doubts as to his role and proper place; the son is a juryrigged contraption, a mishmash of acquired tastes and views and habits, rattling around the world in search of something, but of what?
In fact, the selection from Atatürk’s Speech often cited in this regard belongs to a larger passage that embraces and validates ethnocultural considerations and specifically questions the notion of civic polities based on ‘humanitarianism’ and ‘brotherhood’. 30 The insistence on Anatolian borders and national sovereignty, the repeated criticisms of Ottoman multinationalism and Islamic unity and the minimizing of the role played by Unionists in the National Struggle, however, did make it easy for later historians to assert that the new regime represented an absolute break with the Turkism of the previous era and constituted the emergence INTRODUCTION 25 of a completely new kind of national ideology.
Between Two Empires: Ahmet Agaoglu and the New Turkey by A.Holly Shissler