DSpace Repository

Psychonalysis, Fantasy, Postcoloniality: Derivative Nationalism and Historiography in Post-Ottoman Turkey

Psychonalysis, Fantasy, Postcoloniality: Derivative Nationalism and Historiography in Post-Ottoman Turkey

Show full item record

Title: Psychonalysis, Fantasy, Postcoloniality: Derivative Nationalism and Historiography in Post-Ottoman Turkey
Author: Ercel, Erkan
Abstract: Probably nowhere are the themes of tolerance and multiculturalism more prominently at display than in the recently flourishing literature on Ottoman religious-ethnic communities in Turkey, wherein Ottoman rule, particularly the Millet System of the 15th -17th centuries, is romanticized by Turkish nativist historiographers as a perfect model of peaceful coexistence distinguished by exemplary hospitality and multicultural tolerance toward the Other, the “minorities”, be they Jews, Armenians or Greeks. In this dissertation, I investigate the role of these nativist historians and their historiography in the recuperation of Turkish national imagery, as well as the pitfalls of this sort of remembrance. While doing so, I draw upon the psychoanalytically-inspired concept of fantasy and postcolonial theory to demonstrate how the fantasy of Ottoman tolerance as a melancholic attachment to the past deals with the empire’s loss by pointing to internal and external enemies as threats to the unity and coherence of the nation. Domestically speaking, this fantasy promises to bring back the golden age in as much as enemies new and old will be eliminated on the way to restoring the nation’s power. At the same time, this fantasy takes on an international significance as it captures the essence of the reaction to the European imperative: “you should become multicultural and liberal like us.” The fantasy of the Ottoman Tolerance beats its European Other at its own game by claiming: “we were already multicultural.” Seen in these terms, the analysis of the nostalgic literature on Ottoman peace can illuminate how the “Occident/Western” and “Oriental/Derivative” (i.e. the Ottoman and Turkish) formations of the national imaginary are constructed, remembered and contested in the contemporary Global South. In light of these discussions I will question the conditions and possibilities of the ethics of remembering the Empire, and of entertaining a different relationship to the past in contemporary politics in Europe and Turkey. The key concern of my work is then to inquire into alternative ways to remember the Empire without remaining trapped in the fantasy of Ottoman tolerance, or its obverse, the fantasy of Oriental/Ottoman Despotism.
Subject: Sociology
World history
Keywords: Nativism
Ottoman tolerance
Ottoman minorities and historiography
Psychoanalysis
Fantasy
Postcoloniality
Post-colonial theory
Ethics
Collective mourning
Social losses and Imperial melancholia
Multiculturalism
Cosmopolitanism
Minorities
European enlargement debates
(ab)use of history
Turkish derivative nationalism
Occidentalism
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/27633
Supervisor: Canefe, Nergis
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Sociology
Exam date: 2014-01-10
Publish on: 2014-07-09

Files in this item



This item appears in the following Collection(s)