Thursday, April 24, 2014
In particular, the book argues that there were three main ways in which the pan-Turkists were embedded within their communities. Looking at the themes of mobility, revolution and the politicization of identity, I discuss how these three features of the late imperial era have also become important characteristics of international geopolitics in the post-Cold War era.
The people I write about all did interesting things. They led international lives between Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Paris and points in between. They were also involved in the wave of revolutions taking place in the region at this time in Russia (1905), Iran (1906) and the Ottoman Empire (1908). Often portrayed as the architects of the Turkish nation-state created in the aftermath of WWI, the pan-Turkists often found themselves on the outside looking in once the age of empires had passed. The pan-Turkists and their friends--people like Fatih Kerimi, Ziya Gökalp and Halide Edip--were not so much the forefathers and foremothers of Turkish nationalism as they were the final expressions of the late imperial era.
In the end, my goal was to write a book that would serve three purposes: a) tell a good story about three fascinating individuals; b) discuss what I consider to be three of the most important features of the late imperial era; and c) write about politics and identity today, emphasizing the lessons that we can learn from the experiences of my book's subjects.
There's still a lot of work to go. Presently, I'm waiting for the copyedited manuscript, which I will then have to go over and make final changes to. There are also some other matters that still need to be worked on, such as the index, that need to be attended to. All in all, it will still be a busy summer.