THE MISSING TURKISH REVOLUTION: COMPARING VILLAGE-LEVEL CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN REPUBLICAN TURKEY AND SOVIET CENTRAL ASIA, 1920–50

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2018-02

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The Kemalist leadership of early Republican Turkey attempted to transform the country's Muslim populace with a heavy emphasis on secularism, scientific rationalism, and nationalism. Several studies have examined the effects of this effort, or the “Turkish Revolution,” at the central and more recently provincial levels. This article uses first-hand accounts and statistical data to carry the analysis to the village level. It argues that the Kemalist reforms failed to reach rural Turkey, where more than 80 percent of the population lived. A comparison with sedentary Soviet Central Asia's rural transformation in the same period reveals ideology and the availability of resources as the underlying causes of this failure. Informed by a Marxist–Leninist emphasis on the necessity of transforming the “substructure” for revolutionary change, the Soviet state undermined existing authority structures in Central Asia's villages to facilitate the introduction of communist ideals among their Muslim inhabitants. Turkey's Kemalist leadership, on the other hand, preserved existing authority structures in villages and attempted to change culture first. However, they lacked and could not create the resources to implement this change.</jats:p>

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10.1017/s0020743817000927

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Tuna, Mustafa (2018). THE MISSING TURKISH REVOLUTION: COMPARING VILLAGE-LEVEL CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN REPUBLICAN TURKEY AND SOVIET CENTRAL ASIA, 1920–50. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 50(1). pp. 23–43. 10.1017/s0020743817000927 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29392.

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Tuna

Mustafa Ozgur Tuna

Associate Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Mustafa Tuna (Ph.D. 2009, Princeton University) is Associate Professor at the Departments of Slavic and Eurasian Studies & History at Duke University and is affiliated with the Duke Islamic Studies Center. His research focuses on Islam and modernity. In his earlier works he examined the often-intertwined roles of Islam, social networks, state or elite interventions, infrastructural changes, and the globalization of European modernity in transforming Muslim communities, especially in Russia, Central Asia, and Turkey. His first book, titled Imperial Russia's Muslims: Islam, Empire, and European Modernity, 1788-1917, is published by Cambridge University Press in the "Critical Perspectives on Empire Series." His current project explores encounters between the Sunni Islamic and European secular intellectual traditions with a focus on the ontological, epistemological, and spiritual implications of this encounter for Muslims since the early-twentieth century. His second book project, titled Knowing God in the Secular Age: Existence, Knowledge, and Striving for Excellence in the Works of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1878-1960), studies these implications in the case of the endeavors of Said Nursi (1878-1960), a Kurdish scholar of Islam from Turkey, to negotiate the changing modern world's challenges for Islam and Muslims. Additionally, he translated one of Nursi's major works, Mathnawi al-Arabi al-Nuri (Luminous Couplets) from Arabic into English and is now preparing this translation for publication as a critical edition. Relatedly, he coauthored a glossary of Islamic terms in English and is currently expanding this glossary. He also investigates the transmission and evolution of Islamic knowledge and practices comparatively in the Turkish and Soviet contexts in preparation for a third monograph. Dr. Tuna is married and has two sons.


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