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Furthermore, when I thought about my own family, something about White’s critique of Kemalism felt familiar: the sense of embattlement and paranoia.Kemalism, not unlike Zionism, drew much of its energy from the fact that there could easily have been no Turkish state.Nothing in the milieu where I grew up, in New Jersey in the eighties and early nineties, contradicted the idea I formed of religion as something unnecessary, unscientific, provincial—essentially, uncool. Its charismatic leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been the head of state since 2003, after the A. Many spoke warmly of the anthropologist Jenny White, an important scholar of modern Turkey whose book “Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks” characterizes the pro-Atatürk Kemalist culture as one of “militarism, hostility, suspicion, and authoritarianism” rooted in “blood-based Turkish ethnicity.” Muslim nationalism, by contrast, has sought to replace “historically embattled Republican borders” with “more flexible Ottoman imperial boundaries” and to “privilege Muslim identity and culture over race.” In the A. P.-sympathetic world view, the Ottomans, whom Kemalists had blamed for selling Turkey to the British, enjoyed a vogue as models of enlightened Muslim multiculturalism. To me, as to most Americans, it seemed a tiny bit weird that nearly every public building in Turkey had a picture of Atatürk on the wall.For a long time, I thought there was an immutable link between coolness and positivism. Then came identity politics and, in Turkey, the rise of the Justice and Development Party (A. I could see that every slight to Kemalism was a knife in my parents’ hearts. I also knew that, in order for the Turkish Republic to succeed, millions of people had been obliged to change their language, their clothes, and their way of life, all at once, because Atatürk said so.The Ottoman Arabic script was replaced by a Latin alphabet, and the language itself was “cleansed” of Arabic and Persian elements.
Her parents told her that God was more merciful than she thought, and that people who did good would go to Heaven on the Day of Judgment, regardless of what they believed. The Western view of Erdoğan eventually soured, especially after the Gezi protests of 2013; he was criticized for alleged corruption and for increasingly authoritarian tactics toward journalists and opposition parties.
I knew that people who had been perceived as threats to the state—religious leaders, Marxists, Kurds, Greeks, Armenians—were deported, exiled, imprisoned, tortured, or killed.
I knew that, even at the start of the twenty-first century, there still weren’t enough checks on the military, and that women who wore head scarves were subject to discrimination, barred from certain jobs and universities.
The earliest known examples of writing in any Turkic language were found in the Orkhon river valley in Mongolia in the 19th century.
They date from the early 8th century AD and the script in which they are written is known as the Orkhon alphabet, or the Old Turkic script, the Göktürk script, or the Orkhon-Yenisey script.
This resemblance is probably a result of the writing materials used - most inscriptions are in hard surfaces, such as stone or wood, and curved lines are difficult to inscribe in such surfaces.