How the Turks Saved Turkey

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How the Turks Saved Turkey
The Turks
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First known from Chinese accounts
First known use of “Turk” in 6th century
Arrived in Anatolia late 11th century
Altaic language related to Mongolian
– Not related to European languages
– Not related to Arabic
• Agglutinative language: forms words by
repeated addition of endings (compare
English “friendliness”)
The Turkish Language
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Bulmak = find
Bulunmak = to be found
Bulunduk = having been found
Bulundugunuz = your having been found
Yer = place
Bulundugunuz yer =
The your-having-been-found place =
You are here
Ottoman Empire 1400
Ottoman Empire 1460
Aya Sofia, Istanbul
Ottoman Empire 1520
Ottoman Empire 1566
Ottoman Empire 1683
Ottoman Empire 1690
An Ottoman Ottoman
Ottoman Empire 1700
Ottoman Empire 1750
Ottoman Empire 1830
Ottoman Empire 1880
Ottoman Empire 1913
The Young Turks
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Mehmed Talat Pasha – prime minister
İsmail Enver Pasha – minister of war
Ahmed Djemal Pasha – minister of navy
Effectively ruled Empire during First World
War
• Allied with Germany during World War I
• Fled Empire after the war
Ottoman Empire 1918
Turkish History in One Picture
Dardanelles at Canakkale
Gallipoli Peninsula
Carving Up Turkey
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk 1881-1938
Megali Idea
Post-Ottoman Changes
• Sultan deposed 1922
• Caliphate and Sharia abolished 1924
• Language Reforms 1930’s
– Adoption of modified Roman Alphabet
– Purge of Arabic and Persian words
• Islam no longer official religion
• Women gain vote and right to hold office
1934
Pluses and Minuses
• Upside
– Turkey deliberately aligns with the West
– Long-overdue reforms enacted
– Dramatic increase in literacy
• Downside
– Language reforms made Ottoman literature
inaccessible
– Distorted historical model sometimes used to
justify reforms
21st Century Europe
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