Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Conference Room
4 Bancroft Ave., Toronto, ON M5S 1C1
Prof. Evren Altinkas (University of Guelph)
Evren Altinkas, University of Guelph
Title: “Ottoman Intellectuals and Patronage Relations with the State: When the Bourgeoisie Is Not There!”
Abstract: This talk will focus on the late Ottoman intellectual tradition that started with the New Ottomans, continued with the Young Turks, and transformed into the intellectual strata of the new Turkish Republic. An important push factor for European intellectuals—a bourgeoisie that turned into the dominant capitalist class and empowered it to disseminate its ideas—was clearly missing in the Ottoman case. This resulted in the state being considered the only institution that could finance the self-proclaimed task of Ottoman intellectuals to “save the Empire.” Interestingly all three of the ideologies—Ottomanism, Islamism, and Turkism—aimed at saving the Ottoman state. This led to the establishment of patronage relations between the state and intellectuals. As a result, the intellectuals in the first era of modern Turkish Republic became “agents of the state” for indoctrination into the new ideology of the state.