Turkish Nationalism and Western Civilization Selected Essays of Ziya Gokalp

Turkish Nationalism and Western Civilization Selected Essays of Ziya Gokalp

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Known as the father of Turkish nationalism, writer, poet, sociologist and politican Ziya Gökalp laid the foundation of post-Ottoman Empire nationalism, blending the values of Turkish tradition and Islam.

Gökalp took very drastic measures when his parents did not approve of him moving to Istanbul. In response to their disapproval, he attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. Fortunately, tragedy was thwarted when the bullet wasn't fatal and, in the end, his parents finally gave him the permission he so desperately desired.

In Istanbul, Gökalp became a part of the revolutionary movement of the Young Turks and, as a result, was arrested in 1898, during his fourth year at the Veterinary School. He was imprisoned for twelve months without a trial, resulting in his expulsion from the school.

The young-revolutionary Gökalp decided to reside in Diyarbakır after being dismissed from school, marrying his cousin, Vecihe Hanım, in 1900. He taught French at the secondary school there, taking public positions from time to time. However, he struggled to get a steady job.

The 1908 Revolution changed Gökalp's fate when he founded the Diyarbakır branch of the Union and Progress Association (ITC) and became its regional inspector. One year later, Gökalp represented Diyarbakır as a delegate at the ITC Congress held at Thessalonica, promoting his political position, resulting in being elected as a member of the Central Committee.

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