Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Sociology, Koç University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Sociology, University of Minnesota / Twin Cities
Construction of National and International Identities in Turkey: The Role of Visiting Western Intellectuals and Theories of Race

In this research, I will conduct a historical-archival study of the role that interactions between Turkish elites and European and North American intellectuals played in the construction of Turkish national and racial identity in early Republican history (1923- 1950). In particular, my study will focus on the following questions: What did these visiting western scholars represent for the Turkish elites? How were their ideas disseminated to Turkish scholarly and popular discourses? How were these discourses used to construct the Turkish racial and national identities as white and European? How did Turkish Republican elites, in tum, use these identities to represent Turkey to the western audiences? Thus, the Turkish empirical case will illuminate the interactions between race and nationalism, the role of intellectuals in national identity construction, and the relationship between ideas of universalism and particularism in the context of nation-states. Turkey as an atypical case provides opportunities to reconstruct contemporary social theories of race and nationalism.