"The Unsteadiness of Ottoman-Turkish Westernisation: 'Dilapidated' Past, 'Glorious' Future”

The failure in Vienna Siege and the long-lasting wars in the following centuries that mostly ended in failure caused to big motion and considerable transformation in the military, administrative, financial, political, social and intellectual fields in the historical process that extends from Ottoman to Republican Turkey. In early periods, the proposals (layiha) indicating the bad conduct was offering a return to Kanun-i kadim, to past as a solution. Yet within the second half of the 18th century, the ‘past' was considered as the reason behind the bad conduct. Late Ottoman and Early Republican intellectuals put forward the idea of ‘savior' and ‘glorious' future contrasted to the ‘dilapidated' past. Thus, for two centuries, we have been facing the experience of Turkish westernization that has faltered between past and future at the social, political and individual dimensions; it is action-centric because of its pragmatist and impatient quality; exalted by technology as a fascinating concept; and in which consequently the “human” and “thinking” is rendered to meaningless. The present study, in principle, argues how this earlier political falter turns subsequently into cultural and existential inconsistency. Faruk DENİZ
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