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Frequent Incompatibilities: Ethnic and Religious Diversity and the Nations of the Middle East

Frequent Incompatibilities: Ethnic and Religious Diversity and the Nations of the Middle East themselves not unaffected by Western ideas, were of two persuasions: those in favor of equality among the multifarious peoples of the realm and those favoring Turkish supremacy over the other communities. The latter of those two groups was the Young Turks, whose goal was to accelerate imperial reforms, but who were also possessed of “an incipient Turkish nationalism” in their thinking.10 One aspect of that orientation in thought was the problem of defining what a Turk actually was. The Turkish nationalist faction eventually gained power and sought to forcefully “Turkize” all of the other Muslims within the realm. If the empire could not exist as a multi-ethnic entity, then they would convert it into a wholly Turkish one. That resulted in still another series of nationalistic reactions, this time by the other Muslim ethnic groups such as Albanians, Kurds, and Arabs. Their rebellions caused Turks to give up once and for all the concept of a multiethnic empire and to strive for their own national state.11 The Ottoman Empire had lost its raison d’être. With the decomposition of the Empire, a struggle over territory ensued. Each newly independent nationality expressed its own right to a “national territory” or http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East Duke University Press

Frequent Incompatibilities: Ethnic and Religious Diversity and the Nations of the Middle East

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1089-201X
eISSN
1548-226X
DOI
10.1215/1089201X-22-1-2-36
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

themselves not unaffected by Western ideas, were of two persuasions: those in favor of equality among the multifarious peoples of the realm and those favoring Turkish supremacy over the other communities. The latter of those two groups was the Young Turks, whose goal was to accelerate imperial reforms, but who were also possessed of “an incipient Turkish nationalism” in their thinking.10 One aspect of that orientation in thought was the problem of defining what a Turk actually was. The Turkish nationalist faction eventually gained power and sought to forcefully “Turkize” all of the other Muslims within the realm. If the empire could not exist as a multi-ethnic entity, then they would convert it into a wholly Turkish one. That resulted in still another series of nationalistic reactions, this time by the other Muslim ethnic groups such as Albanians, Kurds, and Arabs. Their rebellions caused Turks to give up once and for all the concept of a multiethnic empire and to strive for their own national state.11 The Ottoman Empire had lost its raison d’être. With the decomposition of the Empire, a struggle over territory ensued. Each newly independent nationality expressed its own right to a “national territory” or

Journal

Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle EastDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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