Anthropology as a nation-building rhetoric: the shaping of Turkish anthropology (from 1850s to 1940s)


DIALECTICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, vol.35, no.1, pp.111-129, 2011 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10624-010-9210-x
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.111-129
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Although the presence of anthropology is strongly felt during the first decades of the Turkish republican history, namely the period between 1923 and 1940, it is striking to see that the discipline was conceived more as a nation-building device than a scientific endeavour. This article traces the formation of Turkish anthropology from the late Ottoman period to the consolidation of the Republican regime, emphasizing the interesting oscillations between physical and social/cultural anthropologies, which are alternately brought to fore according to the requirements the political agenda.