Travel and iden­tity


The fo­cus in this is­sue of Turk­ish Re­view is very much on the li­brary rather than the sem­i­nar room, with six vol­umes ex­am­ined. Con­fer­ences have not been en­tirely left out, how­ever, and briefs on two events from late 2014 bring this edi­tion of Re­views and Briefs to a close.

First comes Rainer Her­mann’s “Where is Turkey Headed? Cul­ture Bat­tles in Turkey,” re­viewed here by Chicago Uni­ver­sity’s Varak Ket­se­ma­nian, which ex­plores the so­cial dy­nam­ics of the changes ex­pe­ri­enced in Turkey in re­cent times from an his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive.

Next comes Esra Özyürek’s Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity ty Press pub­li­ca­tion, “Be­ing Ger­man, Be­com­ing Mus­lim: Race, Reli­gion, and Con­ver­sion in the New Europe.” Diğ­dem Soy­altın (Stock­holm Uni­ver­sity’ssity’s In­sti­tute for Turk­ish Stud­ies) pro­vides­o­vides a solid ac­count of Özyürek’sk’s valu­able in­sights on the in­te­gratinge­grat­ing of the eth­nic and re­li­giouss el­e­ments of Is­lam among Ger­many’smany’s Mus­lims and on con­verts on­verts to Is­lam in the coun­try.ntry.

A nu­anced ac­count count of Su­raiya Faro­qhi’s work on the lives and his­tory ry of crafts­men in the Ot­toman Em­pire -- “Travel and Ar­ti­sans in the Ot­toman­toman Em­pire” -- is pro­vid­ed­vided by Alexan­dra Ma­tees­cucu (Chicago Uni­ver­sity). ty). The Ot­toman theme con­tin­ues on­tin­ues with the edited vol­ume from Mar­ios Had­jianas­ta­sis, “Fron­tiers of the Ot­toman Imag­i­na­tion: Stud­ies in Hon­our of Rhoads Mur­phey.” Re­searcher Görkem Daşkan sum­ma­rizes some of so­cial, po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural as­pects of Ot­toman his­tory ex­plored in this wide-rang­ing vol­ume.

A more re­cent slice of Ot­toman his­tory comes in the form of Hakkı Taş’s (İpek Uni­ver­sity) re­view of “Arm­ing the Sul­tan: Ger­man Arms Trade and Per­sonal Diplo­macy in the Ot­toman Em­pire Be­fore World War I,” by Naci Yorul­maz. In this work, Yorul­maz looks at the in­flu­en­tial role played by the arms trade and “per­sonal diplo­macy” in re­la­tions be­tween the Ot­toman Em­pire and Ger­many dur­ing the lead-up to World War I.

The first of the two con­fer­ence re­views is a com­pre­hen­sive ac­count from Ba­har Başer (Coven­try Uni­ver­sity) of İstanbul Bilgi Uni­ver­sity’s Kurds Be­yond Bor­ders: Trans­form­ing Spa­ces and Iden­ti­ties con­fer­ence held in Oc­to­ber 2014. Fi­nally Benjamin Wei­neck (Uni­ver­sity of Bayreuth and Uni­ver­sity of Hei­del­berg) pro­vides a brief of the Novem­ber 2014 gath­er­ing at Hei­del­berg Uni­ver­sity. Text and Cul­tural Her­itage: Alevi-re­lated Sources be­tween Philo­log­i­cal Re­search and The­o­log­i­cal Can­on­iza­tion looked at the rit­ual and cul­tural dy­nam­ics of Alevi com­mu­ni­ties in Turkey and in Ger­many, and was the source of im­por­tant dis­cus­sions on changes and trans­for­ma­tions in

Alevi cul­tural iden­tity.

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