Weaponizing History: the populist remaking of the Ottoman past in contemporary Turkey13 apr 2022
Van 17:00 - 18:30uur
A public lecture by Dr Emre Erol (Sabancı University)
Utrecht University, Drift 21 Utrecht – Sweelinckzaal
What we think of our past has an impact on our present. This has been one of the main challenges for those who are interested in the scientific study of the human past. However, what constitutes a challenge for those seeking to understand the past as objectively as possible provides an opportunity for those who seek to manipulate it. Populist leaders around the world increasingly weaponize family values, conventional gender roles and history to mobilize their constituencies in the age of post-truth. This talk is about the current Justice and Development Party’s populist discourses about Turkey’s imperial past, which provides a well-known case for the weaponization of revisionist history in politics. The aim of the talk is to outline the logic and the framework of this discourse by focusing on some cases from recent public debates.
Emre Erol is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Director of the Foundations Development Program (Core Curriculum) at Sabancı University (Istanbul). He completed his Ph.D. at Leiden University’s School of Middle Eastern Studies and his M.A. (history) and his undergraduate studies (political sciences) at Sabanci University. His doctoral dissertation is published as a book titled The Ottoman Crisis in Western Anatolia / Turkey’s Belle Époque and the Transition to a Modern Nation State by I.B. Tauris in 2016. He worked at the University of Leiden and taught a variety of courses between 2009 – 2016. He worked in the School of Middle Eastern Studies, the International Studies and the International Honours College of Leiden University at The Hague (LUC). His main areas of interest are the late Ottoman history, modern Turkish history, migration and capitalism in the Eastern Mediterranean, comparative Area Studies, world history, digital humanities and nationalisms. He is involved with research projects and freelance consulting in addition to teaching.
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