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Turkey Since 1989: Angry Nation (Global History of the Present: From the Cold War to the War on Terror) Paperback – 10 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books (10 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848132115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848132115
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 790,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Since the end of the Cold War, the world order has been redefined with many countries renegotiating their foreign and domestic politics. Kerem Öktem's meticuolus analysis provides valuable insights into the difficult process the Republic of Turkey has underwent since 1989, a course dictated by ruptures, missed opportunities, new syntheses and gradual erosion through it all of the state control over civil society. Öktem captures this arduous and very complex two decades of Turkey's recent history extremely thoroughly andeven-handedly: he carefully maps out all the public discourses and significant key moments in excellent prose, making frequent references to the interviews he conducted with significant public intellectuals. I too join Öktem's concluding wish that Turkey transform into a more liberal, self-confident state of its citizens.' --Fatma Müge Göçek, The University of Michigan

'This book provides an unusually lucid and well-structured account of developments in Turkey since the end of the Cold War. In a fluent and accessible style, the author addresses the most significant events of the last two decades. The new actors and the challenging issues of this era in Turkish politics are explored against the backdrop of the emergence of modern Turkey since the 19th century. The author is part of a new generation of critical scholars in Turkish studies, for whom cultural issues related to Alevis, Kurds, and Armenians are as important as issues of power politics.' --Professor Elisabeth Özdalga, Director of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul

'Turkey's rapid development over the last three decades has added new layers of complexity - political, social, legal, religious, ethnic - to an already formidable mix. This makes Kerem Oktem's forensic and engaging analytical portrait of Turkey since 1980 all the more welcome. In five deft, lucid chapters the author deploys intimate knowledge and illuminating detail to examine the forces shaping the country and contesting its future. The result is a brilliant, assured overview that plunges into a maelstrom of issues surrounded by passionate argument and makes sense of them with cool judgment and an acute sense of balance. Kerem Oktem has written a compelling book about an indispensable nation - and done both scholarship and modern Turkey a true service.' --David Hayes, openDemocracy

About the Author

Kerem Öktem is Research Fellow at the European Studies Centre, St Antony's College and teaches the Politics of the Middle East at the Oriental Institute. He read Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford, where he also completed his D. Phil. thesis at the School of Geography in 2006. In the thesis, he explored the destruction of imperial space in the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent construction of an exclusively Turkish national territory. His research interests range from the history of nationalism, ethno-politics and minority rights in Turkey to debates on history, memory and trauma, and to Turkey's conflicted relations with Armenia and Greece. More recently, he has started a research project on the emergence of Islam as a central discursive category in European public debates.

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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Humbly Yours on 22 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
Oktey is a bright guy. But, like many of the Turkish intelligentsia, he assumes he knows everything anyway and doesn't need to look at the evidence before drawing conclusions. For example, he writes re the infamous Ergenekon case "In light of the Ergenekon revelations, it's almost certain that these assassinations were carried out by contract killers working for the government."
He clearly has not read the Ergenekon indictments as there is nothing in them linking any of the accused to the acts of violence to which he refers. In fact, the indictments are an insult to the intelligence of the reader. They claim that Ergenekon was responsible for every act of political violence, controlled every terrorist organization in Turkey and was trying to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. There is nothing in the indictments to prove that Ergenekon exists, much less link it to any assassinations. (This is not to say that the state was not running death squads -- ask a Kurd -- just that Ergenekon is an attempt to silence the new Turkish regime's opponents, not an attempt to discover the truth.)
People are free to believe in the -- very poorly -- fabricated conspiracy theories in the Ergenekon indictments if they so wish. But they should at least read the indictments first.
Oktey's intellectual laziness in merely parroting media reports about these cases instead of studying them himself raises serious questions about his academic rigour and insight.
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