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The Formation of Turkish Republicanism$
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Banu Turnaoğlu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172743

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172743.001.0001

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The Positivist Universalism and Republicanism of the Young Turks

The Positivist Universalism and Republicanism of the Young Turks

(p.86) Chapter Four The Positivist Universalism and Republicanism of the Young Turks
The Formation of Turkish Republicanism

Banu Turnaoğlu

Princeton University Press

This chapter illustrates how the Parisian positivist Young Turks conceived humanity in light of a universal world history that progressed through the application of developmental laws. They sought to eliminate conventional intellectual, historical, and geographical boundaries between East and West, and aspired to transcend these through an ideal universal order. In so doing, they challenged Western domination and its subjugating foreign policy, and asserted the multiplicity of world civilizations, offering one of the earliest formulations of a modern, pluralist worldview. The positivist, universal project of spiritual union between East and West was to fail in the aftermath of World War I and the successive War of Turkish Independence (1919–22), but its role in shaping the ideological foundations of the early Republic remained substantial.

Keywords:   Young Turks, positivist universalism, East, West, world civilizations, pluralist worldview, War of Turkish Independence

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