A Consideration of Economic Nationalism in the Ottoman Empire

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Other Title
  • オスマン帝国の経済ナショナリズムに関する一考察
  • オスマン テイコク ノ ケイザイ ナショナリズム ニ カンスル イチ コウサツ

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Abstract

The period of the awakening of Turkish nationalism was later than that of other nationalities under Ottoman rule. As the rise of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire was linked to the independence movements of subject peoples under Ottoman rule, it has been claimed that there was no necessity for such an initiative from the Turkish people who occupied the side of the rulers [rather than the ruled.] However, while the Ottoman Empire at the close of the 19th century did maintain political independence, economically it was placed in a semi-colonial status by the Western powers. In short, it can be said that in this sphere an important element was the Turkish people feeling themselves victims of oppression. This latent sense, which had built up over the years, surfaced as the trigger for the war with Greece in 1897, and a concrete "resistance" movement began to appear in public forums. Their first target was foreign capital. It was "we Turks" against "them, the foreigners." At that time it was thought that non-Muslims should side with "us" as the people of the Ottoman state. However, from a certain point in time, for the Turks non-Muslims began to be seen as being on "their side." This was felt more strongly in the arena of economic activity such as the steamship industry addressed in this article. In regard to the rise of economic nationalism, it has been pointed out that the trigger was the fact that foreign and non-Muslim capital underwent rapid development, and the gap with Muslim-Turkish capital widened due to the liberal economic policy during the Second Constitutional Era. However, the process of economic colonization had been proceeding from the mid-19th century onward, and the circumstances at the beginning of the 20th century were nothing more the result of the process. Therefore, economic nationalism appeared in a form that preceded political nationalism. Even if it was not clearly based on Turkish nationalism, the first buds of such thought can be seen in Ottoman newspapers from the late 19th century. In regard to the Turkish nationalism that appeared in the final period of the Ottoman Empire, I have clarified in this article that the qualitative change in the character of "patriotism" from Ottomanism to Turkism first grew apparent in the form of economic nationalism, and then with the war with Greece as turning-point in the debates over the shipping issue in Ottoman newspapers published from the close of the 19th century to the start of the 20th century.

Journal

  • 東洋史研究

    東洋史研究 71 (1), 190-156, 2012-06

    THE TOYOSHI-KENKYU-KAI : The Society of Oriental Researches, Kyoto University

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