At the 1873 World’s Fair, the Ottomans presented themselves as a European power, governing an empire whose diverse peoples were united by a single cohesive identity. Yet while the fair’s Ottoman exhibits made an impression, Ottoman identity foundered, and Istanbul continued to be seen as peripheral to European diplomacy.
Today, the neighborhoods to the west of the river — once one of the city's most densely populated areas — are little more than a barren plain where the occasional cluster of buildings sticks out of the landscape like teeth in a toddler's mouth.
The Antakya we knew is gone and not to be retrieved. Yet as much as it hurts to think about the city that was destroyed overnight, history has shown us that it is resilient. It will regrow new tissue and continue the processes of both erasure and reworking after a loss.
In 1928, the Republic of Turkey completely replaced old Ottoman and its Arabic script with an early version of the Romanized Turkish used today. With this move, the Turkish people were cut off from the language that should have formed a major part of their identity.
The murder of Sinan Ates in broad daylight in the center of Turkey’s capital exemplifies the violence, intimidation and impunity that have always lurked at the heart of Turkey’s ultranationalist movement. These malignant elements have worsened in recent years.
In Hatay, one of the Turkish regions most affected by the devastating twin earthquakes in February, environmental and civil society groups are concerned that many more could die because of toxic substances contained in the waste created by collapsed buildings.
“He's created an image of redressing the wrongs in the global order.” Nicholas Danforth joins New Lines magazine’s Kareem Shaheen to talk about how Recep Tayyip Erdogan won reelection as Turkish president and why, despite the challenges his leadership has faced, his political project continues to resonate.