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Crafting a nation: The mythic construction of the new Turkish identity in Ataturk's "Nutuk"

Aysel Morin, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation explores the role of rhetoric in creating nations. I argue that the discourse of nationalism predates the nation itself. In this dissertation I study the development of Turkish nationalism and the rhetorical construction of the new Turkish identity. I explore the relationships between five cultural myths and the Kemalist ideology, which underwrote Turkish national identity during the transition period from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey. These myths are the First Duty, Internal Enemy, Ancestor, Encirclement and Modern Europe. A speech delivered by Atatürk, Nutuk, provides the main text for the study. I critique modernization theories of nationalism from the perspective of communication. I conclude that nationalist discourse has the power to create a nation only if it is consciously tailored to create one. I point to the ideological nature of nationalist discourse and argue that this discourse derives its power to create nations from cultural myths. ^

Subject Area

History, Middle Eastern|Speech Communication

Recommended Citation

Morin, Aysel, "Crafting a nation: The mythic construction of the new Turkish identity in Ataturk's "Nutuk"" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3126958.