The Myth of the Military-Nation

  • Ayse Gül Altinay


As the utterances of Turkey’s legendary leader, most famous historian, and the most celebrated (and remembered) Minister of Education make clear, the idea that the Turkish nation is a military-nation (ordu-millet or asker-ulus)1 is one of the foundational myths of Turkish nationalism. The popular saying, “Her Türk asker doğar” (every Turk is born a soldier) is repeated in daily conversations, school textbooks, the speeches of public officials and intellectuals, and is used as a drill slogan during military service. Its legitimacy goes without saying. In this chapter, my aim is to attempt a genealogy of the term military-nation and discuss the making of the myth that “the Turkish nation is a military-nation.”


Military Service Turkish State Turkish Culture Turkish Republic Military Conscription 
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© Ayse Gül Altinay 2004

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  • Ayse Gül Altinay

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