The remaking of Gallipoli: Neo-Ottoman memory, domestic tourism and the Islamisation of Turkish ‘national’ history Event as iCalendar

(School of Social Sciences)

18 October 2017


Venue: Room 704, Social Sciences Building (201E-704)

Associate Professor | Brad West University of South Australia

This presentation outlines the recent growth in significance of the WWI Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey. Their interest in the Gallipoli campaign arose in response to Australian and New Zealand commemorative practices on the battlefield. It had been aligned with secular Kemalist nationalism. But Gallipoli is now being remembered in ways that romanticize Ottoman history and promote an increased prominence of Islam within Turkey’s public sphere. I argue that central to such reimaginings are three new commemorative rites on the battlefields: the 57th Regiment walk, municipality tours and independent tourism. The AKP government promotes commemorative activity at Gallipoli to support the ideal of a pious Turk, but the pilgrimage and reenactment modes in which such remembrances occur mediates their political intent by individualizing and consumerising history.

Brad West is head of the sociology program in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia. He has particularly examined how national history shifts as a consequence of new forms of commemorative engagement. He is author of Re-enchanting Nationalisms (2015, Springer) and is currently completing a book examining the history of travel by Australians to the Gallipoli battlefields as a way to theorise the cultural power of mobility (and immobility) to shape national identity. 


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