Racist Aspects of Modern Turkish Nationalism

Ilia Xypolia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


This paper aims to challenge simplifications on race and racism in contemporary Turkish society. In doing so, it draws a macro-historical context wherein the racist component of the Turkish national identity had been shaped. The paper traces the emergence of the core racist elements at the beginning of the 20th century within the ideology propagated by the organization of the Turkish Hearths (Turk Ocaklari). The Turkish History Thesis with its emphasis on 'race' attempted to promote not only an affiliation but also a common ancestry between Turkish and Western civilization. These arguments were backed by commissioning research carried out in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistics. The main argument of this paper is that the racist components of the national identity in Turkey have been the product of a Eurocentric understanding of world history by consecutive nationalist leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2016


  • racism
  • eurocentrism
  • nationalism
  • whiteness
  • Turkey


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