In 2014, the Turkish National Education Council recommending teaching Ottoman Turkish as a mandatory subject in all high schools. Since that time, this historical version of the Turkish language has been making a popular comeback. This is especially true online, where participants are creating and sharing new content written in what they claim to be Ottoman. This article examines evidence of the revival of Ottoman Turkish in digital "affinity spaces" in order to show that rather than being merely excavated, Ottoman Turkish is being revived as a set of new and creative linguistic practices that reflect modern sensibilities and developments in modern Turkish. In taking into consideration new calligraphic styles, the political and cultural subtext of memes, and the rewriting of modern Turkish words back into the Ottoman lexicon, this article shows how rather than enforcing the traditional language and its attendant cultural politics, the revival of Ottoman has opened up the space for creative language play and experimentation with modern Turkish in these virtual linguistic landscapes.


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pp. 219-246
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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