- Hellenism without Greeks: The Use (and Abuse) of Classical Antiquity in Turkish Nationalist Literature
- Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 2018
- pp. 169-190
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Official Turkish nationalism was suspicious of the Mediterranean, considering it a symbol of decadent Ottoman cosmopolitanism. Literary movements such as "Nev-Yunânîlik" (New Hellenism) and "Mavi Anadolu" (Blue Anatolia) provided a counter-narrative that located Turkey within a shared Mediterranean history. Writers like Yahya Kemal Beyatlı and Sabahattin Eyüboğlu used Anatolia's Hellenistic heritage to argue for what they saw as Turkey's rightful place in Europe. At the same time, they denied this same European status to the inhabitants of neighboring Greece. This article argues that ambivalence about living Hellenes, and by extension Europe, lies at the center of the contradictory thalassic tropes used in the literature of New Hellenism and Blue Anatolia.