Making sense of Turkish history: symbolic and interpretative uses of
historiography in Turkey
Dr. Christoph Herzog
The project deals with the analysis of recent Turkish texts that use history as a resource for "making sense". The scope of literary genres used is not limited to academic historiography (that only for a small part explicitly uses history for making sense) but includes a range of theoretically interested and essayistic literature in the wider sense.
It is planned to identify typical topoi and structural patterns that historically inform the political discourse in Turkey. These ideologemes are heterogeneous and may be mutually contradictory. They compete with one another for the prerogative of interpretation and dominance in public discourse, for a place in the collective memory of "the nation" or at least of that fragment of the nation they are addressing. Without claiming to map the whole of the Turkish historical discourse, the project aims to demonstrate the polyphony of and the ruptures within that discourse and even within the dominant historiographical paradigm.