Fashioning the Neo-Ottoman Chronotope of Istanbul

Jeremy F. Walton

in Muslim Civil Society and the Politics of Religious Freedom in Turkey

Published in print June 2017 | ISBN: 9780190658977
Published online June 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190659004 | DOI:

Series: AAR Religion, Culture, and History

Fashioning the Neo-Ottoman Chronotope of Istanbul

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Chapter 5 extends the spatial and temporal concerns of chapters 3 and 4 by examining the “restorative nostalgia” that marks Sunni NGOs’ neo-Ottoman image of Istanbul. Following an excursion through a humble neighborhood of the city, it describes the restoration of an Ottoman-era madrasa on the part of a Nur institution. After this, the presentation telescopes outward to discuss how a variety of Sunni NGOs seek to reinscribe Istanbul within a broader, globalized topography of Muslim belonging and within the ummah (the universal community of Muslims) by foregrounding the city’s Ottoman heritage. Finally, the chapter addresses the dilemmas and frustrations that the neo-Ottoman chronotope of the city creates for Alevis, who cannot draw on nostalgia for the imperial past in the same manner as Sunni Turks.

Keywords: Istanbul; neo-Ottomanism; chronotope; heritage; Nur Community; nostalgia

Chapter.  11165 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Islam

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