Chapter

Islam and Modern Civilization

Ziya Gkalp

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Islam and Modern Civilization

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Ziya Gkalp (Turkey, 18761924) was a founder of Turkish nationalism. Encouraged by his father, an admirer of Nam1k Kemal (see chapter 17) and other modernists, he sought both Western and Islamic educations. The tension he experienced between the two led to a suicide attempt in 1894, and Gkalp lived with a bullet in his brain until his death. In 1898, he was arrested for his contacts with the Young Turk opposition, spent a year in prison, and was restricted to his home town of Diyar-1 Bekir, where he served in minor government positions and, according to his own account, read hundreds of books in French on sociology, psychology, and philosophy. Following the Constitutional Revolution of 1908, he quickly became an important figure in the Committee of Union and Progress. In 1912, he was elected to parliament from Ergani Madeni and turned down the post of minister of education; in 1913, he became a professor of sociology at the University of Istanbul and taught sociology at a modern-style religious school, the Darl-Hilafetil-liye. In addition, he published widely, applying theories of idealism to Ottoman society. In his most famous articles, such as one presented here, Gkalp promoted the Turkification, Islamification, and modernization of the Ottoman Empire. In 1919, following the Ottoman defeat in World War I, he was court-martialed as one of the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress, and exiled to Malta for two years. On his return, he resumed his writing and was elected to parliament from Diyar-1 Bekir.1

Chapter.  4307 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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