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Turkey: Modernity and Secularism

Turkey emerged from the First World War as a new republic, with a secular and modern identity, attempting to break from its Ottoman past. How has this influenced Turkey today?

Divested of its empire, Turkey emerged from the aftermath of the First World War as a new republic, led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the hero of Gallipoli. It developed a secular and modern identity and attempted to break with the Ottoman past. However as Turkey currently re-examines its own constitution, the legacy of the First World War has come back into focus in a compelling way.

In this special debate from Istanbul, Razia Iqbal is joined by the historians Akşin Somel and Ahmet Kuyaş to discuss the new political ethos of modernity, which was embraced after World War One, and the history it attempted to leave behind.

The acclaimed novelist Elif Shafak explores memory, forgetting and the legacy of World War One in a specially commissioned essay selected by the British Council.

(Photo: Turkish marines on the march to the Dardanelles, known as Çanakkale in Turkey)
(Credit: TopFoto)

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55 minutes

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