Funda Soysal / A Story of the First Constitutional Period from the Early Republican Era

A Story of the First Constitutional Period from the Early Republican Era

This thesis analyses a newspaper serial written in 1927-1928 on the story of the First Constitutional Period by a member of the republican elite, Mehmet Asým (Us). One aim of this analysis is to show that the First Constitutional Period, often regarded as an anachronistic aspect of nineteenth century Ottoman history, did in fact leave a strong legacy in popular memory, making it a symbolically meaningful period to be reinterpreted by later generations. The thesis also aims to shed light on the discursive agenda of the Republican elite in 1927 as it surfaces in this newspaper feuilleton. In this vein, it argues that an "otherization" of the Ottoman past, an identification with "mission to civilize" and criticism of "liberal softness" were three main discursive themes conveyed in this narrative of the first Constitutional Period. Lastly, by using textual analysis as its methodology, this thesis seeks to show the ways in which this methodology, this thesis seeks to show the ways in which this methodology can add new dimensions to our understanding of past.

(Approved by Prof. Dr. Zafer Toprak, Dr. Halil Berktay, Assist. Prof. Duygu Köksal)