Museum Politics in Turkey Under the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP): the Case of the Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam
- 49 Downloads
Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by its leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish State and society at large have been subject to significant changes. Besides the recent increasing authoritarianism of the government, Islam made its way through politics like never before, and a new national ideology promoted by the AKP, Turkish Muslim Nationalism, laid the cultural foundations for a new Turkey and new Turks. In this paper, I put forward the claim that new national museums play a relevant role in shaping this new Turkey. In particular, they function as performative cabinets exhibiting the national ideology of the ruling party. I have looked into one of these museums, the Istanbul Museum of the Science and Technology in Islam, researching the links between the AKP, which promotes Turkish Muslim nationalism, and new museums, which exhibit it. The outcome of this study suggests that the IMSTI functioned as the resource and the host of national symbols manufactured by and within the ruling class to be supplied to the masses. The political class, represented here by the AKP, commissioned the museum, whereas cultural agents that shared the party’s political ideology were appointed to make it. This collaboration benefited both parts, so much so that profit seems to have been a crucial ingredient in the making of this museum.
KeywordsTurkey Museums National identity Islam
- Akyol M. (2014). Turkey’s rapid museum expansion. Al-monitor. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/07/akyol-museum-rise-turkey-orhan-pamuk-culture-ministry.html. Accessed 04 Jul 2018.
- Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. Revised edition. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Bennett, T. (1995). The birth of the museum, history, theory, politics. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Bonini-Baraldi, S., Shoup, D., Zan, L. (2014). A centralized decentralization: outsourcing in the Turkish cultural heritage sector. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 20(1), 54–77.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1993). The field of cultural production. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (2014). Sur l’état. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P., & Chartier, R. (2015). The sociologist and the historian. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Bozkuş, B. (2014) Rethinking nationalism in the case of 1453 conquest museum in Istanbul. In Global Media Journal: TR Edition 4 (8), Spring.Google Scholar
- Breuilly, J. (1982). Nationalism and the State. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
- Brubaker, R. (1992) Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Cagaptay, S. (2017). The New Sultan: Erdoğan and the crisis of modern. Turkey: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd..Google Scholar
- Chomsky, N. (2002). Manufacturing consent. The political economy of the mass media. New York City: Pantheon books.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. and Deleuze, J. (1977). Intellectuals and power: a conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. In D. Bourchard (Ed.), Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: selected essays and interviews by Michel Foucault. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Fyfe, G. (2011). Sociology and the Social Aspects of Museums, pp. 33-49, in Macdonald S. (Ed.) (2011) A Companion to Museum Studies. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Gellner E. (1983). Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Halbwachs, M. (1950). On collective memory. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
- Hobsbawm, E., Ranger, T. (eds.) (1983). The invention of tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Hürriyet Daily News (2014). Erdoğan vows to teach Turkish children Muslim discovery of Americas. Available at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Erdoğan-vows-to-teach-turkish-children-muslim-discovery-of-americas.aspx?pageID=238&nID=74485&NewsCatID=338.
- Jennings, & Kemp-Welch (Ed.) (1997). Intellectuals in politics: from the Dreyfus affair to Salman Rushdie. 1st edition. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Keyman, E. F. (2014). The AK Party: Dominant Party, New Turkey and Polarization. Insight Turkey, 16(2), 19–31.Google Scholar
- Macdonald, S.J. (2003). Museums, national, postnational and transcultural identities. In Museum and Society. 1(1), 1–16Google Scholar
- Mann M. (1995). A political theory of nationalism and its excesses. Budapest: Central European University Press.Google Scholar
- Muslim Village (2010). Exhibition on Islam’s golden age to tour the globe. Available at: https://muslimvillage.com/2010/08/21/5534/exhibition-on-islams-golden-age-to-tour-the-globe/.
- Mclean, F. (2006). Introduction: Heritage and Identity. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 12(1), 3–7.Google Scholar
- Newman, A., McLean, F. (2006). The impact of museums upon identity. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 12(1), 49–68.Google Scholar
- Öncü, A. (1999). Istanbulites and others: the cultural cosmology of being middle class in the era of globalization. In Ç. Keyder (Ed.), Istanbul: between the global and the local (pp. 95–119). Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
- Pérouse, J.F., Cheviron, N. (2016). Erdoğan: Nouveau père de la Turquie? Editions François Bourin.Google Scholar
- Saatçioğlu, B. (2010). Unpacking the compliance puzzle: the case of Turkey‘s AKP under EU conditionality. KFG working paper series, no. 14, June 2010, Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG) The Transformative Power of Europe. Freie Universität Berlin.Google Scholar
- Shaw, W. M. K. (2011). National Museums in the Republic of Turkey: Palimpsests within a Centralized State. In Building National Museums in Europe 1750–2010. Conference proceedings from EuNaMus, European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, Bologna 28–30 April 2011. In P. Aronsson & G. Elgenius (Eds.), EuNaMus report no 1. Published by Linköping University Electronic Press: http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_home/index.en.aspx?issue=064. Accessed 04 Jul 2018.
- Skylife (2013). The Istanbul Museum of the history of science and technology in Islam. Available at: http://www.skylife.com/en/2013-11/the-istanbul-museum-of-the-history-of-science-and-technology-in-islam.
- Steinvorth D. (2009). Nostalgia for the Ottomans. Disillusioned with Europe, Turkey Looks East. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nostalgia-for-the-ottomans-disillusioned-with-europe-turkey-looks-east-a-660635.html. Accessed 04 Jul 2018.
- Stewart K. (2018). The Museum of the Bible is a safe space for Christian nationalists. The New York Times. January, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/06/opinion/sunday/the-museum-of-the-bible-is-a-safe-space-for-christian-nationalists.html. Accessed 04 Jul 2018.
- Şafak, Y. (2014). Muslims discovered America! Available at: http://www.yenisafak.com/en/life/muslims-discovered-america-2026697.
- Telegraph (29 January 2008). The untold story of Arabic brilliance should be a timely reminder of a proud heritage, says Jim Al-Khalili. Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/3323462/Science-Islams-forgotten-geniuses.html. Accessed 04 Jul 2018.
- The Economist (2016). A war to remember. Turkey’s shallow Ottomania. https://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/08/war-remember.
- The Guardian (16 November, 2014). Muslims discovered America, says Turkish president. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/16/muslims-discovered-america-Erdoğan-christopher-columbus. Accessed 04 Jul 2018.
- The Turkey Analyst (2015). The Islamization of Turkey: Erdoğan’s Education Reforms. Available at: https://www.turkeyanalyst.org/publications/turkey-analyst-articles/item/437-the-islamization-of-turkey-erdo%C4%9Fan%E2%80%99s-education-reforms.html.
- Türeli, I. (2006). Modelling citizenship in Turkey’s miniature park. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 17(2), 55–69.Google Scholar
- Wacquant, L. (2013). Symbolic power and group-making: On Pierre Bourdieu’s reframing of class. Journal of Classical Sociology, 13(2), 274–291.Google Scholar
- White, J. (2009). Muslim nationalism and the new Turks. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar