When the Ottoman Empire collapsed following the First World War, the feudal system which had survived untouched in much of Anatolia began to change. Kemal Ataturk's task of building a nation 'from the people up' meant that the peasantry, by far Turkey's largest ethnographic group, became an important symbol of social cohesion. Here, Sinan Yildirmaz analyses the history of modern Turkey through the material culture of this peasantry - their speeches, social club documents, art and diaries - and reveals a rich social and political life which flowered after the Second World War. Politics and the Peasantry in Post-War Turkey is the first history to show how the changing peasantry laid the foundations for the modern Turkish state, and will be essential reading for students and scholars of the Ottoman Empire and of the History of Modern Turkey.
Sinan Yildirmaz is Assistant Professor of History at Istanbul University and an expert on the cultural history of Modern Turkey.