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  • Author or Editor: Jeremy F. Walton x
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In this article, I draw on Pierre Nora’s concept of “sites of memory” to explore the material textures and political effects of neo-Ottomanism in three locations: Miniatürk, a theme park in Istanbul that features scale replicas of many prominent Ottoman structures; Thessaloniki’s New Mosque, a former place of worship for the syncretic religious community of the dönme; and the Tomb of Gül Baba, a 16th-century Sufi dervish and saint, in Budapest. My exposition moves in two directions. On the one hand, I emphasize how sites of memory frequently serve to bolster dominant, politicized discourses of neo-Ottomanism. On the other hand, I trace how sites of renascent Ottoman memory – especially those outside of Turkey – undermine and contradict the premises of neo-Ottomanism in unanticipated ways. Over the course of my article, I develop the concept of “disciplined historicity” as a method for approaching sites of memory that integrates both historical knowledge and appreciation for the material and aesthetic qualities of the spaces in question.

In: Die Welt des Islams

Is Hizmet liberal? The question is intractable both for Hizmet actors and for the Turkish public sphere more broadly. In this essay, I marshal ethnographic research carried out over several years among Hizmet institutions in Istanbul to shed light on the politics of this question. I examine several characteristic Hizmet institutions in order to argue that Hizmet forges a synthesis between Islamic and liberal discourses and practices. This synthesis unravels dichotomous images of Islam and liberalism as necessarily opposed. In particular, I analyze ethical values such as “positive action” (müspet hareket), “service” (hizmet), and piety (taqwa), as well as initiatives, such as interreligious dialogue (dinler arası diyalog), carried out by Hizmet-affiliated charitable foundations/pious endowments (vakıflar). By way of conclusion, I reevaluate the title question of the article to unpack the dialectical tension embedded between liberal political projects and liberalism as a disciplining power.

In: Sociology of Islam