‘Those Crazy Turks’ that Got Caught in the ‘Metal Storm’: Nationalism in Turkey’s Best Seller Lists
Title: ‘Those Crazy Turks’ that Got Caught in the ‘Metal Storm’: Nationalism in Turkey’s Best Seller Lists
Author: YANIK, Lerna K.
Series/Report no.: EUI RSCAS; 2008/04; Mediterranean Programme Series
Nationalism manifests itself in different forms and styles. This paper, through recently published books that have made to the best seller lists in Turkey, analyzes the rise of the nationalist wave in Turkey in the past few years. In late 2004, “Metal Storm,” [Metal Fırtına] a fictional novel about the imaginary American invasion of Turkey in the year 2007 has started this new trend. “Metal Storm” was followed by several other books with plots drawn more or less along the same lines. A more recent trend, however, has been semi-fiction history books like “Those Crazy Turks” [Şu Çılgın Türkler] that depicts Turks’ heroic defence of Turkey during the War of Independence. Fiction and semi-fiction, the common point in these books is that these books blend popular culture with nationalism, which, in varying degrees, is anti-Western, glorifying heroism and sacrifice for the motherland, and highlighting the “golden” past of Turkey. In this paper, I examine the plot and the discourse of the Metal Storm and Those Crazy Turks and argue that the timing of the publication of these books is of no coincidence. Rather, their publication is very much related to internal identity dynamics as well as the international relations of Turkey.
Subject: Turkey; nationalism; popular culture; literature
Type of Access: openAccess