The Sultan-Caliph and the Heroes of Liberty: Heroism, revolution, and the contestation of public persona in the late Ottoman Empire, c. 1900-1918

Date created: 
Late Ottoman Empire
Public Persona
Imperial Heroism
Ottoman Dynasty
Ottoman Revolution of 1908
Ottoman Material Culture

Drawing on a variety of Istanbul-based print media sources in Ottoman Turkish (Osmanlıca), this thesis argues that the symbolic politics of public persona played a pivotal role in certain registers of the cultural transition from Hamidian to CUP rule in the late Ottoman Empire. This process was manifested through the anthropomorphic representation of heroism and villainy, concepts that were informed by and tethered to imaginings of “ saviourhood”—i.e., whether certain figures were seen as contributing to or working against the maintenance of the health and fate of the empire in the face of foreign imperialism and separatist nationalism. Moreover, it draws on the category of heroism to demonstrate that the veneration of the ruling members of the Ottoman dynasty (Osmanlı Hanedanı or “the House of Osman”), both past and present, continued to influence forms of identification with the Ottoman state in the wake of the Ottoman revolution of 1908.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Thomas Kuehn
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.