Investigating Turkey: Detective Fiction and Turkish Nationalism, 1928–1945

Investigating Turkey: Detective Fiction and Turkish Nationalism, 1928–1945


David Mason

Series: Ottoman and Turkish Studies
ISBN: 9781618116284 (hardcover)
Pages: 184 pp.
Publication Date: December 2017

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This volume seeks to understand more about the lives and histories of the general population of the Republic of Turkey during the years 1928 and 1945. During this period, concepts of Turkish nationalism were expounded in a top-down effort to rally the population to be united as Turks. Being a top-down effort, there needed to be mechanisms through which to transmit these concepts to the general population. This work assesses the level to which authors of indigenous Turkish detective fiction written between 1928 and 1945 attempted to aid in this process of transmission. Five series of this period are carefully analysed; the clear conclusion is that there was authorial intent to spread ideas of “Turkism” in each and every series.

David Mason taught in Islamic Studies and Humanities departments for more than eight years at McGill University, Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, and the American University of Sharjah. His areas of research and teaching interest included the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, nationalism, Islamism, and detective fiction. Prior to his academic career, he traveled extensively and lived and taught in Istanbul for six years.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Part I: 1928 to 1938
2.  Pire Necmi and the Mystery of the Self-hating Turk    
3. Homeland Security: Cem’s Detective Hero Cemal Doğan Instructs Turks How to Protect Turkish Sovereignty

Part II: 1939 to 1950    
4. Turkish and non-Turkish character traits developed in Murat Akdoğan’s detective fiction series, 1941 to 1944
5. Samancıgil’s Turkish Detective Hero Hızır Kaplan and the Introduction of Rationalism and Skepticism to Turkish Youth
6. Ziya Çalıkoğlu’s Feminist Detective Hero Vefa Polad        

7. Conclusion