Nationalists In Altinova

1196 Words5 Pages
In this paper, I discuss the nationalist riots which sparked by a Kurd in Altinova. I study how three of the major nationalism theorists, Eric Hobsbawn, Ernest Renan, and Benedict Anderson, would approach these incidents by their own ideas in their articles: “Invention of Tradition”, “What is a Nation?”, and “Imagined Communities”, respectively. I gather the information about the event from Radikal, the daily Turkish newspaper. According to Hobsbawn nation and nationalism are directly linked with “social engineering” and relevant to “historical innovations” (Hobsbawn, 13). He claims the nation as a “invented tradition” which means: “[...]a set of practices, normally governed by overtly or tacitly accepted rules and of a ritual or symbolic nature, which seek to inculcate certain values and norms of behaviour by repetition, which automatically implies continuity with the past.” (Hobsbawn, 1983: 1). Although the historical continuity does not really exist, the idea of that makes people faithful, passionate for their country, and at the same time more intolerant for other nations. In my case, a group of Kurdish people warned a Turk to turn the volume of the radio down. Even if it looks like a simple discussion in our daily life, they started to argue, and other Turkish people came to support him from “kahvehane” (which means café, but in general people who are not elite go there) because that kind of arguments sometimes occur between two “different” groups in Altinova. Then a Kurd drove a car through a crowd, and killed two people. From his point of view, many traditions were invented by national elites or they exploited them for their own purposes. (Hobsbawn, 1983: 8). People who are in “kahvehane” represent the non-elite group, who are the followers of traditions at the same time victims of them. I think, both Turkish and Kurdish people who are the part of
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