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How secular was the early Turkish Republic?: Ottoman-era Sufi Lodges as National Museums and Heritage

Seminar
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Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm

How secular was the early Turkish Republic?: Ottoman-era Sufi Lodges as National Museums and Heritage

This paper explores the transformation of Ottoman-era Sufi properties into national museums and the confiscation of Sufi objects, art, and books during the early Turkish Republic. It examines state archival materials that reveal the wide-ranging yet, at times, haphazard seizure of sacred objects and other property that was then transferred to museums libraries and depos around the country. The crucial dynamic here concerns the tension in state efforts to simultaneously disenfranchise the lodges while also preserving their material legacy and exhibiting it as national culture. It details the transformation of important Sufi lodges into museums and explores how this process resulted in the creation of ambiguous cultural sites, that were at once national museums but also sacred places where the continuation of Sufi traditions was possible. Crucially, it queries what these projects of museumization tell us about the nature of secularism and cultural ambiguity in the early Turkish Republic.

You can attend the seminar either in person or via Zoom. 

Due to COVID regulations on campus, external guests need to register for events. If you are an external guest, please send an email to guclu-menzee@ceu.edu by March 6 at the latest. We will request a visitor card for you, which you can pick up from the reception desk when you arrive for the event on Tuesday, March 7.

If you plan to attend online, the zoom link:

https://ceu-edu.zoom.us/j/93068020813?pwd=NEJxOHZrTEpqQ2xSV1RuMkxtb3pwU…

Meeting ID: 930 6802 0813
Passcode: 699626

Time: Mar 7, 2023 05:30 PM Budapest