Ethnic and religious nationalism in Turkey: the cases of Atsiz and Arvasi

YILDIZ T., Kizir D. G.

TURKISH STUDIES, vol.24, no.1, pp.75-98, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683849.2022.2063048
  • Journal Name: TURKISH STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-98
  • Keywords: Turkish nationalism, ethnic nationalism, religious nationalism, Atsiz, Arvasi, TURKISH NATIONALISM, AHMET ARVASI, ISLAM, KEMALISM, CONSTRUCTION, VIOLENCE, LOGIC, SEX
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


This article compares the ideas of Huseyin Nihal Atsiz and Seyyid Ahmet Arvasi, two iconic ideologues of ethnic and religious nationalism in Turkey, respectively, on the issues of history, identity, and national ideal. It first argues that Atsiz mainly presents a history of Turkish supremacism whereas Arvasi embraces a method of Islamization to remember history. It also demonstrates that Atsiz tends to equate the racial and the national while Arvasi uses Islamic legitimacy for Turkish identity and nationalism. It is also evident that while Atsiz offers classical pan-nationalism, Arvasi shows third-worldist and universalistic tendencies in defining Turkish destiny.