Decline & Tajdid. Restoring the Ottoman ancient order in today’s Turkish political scene, by Alp Eren Topal
Alp Eren Topal is a PhD candidate at Bilkent University (Ankara) and a visiting researcher at University of Basel, Department of Middle Eastern Studies. He is currently working on transformation of Ottoman political concepts from late 18th century to late 19th century. He is particularly interested in temporal concepts such as order, decline, restoration and progress and their political uses by Ottoman bureaucrats. Ottoman conceptions of the past, intellectual roots of modern historical narratives, influence of Ibn Khaldun’s historical work on Ottoman political literature and uses of religious discourse in politics are part of his research agenda.
In this interview, Alp Eren Topal expresses some of the ideas developed by Turkish sociologist Şerif Mardin (“Turkish Islamic Exceptionalism Yesterday and Today: Continuity, Rupture and Reconstruction in Operational Codes” Turkish Studies 6:2, 2005 : 145-165).