What is Anadoluculuk? How Important is Anatolia (Anadolu) for Turkish Nationalists?

Oct 2012
3,315
Des Moines, Iowa
#1
Broadly speaking, all nationalisms or patriotisms are focused on one or both of the following two things:

1. A particular people, such as the Persian people, English people, Russian people, Japanese people, etc.

2. A particular territory, such as Persia, England, Russia, Japan, etc.


My impression, based on reading about Turkish nationalism online, is that Turkish nationalists heavily emphasize the first point above, but not so much the second point. Many Turks believe that their history begins in Central Asia with groups like the Huns and Gokturks, not in Anatolia. Turkish nationalism seems to be very heavily focused on people, ethnicity, and language, but not so much on sacred places and geography.

I have read about an ideology called "Anatolianism" (Anadoluculuk) online, which claims that Anatolia as a region rather than the "Turkic race" should be the basis of Turkish nationalism. However, I do not see what special relationship exists between Turks and Anatolia; if I am wrong, I would like the Turkish posters on here to explain. Many Arab nationalists, for example, have deep regard for the Arabian Peninsula (al-Jazeera) not only because it is a place where Arabs originated and still live today, but because their sacred cities of Mecca and Medina are located there. Are there any places in Anatolia that hold great spiritual significance for Turks, similar to how Mecca and Medina hold great spiritual significance to Arabs? What importance does Anatolia as a region, by itself, hold for Turks? If all Turks had to move from Anatolia to some other land, as Turkish nomads have moved in the past across vast spaces, would you feel that something essential to Turkish nationalism would be lost?
 
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Mar 2016
763
Antalya
#2
Here is my two-cent:

Nationalism can not be defined on a geographical level, because geography doesn't tell much about the language and culture and the common history. I will skip this whole "race" thing, as it is not a scientifically sound term.

I am not sure about the "Anadoluculuk" you read, but I think we had Efendi here embraced a similar ideology. I mention him because it was the first time for me hearing such thing exists. In his view, Turks are natives of Anatolia in every way (culture, gastronomy, clothes etc.) but the language and when we are to define our past, we should embrace Anatolian civilizations and not Central Asia where "Turks" came from. In my honest view, this is as impractical as Turks reviving Tengrism.

Turks do not have sacred places, as far as Turkish nationalism goes. We have sacred concepts tho, like country and state. So in this sense, Anatolia is home to Turks and has utter most importance, but not because it's where our alleged "genetic fathers" lived, but because it's the region ruled by the Turkish state and is our home. I am saying alleged, not because I am in some sort of denial but because the studies may not be conclusive and/or comprehensive. For example, we say, "vatan namustur", meaning (well, hard to translate), the country is our honor.

What you have to understand is that Turks migrated, and while migrating, they themselves and the natives ruled by them were assimilated, genetically and culturally. So comparing Turks to other nations may not work.

As for your last question, I'd definitely say yes. Anatolian Turks have lived in Anatolia for almost a thousand year now. Anatolia is as home to Turks as it can get and it's the core of national identity, but again, not because of our genetic background but because of the concepts that Turkish culture deems the most sacred.

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I almost forgot... we had our independence war in Anatolia, so that's a boosting factor for the "sacredness" of Anatolia.
 
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