Etyen Mahçupyan

was born to an Armenian family in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1950. He graduated from the Department of Economics at the School of Political Sciences of Ankara University with a master’s degree. He has published eight books concerning Turkish politics. He is currently a columnist at the Turkish daily Zaman, and produces TV programmes on Turkish politics. He is one of the most outspoken political commentators in the Turkish press today.


The neighbour and the state

Understanding the cultural history of neighbourly conflict in Turkey

Any discussion of conflict between Turkey and its neighbours must take into account the social organization of the Ottoman period, says political columnist Etyen Mah�upyan. The heterogeneous and hierarchical structure of religious communities governed by the paternalist-authoritarian Ottoman state enabled a smooth transition to the modern nation-state. In the authoritarian version of modernity adopted by modern Turkish governments, “national interest” has been more important than individual or sub-societal benefit. The current conflict surrounding the so-called Armenian question is a product of this cultural history.

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