Geri Anasayfa


Folklore Studies and Nationalism in Turkey

Interest in folklore began in Turkey in the second half of the nineteenth century when the need was felt to forge a national language which could be understood by the majority. The Tanzimat reforms, which were introduced in 1839, inaugurated a functional change in Ottoman literature. A new generation of writers who were in contact with the West, especially France, and admired the economic, social, and educational institutions of Europe, soon realized that literature played an important role in the development of these institutions. To create a literature using the language of "common people," which was pure Turkish and unspoiled by foreign influences, made the Tanzimat writers interested in folklore and folk literature. Many other poets, novelists, play- wrights, and the intellectuals joined the movement between 1860 and 1900. The emergence of Turkish nationalism marked a new era in the attitude of intellectuals toward folklore and it was Boratav who introduced folklore to Turkey as an independent, scientific discipline. He enlarged the scope of folklore teaching and research to include verbal and nonverbal tradition.

Folklore and nationalism, folklore and state, folk literature, folk culture, Turkish nationalism, fo