Is Turkey Thrilled About the Ottoman Empire, Or Is It Ancient History?
The Ottoman period, particularly during the 16th and 17th centuries, was marked by geopolitical dominance and cultural prowess, during which the sultans claimed the spiritual leadership of the Muslim world, before the empire’s slow decline culminated in World War I. For years the period was underplayed in the history taught to schoolchildren, as the new Turkish Republic created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923 sought to break with a decadent past.
Now, as Turkey is emerging as a leader in the Middle East, buoyed by strong economic growth, a new fascination with history is being reflected in everything from foreign policy to facial hair …
Not everyone in Turkey is thrilled with this new nostalgia for the Ottoman Empire period, embodied in “the lavish, feel-good Turkish epic Conquest 1453,” but … well, it’s history. And it’s just a movie. One might point out that America has long had a certain nostalgia for cowboys and a mythic Old West, as well.
Here’s the official trailer for the film.