The 'Tulip Age', a concept that described the beginning of the Ottoman Empire's westward inclination in the eighteenth century, was an idea proposed by Ottoman historian Ahmed Refik in 1912. In the first reassessment of the origins of this concept, Can Erimtan argues the 'Tulip Age' was an important template for various political and ideological concerns of early twentieth century Turkish governments. The concept is most reflective of the 1930s Republican leadership's attempt to disengage Turkey's population from its Islamic culture and past, stressing the virtues of progress, modernity and secularism. It was only the death of Ataturk in 1938 that precipitated a hesitant revival of Islam in Turkey's public life and a state-sponsored re-invigoration of research into Turkey's Ottoman past. In this exciting reassessment Erimtan shows us that the trope of the 'Tulip Age' corresponds more to Turkish society's desire to re-orientate itself to the Occident throughout the twentieth century rather than to early eighteenth-century Ottoman realities.
Can Erimtan received his DPhil in Modern History from Oxford University in 2003. He has subsequently worked as a Research Fellow at the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara and has been Senior Fellow at the Institute of Anatolian Civilizations, Istanbul.
Introduction; The Idea of a 'Tulip Age': A Paradigm and Its Meaning; Part I. The Ottoman Perception of Damad Ibrahim Pasa, 1910-20; Chapter 1; The Preamble to the 'Tulip Age': The Perception of Ahmed III and Damad Ibrahim, 1910-12; Chapter 2; The Construction of the 'Tulip Age': Ahmed Refik and his Lale Devri, 1913-15; Chapter 3; Calibrating the Idea of a 'Tulip Age': Ahmed Refik's Publications in the Period 1915-19; Part II. The Kemalist Perception of Damad Ibrahim Pasa, 1923-1947; Chapter 1; The Establishment of the Turkish Republic and the Quest for a New Historiography, 1923-29; Chapter 2; The Subterranean Survival of the 'Tulip Age', 1930-38; Chapter 3; The 'Tulip Age' as a Prelude to the Tanzimat: The Re-Appreciation of the Ottomans and Islam, 1940-47; Epilogue; The Politics of History, 1910-50; Bibliography.