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Abstract


TURKEY AND ATATÜRK FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE FRENCH PRESS AND JOURNALISTS: TESTIMONIES AND IMPRESSIONS
Turkey established its first official relation with the West with France during the Ottoman Empire in the 16th Century. The developing military, political, and trade relations in particular have had linguistic, cultural and philosophical effects as a result of the natural continuation of the mutual interaction over 400 years to the present day. Up until the 19th Century, the West had held negative and prejudiced views of Turkey. However, with the “exoticism” movement of this century, French writers, travellers and intellectuals in particular reversed these symbols and thoughts by reflecting in their works their own observations and impressions when they actually visited the country. During the period of the modernisation of the Ottoman Empire, a time in which it was considered as “the Sick Man”, writers such as Lamartine, Gautier, Nerval and Loti travelled and lived there, and each of them willingly reflected an image and a love of the country in their works. In fact, some of them were regarded as “Turcophiles” by the Turks. The aim of the current study is to examine the perspectives and testimonies of French writers and journalists regarding “Modern Turkey”, written with great sensitivity about the political and social reforms made by Atatürk, the founder of the country, from the Struggle for Independence of 1919, through the establishment of the Republic in 1923, and up to Atatürk’s death in 1938.

Keywords
Symbol of the Turk, Atatürk, Modern Turkey, French press


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