Alternative Modernities: Constitutionalism in the Ottoman Empire and Iran
With few notable exceptions, most historians of the Constitutional era in Iran and Turkey have placed great emphasis on the impact of western thought, particularly the Enlightenment and the ideals of the French revolution on the Iranian and Ottoman constitutional movements. Alternatively, others have emphasized the impact of modernist Islamic and Shii thought, particularly in Iran (Afghani and Abduh). Few scholars have shed much light on the debates on an alternative modernity, the mutual influences of western and eastern/Islamic thoughts and the reception of these ideas among a growing intellectual community in Istanbul, Tabriz, Cairo, etc. This article will focus on the formative years and the intellectual evolution of some key Ottoman and Iranian intellectual figures like Namik Kemal, Taqizade and Mirza Yusuf Mostashar al-Dawlah Tabrizi (1822-1895) based on their writings, memoirs, and newspapers printed in Istanbul and Iran.
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