When a Turkish minister of culture declares that "the Turkish military is synonymous with Turkish national identity," the embedded assumptions cry out for investigation. Altinay examines how the myth that the military is central to Turkey's national identity was created, perpetuated, and acts to shape politics. This historical and anthropological investigation probes the genesis of the myth that the Turkish nation is a military nation, traces how the ideology of militarism has been actualized through education and conscription, and reveals the implications for ethnic and gender relations. Altinay sheds light both on the process of how national identities are constructed and on the deep roots of the challenges facing Turkey as it potentially moves from being a plural to a pluralistic society.

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