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Essay

The ‘double consciousness’ of Turkish modernity

On the 4th of November 1872, a newspaper in Istanbul featured a rather poetic editorial claiming that “if all the improvements in the world were photographed in a picture, the whole civilised world could only show as much as London”. Signifying somewhat of an internalised orientalism, literary depictions of the ‘civilised’ West were common in late-19th century Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, there is more to this than meets the eye.