Central Asia Reader: The Rediscovery of History

By H. B. Paksoy | Go to book overview

Yusuf Akchura


Three Types of Policies

Editor's Introduction

Yusuf Akchura famous treatise "Three Policies" was first published in Cairo in the newspaper Türk (nos. 24-34). Due to Ottoman censorship under the rule of Abdülhamid II, a number of oppositionist periodicals opposing1 were printed in Cairo, then under British rule. Among these were not only Türk, but also alNahdah, published by Ismail Bey Gaspirali ( 1854- 1914),2 who was related to Akchura by marriage. In 1912 "Three Policies" was reprinted in pamphlet form in Istanbul. It was reissued in 1976 with an introduction by the late E.Z. Karal and two of the original responses to the work, by Ali Kemal and Ahmet Ferit (Tek). The issues discussed in "Three Policies" have engaged wide attention over the decades and hold no less interest today. A brief biography of Akchura is provided by David Thomas.3

* * *

Yusuf Akchura was born in 1876 in Simbirsk ( Ulyanovsk) on the right bank of the middle Volga. His father died when he was two; five years later he and his mother emigrated to Istanbul. Akchura received his early education in the schools of the Ottoman empire and in 1895 he entered the Harbiye Harbiye ( War College) in Istanbul. Upon graduation he was assigned to the General Staff Course (Erkan-i Harbiye), one of the most prestigious posts for young and ambitious cadets and an essential step up the ladder of the Ottoman military hierarchy. Before he completed his training, however, he was accused of belong-

"Üch Tarz-i Siyaset" ( Three Types of Policies), first published in Türk ( Cairo), nos. 24-34, 1904; reprinted in 1912 and 1976. This translation by David S. Thomas was published in AACAR Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 1. (spring 1992).

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