Although its emergence as an interpretive framework began with Taylor and Eisenstadt, one can argue that the debates, attitudes and the search for moderate or radical solutions for Western-style modernization, which can be perceived as “multiple modernities,” go back a long way. In the Ottoman society, which was exposed to the effects of Western-style modernization with the Tanzimat period, anti-modernization and pro-modern views were discussed extensively among both the Islamic and pro-Western intellectuals. The aim of this article is to follow the traces of the Turkish modernization debates, which are claimed to have started with the Tanzimat, while also pointing to the reflections of the multiple modernization / modernity debates in the Ottoman society. The fact that the issues that evoked “more than one type of modernity” were addressed in an unnamed manner among the Ottoman intellectuals in the 1800s can be read as an indication that the foundations of today's debates were laid in that period regardless of where the theory itself originally.
Multiple modernities, Turkish modernization, West-East opposition, Kemalist ideology, Religion.