Western and Eastern civilizations

  • «Национальный лидер» («отец народа») в европейском и азиатском восприятии (на примере вождей национального движения крымских татар)

    “National leader” (“father of the nation”) in the European and Asian perception (on the example of the leaders of the national movement of the Crimean Tatars)

    The stereotypical an “European” and an “Asian” leader, formed in the mass consciousness, does not correspond with contemporary reality. Under the phenomenon of cultural globalization, there is a merging or at times a complete integration of ideal models, including the political leader, chief, head of the state and a “Father of the Nation”. These ideal models exist both in theory and in historical practices of the European and Asian peoples and lands. Nonetheless, some distinctions are manifested between the East, referred to as the Muslim Orient, and the West, known as the Christian, strongly secularized Europe. The meaning of the notion a national leader or a national hero in Europe has a stronger ethnic component. In the West, the leader is most often recognized as an “our own” by an ethnic group. Meanwhile, in the East the leader is conceived as a head and member of a superethnic, inter-state community. In the East, a spiritual person can qualify for the role of the leader. This is unlikely to occur in the European system, where the Church and State are separated and there is a non-intervention of the clergy into politics for a long time. The Crimea has an exceptional location on the borderline of the Eastern and Western civilizations. The examples of three prominent Crimean Tatar leaders of different historical time periods demonstrate how their methods, goals and ideals change and the reasons behind their mass popularity. The three leaders are: Ismail Gasprinsky, educator of a liberal views and Panturkizm’s ideologue; Numan Chelebi Djikhan, the Tavria’s Mufty, who chose the path of revolutionary rebellion against tsarism and bolshevism; Mustafa Djemilev, an “Soviet dissident”, who became a head of Crimean Tatar people’s Kurultai and Medjlis in 1991.

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