The Formation of the Bosniak nation

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2014
Görmez, Ayça Berna
This study examines the process of the formation of Bosniak nation with references to the approaches to nationalism. In this study four approaches to nationalism, modernists, primordialists, perennialists and ethnosymbolists, are analyzed first and ethnosymbolist approach is taken as the basis of the study in evaluating the formation of the Bosniak nation due to the fact that ethnosymbolists put emphasis on formation of nation rather than nation-state and they argue that subjective elements such as myth of common ancestry, shared culture and values have great importance in constituting nation. It is argued that there are three turning points in the history of Bosnian Muslims that led to the formation of the Bosniak nation. These are Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia in 1878, the recognition of Bosnian Muslims as a separate nationality in 1968 and Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995. In this study, these turning points and their relevance for the formation of nation is analyzed.