The Idiom

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Friday, January 07, 2005

The History of the Fez

As all members of the Loyal Order of the Fez know, the Fez is one styling piece of headgear. But do you know the true story of the Fez?

The Fez itself was first introduced as an instrument of modernization in Ottoman Turkey by Sultan Mahmoud II to replace the distinctly non-European turban. On August 30, 1925, the revered Fez fell to the same fate as the turban when it was banned by Kamal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish Republic, in favor of the brimmed Euro-style hat.

Read the History of the Fez Part I and Part II. It's all there: the pro-Fez riots, the 19 Fez-related executions, the years of forced labor for Fez-wearers, the underground Fez markets, the 15-year sentences for "anti-hat" propagandists. Ataturk wasn't kidding around.

For all you nation builders out there, remember the instruments of modernity leave little room for sentimentality.


At Friday, January 7, 2005 at 10:40:00 AM EST, Blogger Kid Various said...

How you can tell if your society is primitive.

If mobs of people engage in rioting over the wearing of the fez or whether or not God is unitary or a trinity...



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