The Eternal Lives of the Dead: A Comparative Study of the Images of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Turkey) and King

Chulalongkorn (Siam)

Thanavi Chotpradit S0600105

Supervisor Prof. Dr. C.J.M. Zijlmans Department of Art History Universiteit Leiden

Thesis Research Master: Western and Asian Art Histories in Comparative Perspective Specialization: History and Theory of Modern and Contemporary Art

January 2009

Table of Contents


Chapter 1

Making the Absence Presence: The Change of the Pictorial Tradition in Turkey and Siam


Prohibiting Realistic Living Images: The Pictorial Tradition in the Ottoman Empire and Siam

- The Beginning of Realistic Representation in the Republic of Turkey and Siam - Turkey Siam

- Conclusion

Chapter 2

Political Aspects of the Adoption of the Realistic Art Discourse and Nationalism in the Figures of the National Fathers: Images of Atatürk And King Chulalongkorn in the Early Modern Period


Defining Turkey: Atatürk‘s Statues and Monuments in the Early Republican Period - Atatürk as the Father of the New Nation: The Victory Monument (Ankara) - Atatürk as the Guide of the Turks: Monument to a Secure, Confident Future (Ankara)


The Siamese and their King: Nationalism in the Equestrian Statute of King Chulalongkorn



Chapter 3 -

The Return of the Monarchy: Images and King Chulalongkorn Cult

The Return of the Monarchy King Chulalongkorn Cult and the Neo-Royalism The Two Great Kings: King Chulalongkorn‘s image and the Empowering of King Bhumibol Worshipping King Chulalongkorn‘s images: Irony, or a Form of local Modernity?


Chapter 4

The Revival of the Dead: Images of Atatürk in Turkey‘s Contemporary Politics


Atatürk of the Atatürkists Atatürk of the Islamists The Superstition and the Images of Atatürk



Source of Illustration

Introduction ‗In the cult of the remembrance of dead or absent loved ones, the cult value of the image finds its last refuge.‘

Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Its technological Reproducibility: Third Version (2003, p. 258)

An image is a prolongation of the presence of the people who have passed away. When images are set among us, the dead are kept among the living and the inert become lively—to such an extent that we may even be afraid of it. They serve as an artificial body of those who no longer have the real bodies, then, make an absence visible and engages in the ritual of remembrance. In 2007, I first visited Turkey and was so fascinated by the images of the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. I saw his images in various forms ranging from the state‘s campaign and statues in the public sphere to the pictures in the private houses. That phenomenon reminded me very much of my native country Thailand, a place where one would find the images of one of the kings, Chulalongkorn, in a very similar manner. There is another image cult—that is the cult of King Bhumibol—which is now so much stronger than that of King Chulalongkorn. However, I chose the King Chulalongkorn cult as a subject of this comparative study on the present day cult image for two reasons. Firstly, as King Chulalongkorn is no longer living, he is comparable to Atatürk; their cults suggest superstition beliefs, a matter of the ―primitive,‖ pre-scientific-westernized consciousness. Secondly, as the adoption of the modernist discourses in Thailand took place in the reign of Chulalongkorn as well as in that of Atatürk, it is the best starting point to explore how the modernist discourse in the Non-West appears to be discursive. The cult of King Chulalongkorn is the phenomenon that proves the existence of the tradition in the modern(ized) society. From this, the question arises; why are particular deceased political, i.e. national leaders are re-incarnated, by whom, at what time, for what purposes, and in what forms do they (re)appear? One of the most powerful symbols is the image of a political leader, especially the ones passed away, as they have served many times and places world wide as symbols of political orders and/or regimes. Images function as a symbol, as reified, and as an embodiment of a political ideology of the person who became an image. Moreover, by taking a form of portraiture, it is a political ideology that is, finally, personified. This is the reason why we think of communist ideology when seeing Marx‘s or Lenin‘s face. Symbols have always been used by, and for, or against, the authority; while people in North Korea were

made to venerate the picture of Kim Jong-Il (he is still alive, however), Saddam Hussein‘s statue in Baghdad was torn down after the fall of his regime in 2003. Idolatry and iconoclasm are two sides of the same coin. No matter how we treat the images, we are all aware that they have a seductive power. What do the politics concerning the dead which turned into political symbols signify? How do the politicized and symbolized images of the dead function in politics? The first question concerns the political actions of the deceased leader, when he was alive; what happened in the past that made him become a political symbol? The second question concerns the contemporary political situation; what happens in the present that evokes the reincarnation and the use of that deceased, as a form of a symbol of the political ideology? These are the main questions of this thesis that I will answer through an examination of the visual representation of particular deceased leaders from Thailand and Turkey. This thesis will be a study of the use of the images of King Chulalongkorn (also known as King Rama V, r. 1853 – 1910) of Siam (became the Kingdom of Thailand in 1939) and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938, Turkey) both of whom became a cult, and were worshipped by their people. Through the presence of their images, King Chulalongkorn and Atatürk are (re)produced, manipulated, circulated, and consumed within society. Now that I started posting the socio-political questions in the image production and distribution, I am, more or less, doing something beyond the territory of art history. To study the role and the function of the image in the political sphere and the response of the public to such images in both the history and the present day, requires a wider area of study than that of the particular genre and framework of art history. I will employ some perspectives from other disciplines especially that of anthropology, history, and political science. Images in the nonartistic media will be included in this research as they also serve as a symbolical communication. The thesis will take both artworks and images from everyday life. The area of study thus goes beyond the realm of ―high art‖ into everyday objects. There will be a wide range of forms of image: portraiture, photography, sculpture, monument, and various forms of commodity. The two cases share a similarity as being cults created after their death, yet studying their cults cannot avoid referring to the past when they were alive. Who were these rulers, what did they do in the history of crisis in their countries? By going into the historical, social and political situations of that time, we will understand the importance of these leaders in their own contexts. The role of an anecdote, biography and, perhaps myth (in other words, imaginative narrative) of the person who becomes an icon, is relevant for the empowerment of the image of that person. The information from the past serves as a starting point of the manipulation, the reasons why the chosen dead were revived at a chosen moment.

It is necessary to see them along the line of history, yet it does not mean that their present identities and meanings are the same as in the past. When focusing on the contemporary, it is important, too, to look at the past, because, in this way, one will be able to see the changes of the meaning and the function of images. While there seems to be a ―continuity‖ from the past to the present, when the cult was initiated and sustained, the symbolic values and meanings of these deceased are indeed disrupted by different groups of power that reproduced and manipulated them. What emotions could their images arouse? Love? Fear? Loyalty? Gratitude? This is a question of the relationship between the image and the mass beholder. To put it another way, it is to study the public perception and response (an emotional feeling and behavior like fear, empathy, etc), or what Nathaniel Hawthorne termed as ―the opinion of the crowd.‖ 1 What are the ―beliefs‖ that motivate the beholder to specific actions and behaviors concerning a particular image? What arouses, what I would call, ―national empathy‖? On the other hand, this view of response indicates the efficacy and the effectiveness of images too. It is not only the beholder‘s feeling and behavior, but also the efficacy, effectiveness, and vitality of images themselves. I do agree with David Freedburg, an American art historian who wrote ‗The Power of Images. Studies in the History and Theory of Response‘ that the study of the response towards images has to be done by considering together the phenomenon around it in order to get to know its use and its function. The study on response will associate with the consideration on the beliefs that motivate the beholder to a specific response.2 However, the dead cannot speak, but they are capable of being interpreted in many ways. Katherine Verdery points out that the body‘s symbolic effectiveness does not depend on its standing for one particular thing, but on its ambiguity, multivocality, or polysemy.3 Their images do not have a single meaning; the meaning can be evaluated from many angles. They are constructed. This thesis aims to investigate the connection between the particular figures manipulated and the wider national context of the manipulation of these rulers. To see it this way, the images will always be capable to appear in multiple forms serving multiple purposes. Images of the dead as political symbols are changeable and unstable. The fusion of the image and the real person indicates that imagination merges with reality. At this point, it comes close to Baudrillard‘s conception of simulacrum: a sign that is capable to have a life of

Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1882, The Prophetic Pictures, cited in David Freedberg, The Power of Images.

Studies in the History and Theory of Response, 1989, Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press 1989, p. 42.
2 3

Freedberg. ibid, p. xxii. Katherine Verdery, The Political Lives of Dead Bodies. Reburial and Postsocialist Change, 1999, New

York: Columbia University Press, p. 28.

its own. According to Baudrillard, the last phase of a sign is the sign that, in his words, ―has no relation to any reality whatsoever: it is its own pure simulacrum,4‖ the sign that has no references, but which is the reality, the truth in itself. A representation turns to be a presentation. The image as political symbol plays a significant role in unifying the nation. A strong nationalistic sentiment, to the point as Benedict Anderson stated as the feeling that the nation is ―to die for,5‖ is evoked by national symbols; the symbol created by integrating the idea of kinship and the personification of the nation—the national leader—father of the nation; the ideology of the Thai king and Atatürk (Atam = my ancestor, Türk = the Turks). These great leaders are both a kinship metaphor (fatherland) and a personification of the nation; the embodiment of the nation (they are the nation). National ideology thus celebrates its founder, i.e. leader (in various modes of authority: the king, the founder of the republic, the great politician, etc.) as both hero and progenitor― that is, as an ancestor. 6 By doing that, it legitimates and empowers both the persons themselves and the person/institution/ideology that manipulates them: the Neo-Royalist (Thailand) and the secularist (Turkey). This thesis concerns my other interest in the formation of modernity in the non-EuroAmerican culture too. Both King Chulalongkorn and Atatürk are the ―modernizers‖ of their country. While sharing a desire to make their nations as ―civilized‖ as the European, the two great leaders are very different in terms of political standpoint as well as the cultures they were living in. Atatürk demolished the power of the Ottoman dynasty and established the republic; King Chulalongkorn, on the contrary, centralized Siam politics into the hand of the Chakri dynasty, which thus made Siamese monarchy rise to absolute power. While Siam is a Hindu-Buddhist based culture, Turkey has a strong root in Islamic culture since the Ottoman time, yet they both share a particular similarity regarding the differences in their art discourses: the convention of not producing images of worshipped persons.

Structure of the thesis The first chapter is an exploration of how modernity, a product of western discourse, was localized to serve the desire, demands and conditions of the indigenous people. What could be an explanation for the Siamese and the Turks for adopting the making of realistic images? Whose interests did these adoptions serve, and what were these interests? How did

Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation (trans. by Sheila Faria Glaser), 1994, Ann Arber: The

University of Michigan Press, p. 6.

See Benedict Anderson, Chapter 8 Patriotism and Racism, p.141-154, in Imagined Communities.

Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised Edition), 1991, London. New York: Verso, 1991.

See Verdery, p. 41.

western modernist discourse enter certain periods and societies, and in which sense it was possible to become accepted? And, lastly, how does the result of such adoption appear? I would like to approach these questions from the viewpoint of political history, of which I mean the era of an establishment of the nation-states. I will examine how the two leaders, in relation to the condition of modernizing the country through many political, social and cultural reforms and the founding of the nation state, made a huge political transformation: from the Islam hegemony of the Ottoman Sultan to Secularism (Turkey) and from the Patrician government (in practice)7 to an Absolute Monarchy (Siam). Interestingly, the discourse on realism is part of the establishment of modernity of Siam and Turkey. Its presence marks a paradigm shift in the way the people perceive the relation between the image, the sacred and the reality. Chapter 2 is a study of the image as a strategy in the establishment of new nationstate‘s modernization. The modernist discourse established in Siam and Turkey, I will examine, is both what made these leaders the modernizers, and, what made the paradigm shift in visual representation: the conception of realism (figurative representation) and portraiture. Moreover, it played a significant role in the modernization process, in the modern nation state constitution and in the legitimation and the empowerment of the leaders/modernizers. I will analyze all these political aspects and the significance of the monuments erected in Turkey and Siam as the embodiment of the two great leaders themselves, and the national ideologies they wished for their countries. I mentioned earlier that the latter generation invented the King Chulalongkorn cult and the Atatürk cult. Starting in the late 1980s and 1990s, the deceased leaders became a tool of a battle in the political sphere. The third and the forth chapter will focus on the formation of King Chulalongkorn cult and of Atatürk cult respectively, together with the forms and the uses of their images. I believe that the study of the use and the circulation of the cult figure‘s image, especially that of a dead figure, is best understood as part of a social and historical process, and as being created and transformed as a result of interactions and encounters between groups in that society. So I will take into account the national situations and thereby the occasions that legitimated the conditions for the creation of the cults. In this chapter, their images serve as a symbol of the political ideologies acting in the political competition: NeoRoyalism vs. Democracy (Thailand) and Secularism vs. Islamism (Turkey). Moreover, these ―official‖ meanings of the symbols were ramified into deviant versions of meanings that


Since Chulalongkorn ascended the throne when he was only fifteen years old, the real power was with the

regent Chuang Bunnag or Suriyawong (Somdet Chaophraya Borommaha Si Suriyawong). The members of Bunnag family had been very powerful in Siamese court since the reign of Chulalongkorn‘s father, King Mongkut (King Rama IV, 1851-1868).

nevertheless link to the official ones: King Chulalongkorn as the patron saint of the middleclass-business people and Atatürk as the protector of Islamic values of the late 1990s Islamists. The image is not a representation of the person, but it is perceived as that person. One should not insult or do anything against Atatürk or his image. It is illegal. In this light, the Turkey situation is the same as in Thailand where the lèse majesté law still prosecutes.8 Atatürk has now become a cult; the head and the icon of the secular state is paradoxically god-like. Meanwhile, the status as the avatar of Hindu Gods of Thai kings makes the king sacred and unreachable. In these chapters, I will focus on the sacred dimension and the divine status of the images. Image worshipping itself also contradicts to the concept of rationalization and science that came with modernist discourse. The cults and the use of images around the cults suggest how modernities outside the West are discursive. It is always localized and hybridized with the old (= not/pre-modern) beliefs and customs concerning the visual representation. This chapter concerns the sacralization of the images and the responses from the people as results of the hybridization of modernity with the pre-existing cultures. By comparing the two different cultures under some presumed similarities, I do not intend to make a universal claim that modernity in non-Western cultures simply appears the same way and that it only differs from that in the West. On the contrary, this thesis attempts to emphasize that every culture has its own way of assimilating the new-coming discourses. The difference lies in the forms and meanings that are in details culturally controlled and coded. This thesis is based on the question of the following research methodology: how to study the dynamics of the genealogy of abstract: national and political ideologies of Thailand and Turkey in a concrete form. How can we study the cult figures and the socio-political phenomenon around them through their visual representations? In what forms do the local, multiple modernities would appear? A study of the use of images of deceased political figures is a study of a construction and thereby instability of the meaning, in this case, of the dead political figures as an embodiment of political ideologies. I hope that a study of the use of the images in relation to the cult will first give an alternative perspective in studying politics in contemporary society by employing art historical methods, and second, it will help exploring the subject of the establishment of modernity and modernism in non-Euro-American nationstates as a selective-indigenizing process. The reception of Western modernism is an ongoing


Lèse majesté law is the law to protect a crime of violating majesty, an offense against the dignity of a

reigning sovereign or against a state. Although it officially applies only for the present king and the members of the royal family, offending the previous kings is considered ―in-appropriated,‖ and thereby can cause controversy.

process of assimilation rather than of imitation. The presence of the image cult as such will prove that modernism and traditionalism, however intrinsically opposed they seem to be, nevertheless remains an inseparable pair of concepts when discussing the existence of modernity in the non-West.

Chapter 1 Making the Absence Presence: The Change of the Pictorial Tradition in Turkey and Siam In his ‗Towards an anthropology of image,‘ Hans Belting defines ―image‖ as the presence of an absence; an image makes an absence visible by transforming it into a new kind of presence.9 Belting, in this work, focused on the funeral image, the picture of the deceased. I, nevertheless, do believe that this notion of image can be applied to examine the emergence of portraiture in the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Siam where portraiture, the picture of the living noble was previously inexistent. In this sense, through the non-existence of the portrait, these nobles were figuratively absent, and thus, having an ambiguous identity in the public consciousness. Nobody really knew how they exactly looked like. Portraiture did not exist in both the Ottoman Empire and Siam before the contact with the West. Why and how did portraiture, the realistic representation of a person, enter certain periods and societies, and in which sense it was possible to become accepted? First, we have to bear in mind that when ―non-western‖ cultures adopt western modernist discourse, it is an ongoing process of assimilation, not of imitation.10 From this approach, I will explain the emergence of portraiture in these two cultures within their own historical circumstances. I believe that the desire and necessity for adopting western portraiture tradition and practice by the rulers of these two countries is not simply a superficial, fashionable act of being ―western or modern‖ (though it is also true that it was a ―fashion‖ among the elite in the case of Siam), but rather an act that persuaded by its political and historical condition. To put it another way, the emergence of portraiture in Turkey in the early republican period and in Siam is highly political; it took place within the politics-related historical circumstances. In this chapter, I will examine the role of portraiture in the constitution of western modernist discourses, and in the nation-building during the era of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the reign of King Chulalongkorn. As the modernizers and the heads of the states, the two great leaders employed portraiture as one of the means to centralize the authority into their hands. Being a part of the modernization process, portraiture put an end to the old, (superstitious, too, in the case of Siam) beliefs of not producing realistic representation which is a legacy of the old regimes—the Ottoman Empire and Siam before westernization.11

Hans Belting, “Towards an anthropology of image” in Mariët Westermann (ed.) Anthropologies of Art,

2005, Massachusetts: Studley Press, p. 45.

In this thesis, I mainly apply the concept of cultural transfer from John Cark. For more detail, see Chapter

3 The Transfer in John Clark, Modern Asian Art, 1998, Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, p. 49 - 65.

Modernization does exist in the Ottoman Empire too, but in this, I will focus at the Kemalist / Atatürkist

modernization. In the case of Siam, Modernization began in the late of the reign of King Mongkut (King Rama IV, r. 1851 – 1868) but was fully operated in the reign of his successor, King Chulalongkorn.

Through many political, social and cultural reforms and the foundations of the nation states, portraiture played a significant role in the political transformation that shifted the Republic of Turkey from being under the Islam hegemony of the Ottoman Sultan to secularism. It also visualized Kemalist ideology, in the figure of Atatürk, and placed it in the public space, that is also the national space. In a different manner, portraiture in Siam was part of a political strategy that helped the country from being colonized to being a buffer state between the French and the British colonies. It made the image of King Chulalongkorn the modernized Asian King, and proved he was an active player among others European heads of the states. Furthermore, the King‘s portraits functioned in the internal politics as a symbol of the Absolute Monarchy, and they fired up nationalistic sentiments among the Siamese.

Prohibiting Realistic Living Images: The Pictorial Tradition in the Ottoman Empire and Siam First I will lay the ground for the pictorial traditions of the two cultures to examine how Western art discourse penetrated through and assimilated with the traditional ones. In the case of the Ottoman Empire, while people, in general, have a fixed attitude towards the relation between Islam and the representation as the opposition, the presence of Ottoman Sultan portraits proves such attitude wrong. According to Oleg Graber, a scholar on Islamic art, the Koran contains no prohibition of a representation. Graber mentions in „The Formation of Islamic Art‟ the two passages from the Koran which were later interpreted and became the principle that oppose to an image-making. In 5.92: ―O Believers, wine and arrow shuffling, idols and divining arrows are and abomination, some of Satan‘s works; so avoid it; happy so you will prosper.‖ And, in 6.74 Abraham chides his father Azar for taking idols as divinities: ―I see thee and thy people in manifest error.‖ The words for idols in these two passages are respectively al-ansab and alasnam, both of which imply representations, statues or paintings, used for worship. Graber remarks that the Koranic meaning is initially that of opposing the adoration of physical idols, and not of rejecting art or representations as such. These two passages were interpreted and used to oppose images, yet, these passages may lead to another point; not image producing, but image worshipping— idolatry.12 As it is not an object for worship, the presence of the portraits of the Ottoman Sultans in the form of a miniature is theologically acceptable. It was indeed very often produced at the Ottoman court. Starting in the late 15th century, Sultan Mehmed II (1451-1481), the Sunni Muslim Conqueror of Constantinople (turned Istanbul to be the capital of the Ottoman Empire

Oleg Graber, The Formation of Islamic Art, 1973, New Haven [etc.]: Yale University Press, p. 83

in 1453) invited Italian painters such as Gentile Bellini, Mastori Pavli (Maestro Paolo), and Matteo de Pasti to his court. Sultan Mehmed II also acquired numerous Italian engravings from the Florentine merchant colony in Constantinople. Members of the Ottoman court of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror were amazed by the realistic portraits of their ruler made by Bellini (Fig. 1). At the same time, the local painters were also brought to the palace. This condition formulated an intercultural exchange within the painting studio of the Ottoman court. The most eminent Ottoman court painter of that period is Sinan Bey. ‗Menâkib-I Hünerverân of ‟Ălt‘, the major source which give the information about the Ottoman painters, mentions him among the painters of Sultan Mehmed II period and adds that he was a student of Mastori Pavli.13 The other portrait of the Sultan painted by Sinan Bey is in the palace collection. In this portrait Mehmed II is shown seated cross-legged. His face is shown in three-quarter profile. He smells a rose, while with the other hand holding a handkerchief (Fig. 2). In his study of the figurative images in Islamic art, Michael Barry made an interesting comparison between the portrait of Sultan Mehmed II made by Gentile Bellini and by Sinan Bey that, while the two paintings feature the Sultan in a different way, they both constituted the power of the Sultan as the Islamic ruler.14 The value of Bellini‘s work lies in the likeness presence of the Sultan, as Giorgio Vasari wrote in the 16th century, in his account of Bellini:

When {the Sultan} saw what Gentile {Bellini} was able to do with paint, he remained more wonderstruck and awed than ever before; on account of this, the Sultan for his own part could not imagine anything else except that Gentile had ―some spirit divine‖ behind him. And were it not for the fact that by law such exercises were forbidden, and that whoever worshipped statues was punished with death, the Sultan would never have given leave to Gentile to depart, but instead would have honored him greatly and kept him at work near him.15 According to Barry, the ―spirit divine‖ is what Muslim illuminators of the 15th century Ottoman court regarded as the principle at play in all figurative painting made religiously lawful for the service of an Islamic ruler. It is then very obvious that Bellini‘s painting were justified according to the same awed religious criteria as the works of the Ottoman illuminators themselves. For Bellini‘s painting, the ―spirit divine‖ is apparently

Nurhan Atasoy and Filiz Çağman, Turkish Miniature Painting (trans. by Esin Atil), Publications of the Michael Barry, Figurative Art in Medieval Islam and the Riddle of Bihzâd of Herât (1465 – 1535),

R.C.D. Cultural Institute, No. 44, 1974, Istanbul: Doğan Kardeş Matbaacılık Sanayii A.Ş. p. 19.

2004, Paris: Flammarion, p 42.

Barry, p. 41.

associated with the likeness of the Sultan. On the other hand, Sinan Bey, who did not portray the Sultan in a realistic sense, made a speculative abstraction of the Sultan as the archetype of God‘s chosen invincible earthly ruler. With his grim archer‘s ring pushed warningly around his thumb, the Sultan visually manifests upon earth, in the attitude of divine majesty (Jalâl), the abiding wrath of God (Qahr), and yet, the same sultan purposely sniffs a compensatory rose, the symbol of the mystery of God‘s creative beauty (Jamâl), and of His divine mercy (Luft).16 There is no need to make a realistic representation of the Sultan in Sinan Bey‘s painting, though his face is recognizable, because the importance lies not in the Sultan as himself, but as a person chosen by the higher power― God. Whereas the portrait of the Ottoman Sultan appears as a miniature the way I described above, sculpture, or statues, were absent during the Ottoman period. This requires us to go back again to the Koran. While painting is technically accepted and widely produced in the palace, the production of statues, the objects that ―cast a shadow before them‖ was strictly forbidden. Reproduction of the three-dimensional human figure was virtually out of the question for an Ottoman artist. Before the foundation of the Turkish Republic, sculpture was not allowed to go further than mere ornamental forms; bas-reliefs on plaster, wood and stone, sculptured earthenware, floral motifs used in architecture, ivory, bronze, and copper work and tombstone inscriptions. While the representation of the noble exists in the Ottoman Empire in the form of miniature painting, there was no such representation of Siamese elite before the reign of King Mongkut (King Rama IV, r. 1851 – 1868), the forth King of the Chakri Dynasty of Rattanakosin Period,17 known as the western-science admirer. In the following part, I will describe the development of the image-making of the King in order to investigate the change and development of the conception of the status of the King reflected in the statues. The statues before the reign of King Mongkut are the idols, objects made for worship, an idealistic representation of the King that has no recognizable face. Due to the superstitious beliefs, portrait-making of a living person was totally forbidden since people believed that it is harmful for a living person to have such a portrait. It would shorten their lives. The fusion between images and the model is the cause for the fear of images. People were aware of the power of images—to the point that they are afraid that

16 17

Barry, ibid. p. 42. Rattanakosin Period (1782 – present) began in the reign of King Phra Buhhda Yodfa Chulalok the Great

(King Rama I, r. 1782 - 1809) after the fourteen years of the Thonburi Period (1768 - 1782) of King Taksin the Great (r. 1768 - 1782) who defeated the Burmese invaders that had demolished the Kingdom of Ayutthaya in 1767. King Taksin the Great was executed by the regent named ‗Chakri,‘ who later became King Rama I, the founder and the first King of the Chakri Dynasty of the Rattanakosin Period.

images will take the lives of the models.18 Therefore, the image may not, or should not look like the model. As a result, the portrayal of living persons would mostly be done in the form of symbolic substitution or idealized representation. They are idealistic rather than realistic. The production of images of the king was prohibited, because he was considered to be a divine figure in a human form with whom very few people were granted audience, except court personnel, high-ranking officers, and members of the upper class.19 The divine status of the king as such legitimized his authority in royal absolutism as it made him sacred and unreachable. Only after the end of each reign, his image could be made, but still, it was made as a symbol. In this way, there appeared two types of symbolic representative figures of the king; the king‘s figure in the forms of Hindu deities—Siva and Vishnu; and the king‘s figure in a form of the crowned Buddha images. These sculptures were both cast after the kings had passed away. The first type, the image of the king as Hindu Gods, is associated with the concept of the king as a dual-divine being on earth. The concept of this type of statue can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period.20 It was an object of worship in the royal oath-taking ceremony performed by the court officials to swear that they will have loyalty to the monarch. The second type, the image of the king as the crowned Buddha, came together with the concept of the king as the venerable noble just like the Buddha, and the new custom of the ancestor worship invented in the reign of King Nangklao (King Rama III, r. 1824 –1851). By royal command of King Nangklao, two Buddha images significant to the House of the Chakri Dynasty were cast in commemoration of King Phra Buddha Yotfa Chulalok the Great (King Rama I, r. 1782 – 1809) and King Phra Buddha Loetla Napalai (King Rama II, r. 1809 - 1834) (Fig. 3). They were the objects of praise built to celebrate the Rattanakosin ancestors who had been elevated to the position of the Buddha. They are the crown Buddha images, adorned in full royal regalia, created to suggest regal power or to be dedicated to the royalty. These statues, the symbols of the royal ancestors, are placed at the consecrated center of the capital city of Bangkok—the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. They are objects of homage for the general public as well as the symbol of the integration of monarchy and Buddhism. Both types of statue are significantly made after the death of the persons that are the models (the kings); in this way, it does not oppose the superstitious belief that prohibits the production of the representation. Although they have no identifiable faces, they are both the


Apinan Poshyananda, Western-style Painting and Sculpture in the Thai Royal Court (Vol. 1), 1993,

Bangkok: Bureau of the Royal Household, p. 339.
19 20

Poshyananda, ibid. p. 336. The Kingdom of Ayutthaya (1350 – 1767) was invaded by the Burmese troops in 1767.

objects of commemoration for royal-national ancestors, and of worship as a representative of the divinity. A new type of statue that conceptualizes the idea of the Buddhist monarch as the divine protector of the nation was invented in the reign of King Mongkut. The king commanded Prince Praditthavorakorn to make ‗พระสยามเทวาธิ ราช‘ (Phra Syama Devadhiraj) (Fig. 4), an integration of the Buddha and the divine monarchical image. The statue appears to be wearing monarchial attire, carrying a short sword in the right hand while the left hand is raised to the chest level. Phra Syama Devadhiraj is regarded as one of the most sacred statues which have provided protection against many disasters in the past for the Siamese. I will return to this particular statue in the following part concerning the reign of King Chulalongkorn. At this point, I would like to remark that, by having realistic images prohibited, both the Ottoman Turks and the Siamese were, in their different ways, nevertheless aware of the power of the images. As I mentioned earlier, in Graber‘s view, the Koran opposes the adoration of physical idols, and that made the Ottoman artists thus unable to make statues (the objects that ―cast a shadow before them‖). This proves that they realized that an image has a seductive power, that there is a danger the image could arouse. To put it in a different way, the Ottoman Turks probably feared that the statue would become an object of idolatry, an icon that would compete with God as the only divinity. Therefore they banned them at the first hand. In this sense, the people who know best the power of the image are the ones who oppose them. To maintain the presence of power, the image, as a representative of the power, has to be absent. In a different manner, the Siamese‘ awareness of the power of the images was grounded in their fear of the likeness present in the portrait. If a portrait is so real, so accurate that the individual person can be distinguished and recognized in the portrait, that portrait is, then, the same thing as that person, or at least it contains the identity and the soul of that person. Hence, the people feared of having a portrait made because they thought it might take their lives away from them, or someone could harm them using black magic with their portraits. This is why we cannot find firstly, representative figures of the living, and secondly, representative figures that had a recognizable face. These images are made idealistically. We know who is who and his / her status by name and the customary ways of dressing. The absence of realistic images in the Ottoman Empire and Siam may be concluded from the fact that it is not due to the incapacity of the artists, but as a result of the perceptions and attitudes deeply rooted in the religious and the supernatural beliefs. More importantly, it is not that they did not know the power of images, indeed, they were very aware of it. Their awareness appeared as fear, or more precisely, phobia that caused ban and prohibition. What

is absent in general explanations, when people speak about the non-existence of realistic images in non-western culture, is the fact that people of these cultures know that an image not only represents the person, but also can be treated like a person. They know well the effect and the potentiality of images. The likeness of an image is seductive for the viewer as much as it is dangerous for the model; the Ottoman Turks were afraid that the image would become idolatrized that competes with God, whereas the Siamese thought that the image can kill them. The absence of realistic representations of the living in the Ottoman Empire and in Siam, indeed show best how they were aware of the image‘s power and potentiality. Their response to images and their likeness presence is a result of local beliefs that motivated their specific actions and behaviors; the fear, that thereby constituted the taboo for realistic-image making.

The Beginning of Realistic Representation in the Republic of Turkey and Siam In this part I will examine how the political situation engaged with the cultural changes including that of the paradigm shift in pictorial discourses and traditions. While in the case of Turkey, it deals with internal politics; the transformation from the Islamic Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey; in the case of Siam, international politics, that is, the expansion of colonialism in Southeast Asia, was a crucial factor. However, the two countries share a similarity in having the western modernization process as part of the nationbuilding of which the pictorial discourse may be seen as part of the progress to modernity; the rise of a realistic style in portraiture imagery. While the perception about images changed, what remained (at least during constructing the nation) was a necessity in legitimizing the leader‘s authority, but the way to constitute the authority and power, shifted from not producing their images to the other way around. Producing the leader‘s images became a tool to emphasize and expand his power to society. It functioned as visual propaganda. Portraiture functions in unifying the nation within a multi-ethnical state under one ruler; Atatürk as well as the Siamese king are the links that connect everybody from every ethnical background under the notion of the father-ruler of the nation. In addition, since the most vigorous representation of the national figures in Asia has been when the state was going through a crisis, these leaders are the national heroes because they have saved, or resurrected the countries from foreign antagonists.21 The undistinguishable pair of concepts that come together within the whole nation-building project are, no matter how strange it may be, that of (western) modernism and nationalism. Interestingly enough, western modernity that was intended to be formulated in the Turkish Republic and in Siam, also functioned in

Clark, p. 244.

constructing a nationalistic sentiment. The Western notion of art and image helped unifying the nation in countries like Turkey and Siam. Interaction with the West created a cause for cultural transfer. Although modernization, at one point, is a global practice and modernity is initially a Western-invented discourse, ―modernity‖ does not appear in the same form (at the same time, let alone the same as that of Western primary). It is indeed localized; thereby hybridized everywhere where modernizing processes took place (I will return in detail to the form of the local-hybridized modernity in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4). Culture, in an anthropological sense, is the system of signs, meaning and world views of particular groups of human beings.22 As a construct, culture is open to interpretation. This view criticizes the concept of truth and authenticity of a culture, and thus, proves that the very nature of culture is that it is contingent.23 Cultural transfer is a process of selection and assimilation based on the flow and need, constituted at the site where such flow and need take place.24 This significantly marks the way in which we see the interaction between the sending and the receiving culture; it indicates that cultural transfer is a selective process and the result is an intercultural kind of intervention. Those of the receiving culture have their needs and as a force of selecting what they wish to transfer, assimilate, and transform. A culture is something which constantly changes; it hinges on complex, unpredictable, and contingent social processes. As cultural transfer is indeed politically motivated; culture is, then, a politico-historically construct. Within this framework, the questions of this part are what could be an explanation for the Turks and the Siamese for their adoption of making realistic images during their periods of building the nation? Whose interests did these adoptions serve, and what were the

interests? I would like to approach this question from the viewpoint of political history. The emergence of realistic representation, especially the three-dimensional ones (sculpture, statue, and monument) is highly political. Moreover, the portrait itself has a social and cultural significance. The portraits of the heads of states are, as I will further describe, not only the representatives of the models but also of the new politico-social ideologies the models adhered. Political power allocates value authoritatively. To understand the condition and the needs of a receiving culture, it is necessary to consider the way in which contact with the West took place and how the relationship went through. Even though Siam was never colonized, there was a kind of crisis of resisting

22 23

Joel S. Kahn, Culture, Multiculture, Postculture, 1995, London: Sage, p. x. Penelope Harvey, Hybrids of Modernity: Anthropology, The Nation State and the Universal

Exhibition, 1996, London: Routledge, p. 29 – 30.

Clark, p. 49.

colonial predation. While Atatürk is the leader in the War of Liberation against the victorious powers of the First World War, King Chulalongkorn has been praised as the one who saved the country from western colonization.

Turkey I will begin with the formation of the Republic of Turkey as a new nation-state founded in 1923. This part will discuss how the Turkish republic used portraiture to demolish the power of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish Revolution consisted of two successive and intermingled parts: the War of Independence and the Reforms of Ataturk. Interestingly enough, Atatürk‘s vision was based on his concept of western civilization, he aimed at creating a western society; westernist movements prior to his time were geared towards imitating western societies. The most important reason, I presume, is that, as the Islamic political system had been dominant for centuries under the Ottoman rulers, the new ruler, then, aimed at founding a secular nation-state. Besides an attempt to distinguish the Republic of Turkey from the Ottoman Empire, the desire to be a part of the civilized world, for its future benefit in a form of political strength and economic future, has motivated the Kemalist government to try whatever ways to make the country ―modern, ‖ in the sense of being democratic, secular, and unitary. The Turkish concept of secularism is the modernization that was first operated by Kemalism of which religion was seen as a hindrance to progress in the modernization of state and society. The ―six arrows,‖ the principles that were formulated by Atatürk‘s Republican Party in 1931 consists of republicanism, nationalism, populism, étatisme (a state control of the commanding heights of the economy), secularism, and revolutionism or reformism.25 Kemalism is, from one of the principles in the ―six arrows,‖ considered as an antireligious (Islam) ideology. It meant the separation of religion from legal, educational and cultural life. Kemalist modernization thus means secularization. Almost all the important reforms were based on this principle, including that related to art, to visual representation. As the traditional forces in the Ottoman Empire allied with religious functionaries against any kind of effort towards the western-modern state, secularism was also a means of eliminating traditional obstacles to modernization. Since the new Turkish Republic needed cultural traits for a new society because the leader had denied the Ottoman cultural heritage, the new cultural traits were formed opposite to the previous one. This explains why there suddenly occurred realistic, three-dimensional representations in the form of statues and


Andrew Mango, “Kemalism in a New Century,” in Brian W. Beelay (ed.), Turkish Transformation.

New Century – New Challenge, 2002, Cambridgeshire: The Eothen Press, p. 22.

monuments all over Turkey. If Islamic principles oppose the idea of creating an idol, the secularists would definitely respond contrarily. The period 1923-26 is a critical juncture of the republic. Kemalism had started at the end of the 1920s and became a real cult in the early 1930s. Monuments and sculptures were produced at that time including those in Samsun, Ankara and on Taksim Square in Istanbul. Producing monuments and sculptures is partly emphasizing Kemalism into the Turkish society. Visual representation is used for politics in order to unify the nation of the ―new‖ republic, since the previous Islam culture predominantly prohibited the making of any figurative, three-dimensional art. The Kemalist ideology was the principal factor in the development of statuary in Turkey. The first monuments erected in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, and other important centers were commissioned from foreign artists such as Pietro Canonica (Italian), Heinrich Krippel (German), Anton Hanack and Josep Thorak (Austrian), all of whom built the equestrians and monuments of Atatürk: Monument of Victory in Ankara, Monument of Ataturk on Horseback in Samsun, Monument of Victory in Afyon by Krippel, Monument of Ataturk on Horseback in front of the Ankara Ethnography Museum and Monument of the Republic in Taksim, Istanbul by Canonica, Monument of Trust in Ankara by both Hanak and Thorak are the major works. These Monuments took their places as examples of "official art" in Turkey and were models to many Monuments of Ataturk produced in the 1970's. These artists were hired to produce objects that previously did not exist. The artists portrayed the leader in Western civilian clothes, or in military outfits.26 In my opinion, the most important monument of this kind is Cumhuriyet Anıtı (Monument of the Republic) at Taksim Square in Istanbul (Fig. 5, 6). To understand the significance of this monument, we need to consider it within the entire project of the re-arrangement of the visual aspect of the city of Istanbul. Even though Atatürk moved the capital to the city bearing no references to the Islam-Ottoman culture (Ankara), he attempted to demolish the power of the mosque, the sign of the Ottoman power in the old capital of Istanbul too. By moving the city center from the Sultanahmet area where Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), Sultan Ahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque), and Topkapı Palace are located to Istiklal Avenue in Beyoglu district on the European side of Istanbul, he emphasized the new ideology of the state and the sign of the modern-secular conqueror by erecting the monument Cumhuriyet Anıtı (Monumennt of the Republic) in the middle of Taksim Square. In the monument, which was established in 1928 to commemorate the formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, one can see the figure of Atatürk, his colleague Ismet Inonu

Esra Özyürek, Nostalgia for the Modern. State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey, 2006,

Durham and London: Duke University Press, p. 96.

and soldiers standing together. In the middle of the group, Atatürk came to represent and embody the new nation and the ―new man‖ that the republic aimed to create. This monument has two sides, one composed of a group of soldiers and generals, depicting the War of Independence, and the opposite side depicting the political leadership, Atatürk and his cohorts are in modern civilian clothing. The monument signifies the formation of a new independent state found not only upon a military victory, but also upon the norms of modernity and secularism. Therefore, Cumhuriyet Anıtı does not only declare the republican state of the new nation, but it also challenges the iconophobia of the old regime in their space (Istanbul). Later young Turkish sculptors were able to get commissions too. The German sculptor Rudolf Belling was invited to Turkey in 1937 to re-organize the teaching in the sculpture department at the State Art School.27 This played an important role in producing national sculptors whose works mainly are statues and monuments commissioned by the state. The boom of sculpture practice, to be more precise, the statuary in Turkey is a result of the demand in erecting Atatürk‘s statues and monuments of the Kemalist government. Laws and regulations were set up to maintain that Atatürk was represented in every public office, classroom, courthouse, prison, and police station. State-funded artists, the State Supplies Office, and privately owned business satisfied the great demand from state institutions. The few styles of Atatürk‘s imagery in the market fitted the serious aura of such institutions well. Mehmet İnci was among the first Turks to produce statues of Atatürk in the period between 1936 and 1940. His son, Necati, who still practices his father‘s profession in a studio originally built in 1942, in the Maltepe district of Istanbul, recounts, ―That standard look that you are accustomed to see[ing] in Atatürk statues was first created in my father‘s studio as a mold.‖28 The İnci studio had produced images of Atatürk in army uniform, as found in front of military institutions; teaching the Latin alphabet to Turkish youth, as encountered in front of many schools; on top of a rearing horse, as in public squares; dressed in bowler hat, tailcoat, and cloak by cultural institutions; and taking his first footstep in Samsun to start a War of Independence, as seen on mountain or hill tops all over Turkey and Northern Cyprus (Fig. 7). There are three basic kinds of Atatürk statue: those depicting him as a soldier, as a statesman, or as a man of the people (I will return to the İnci studio in the following chapter).


The State Art School was founded in 1883 by Osman Hamdi Bey when Turkey was still under the

Ottoman ruler. The school followed the model of Western academies and was based on European culture, being the only school in Turkey that gave education in sculpture at that time. The department of sculpture, although existed, but had very much less popular compared to painting. See Alev Çinar, Modernity, Islam, and secularism in Turkey, 2005, Minneapolis, MN [etc.]: University of Minnesota Press.

Yael Navaro-Yashin, Faces of the State. Secularism and Public Life in Turkey. 2002. Princeton and

Oxford: Princeton University Press, p. 89.

This phenomenon shows that the literati of the new, dominant culture would reject any concepts the old culture may have had; the previous one could only be of negative value, it was something to be rejected. The Ottoman pictorial tradition was largely disregarded. As there had been no such realistic images of noble persons the same way as those of Atatürk, the presence of Atatürk‘s statues can be seen as a counteraction towards the old tradition of the Ottoman. In the same time, it visualized and established Kemalism into the public mind. Statuary in Turkey, in this circumstance, had a political significance. Atatürk‘s statues became the new city centers replacing the mosques. Seen in this light, the (omni)presence of Atatürk‘s statues and monuments is very political, because it is the act of conqueror over the non-iconic culture of Islam.

Siam Whereas the emergence of the figurative image in the form of sculptures and statues in Turkey took place under internal politics circumstance, the Siamese new conceptions of portraiture and image-making were very much due to international politics. The relations between the Siamese and European royal courts during the reigns of King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn contributed significantly to the creation of the royal portrait in a realistic sense. The influx of western cultures through diplomats, missionaries, merchants as well as seamen created a perfect condition for cultural transfer between the Siamese and the Europeans, especially among the royal elites and the high-ranking court officials. One of the most important persons in the development of portraiture in Siam was Bishop Pallegoix, the French clergyman, who resided in Bangkok for thirty years.29 The Bishop introduced photography to the Siamese. He also encouraged King Mongkut, whom was known for his great interest in western culture and science, to pose for photograph taking sessions. In the meantime, photographs, paintings, and statues of European kings and their royal families were sent as tributes to the Siamese courts. The Siamese elites adopted this tradition as a diplomatic strategy for strengthening the relationship with Western monarchies and as a sign of the ―modern‖ country. This policy was intended to present Siam as an equal counterpart in international relationships, and its king as a head of state comparable to European monarchs. The state of modernization can be seen in the court‘s acceptance of the practice of taking photographs of the reigning monarch, as well as having the king‘s portraits painted and sculptures produced. This marks a profound difference in the form of portraiture compared to that of Turkey; the Kemalist encouraged the production of the three-dimensional


Poshyananda, p. 338.

works (sculpture, statue, and monument),30 but the Siamese elite produced both twodimensional and three-dimensional images. King Mongkut‘s portrait photographs, for instance, were sent among royal gifts to Queen Victoria in 1861. These portraits display King Mongkut seated, wearing a Westernstyle jacket, ‘โจงกระเบน’ (chongkrabane, traditional Thai-style trousers), and a tartan designed cap (Fig. 8). The fact that the king granted permission to have his photograph taken suggests the influence of western-scientific thoughts, as it is opposed to the taboos in making a representative of the living. Apinan Poshyananda mentions that the bronze busts of Emperor Napoleon III of France and Empress Eugiènie de Montijou sent as gifts from the Emperor in 1859, initiated the royal preference for sculptures of living persons in the Siamese court.31 Later on, in 1863, the French government sent a free-standing bronze statue of King Mongkut (Fig. 9), in a standing position wearing a Western-style jacket, chongkrabane, and a tartan scotch cap. Details of the face, the crease of the clothes, and the decoration as well as the ornaments, make the image look alive. Chatrousse‘s work brought about a great change to the sculpture practice in Siam. The king commissioned a Siamese sculptor to create a life-size image of him. Luang Theprojanana (Plub), who later held the title of Phraya Chindarangsan, inexperienced in making human figure, was responsible for making a royal figure according to the western notion of portraiture. The King himself posed for a modeling session. This was the first time that a Siamese sculptor made a portrait sculpture of the reigning monarch. Luang Theprojanana showed his artistic execution in King Mongkut‘s sculpture, combining the lifelike notion of Western art with the smoothness and simplicity of traditional Siamese art. This put an end to the superstition forbidding the modeling of a living person for fear that it might curtail a person‘s life. However, the sculpture was not actually cast, as it was considered inauspicious to melt the wax model and cast it into a mould. The statue was made of plaster and coated with paint. It was only in 1960 that the image was cast from the plaster model to produce three bronze replica statues (Fig. 10). Having portraits fully became a fashion at the Siamese court in the reign of King Chulalongkorn. The demand in commissioning European artists to make royal portraits for the royal court decoration was increasing and eventually became a trend. The construction and decoration of the royal palace, the throne halls, and many large and small royal residences created more space to display artworks. Consequently, many photographs of the kings, the queen, the consorts, the members of the royal family, and the high-ranking senior officials

I assumed that it is because both painting and photography of the noble (the Sultans) had already existed in

the Ottoman era.

Poshyananda, ibid. p. 339.

were sent to a large number of painting studios in Europe, where artists were commissioned to paint them. These paintings were later displayed in various royal residences and throne halls. When King Chulalongkorn first visited Europe in 1897, he even seated as a model for the painters. In his 1 June letter to Queen Saovabha Phongsri, the king described Michele Gordigiani, a Florentine painter who was hired to paint the group portrait of the royal family as below: …Professor Gordigiani is excellent. He can paint without sketching. But he is so strictly meticulous. He refuses to paint anything that he does not see, except when it is absolutely necessary such as in your case that he has to guess. But we have to make up a beautifully dressed model and it is supposedly to be you sitting shyly on a chair so that he can paint. It must be his habit as even when I left to take a walk somewhere else, the empty chair where I sat must stay exactly there. It must not be moved. When he was painting, he made funny gestures to make me smile slightly so that he could observe the facial expression… 32

The letter shows how the King admired the way in which Gordigiani worked, as well as his realistic skill. ―When he was painting, he made funny gestures to make me smile slightly so that he could observe the facial expression‖ significantly illustrates how much both the painter and the model paid attention to the likeness presence, especially of the face, in the painting. This attitude is totally different from the old, conventional attitude towards the visual presentation of the noble that valued the artistic skill featuring the idealistic, patternized characters. I think that King Chulalongkorn knew very well the power of the image and its potential use as a representative of himself. During his visit to Europe, which was a diplomatic trip rather than a leisure activity, since he was searching for an alliance against the French imperialist invasion, a lot of his pictures appeared in the foreign media. The most important one, I presume, is that of the photograph taken with Tsar Nicolas II in St. Petersburg (Fig. 11). Princess Poonpisamai Diskul wrote in ‘ประชุมพระนิ พนธ์ เล่ม ๑’ (Prachoom Phra Ni Phon Vol. 1) that when the Tsar knew that his old friend King Chulalongkorn was having a problem with France, the Tsar said, ―This is not a difficult matter. Tomorrow we


The letter from King Chulalongkorn to Queen Saovabha Phongsri sent from Italy to Thailand was referred

to in Poshyananda, ibid. p. 356.

shall take photograph together.‖33 That photograph was sent to the French newspaper, „L‟Illustration‟ and later published on 14 September 1897. As Russia and France had signed the Dual Alliance, the French President Félix Faure had to arrange a warm welcome for King Chulalongkorn at La Gare Du Nord in Paris. The caricature is one of the evidences of this event (Fig. 12). The meeting, however, did not succeed well since the strong relationship between France and Russia made that Russia could not help Siam that much.34 King Chulalongkorn later on searched for other alliances, especially with Germany. The postcard showing the King meeting with Bismarck proves Siam, while had just asked for the hand of Russia, also had a relationship with Germany (Fig. 13). Through many diplomatic strategies, Siam, although had to cede some territory to the French and the British notably claims on parts of what are now Laos, Cambodia and some northern parts of Malaysia, maintained its independence as a buffer state in the end.35 Apart from the newspaper, postcards were another interesting form of publication that made King Chulalongkorn visible to the public consciousness of the Europeans at that time. His image that was transformed into postcards were widely produced and distributed (by the Europeans). His portraits in different kinds of media functioned as an icon to certify or manifest some sort of presence; they are the testimonies. The image shows that the person exists: that he was there, such as King Chulalongkorn with the Tsar was presented the way I described above. Furthermore, the publication of the king‘s portraits in foreign media during the Royal Visit to Europe proves the Siamese King an active player in the international political and economic power-play and how he knew the potential usage of his own portraitures (Fig. 14). In this way, portraiture can be seen as first, a sign of modernity in Siam, and second, as a presence of the modern (the King as a modern man).


Poonpisamai Diskul, Princess, ประชุ มพระนิพนธ์ เล่ ม ๑ (Prachoom Phra Ni Phon Vol. 1), cited in Kraireuk

Nana, การเมือง “นอกพงศาวดาร” รัชกาลที่ ๕ เบืองหลังพระบาทสมเด็จพระจุลจอมเกล้ าเจ้ าอยู่หัวเสด็จประพาสยุโรป (Politics outside ้ annals. Behind the scene of King Chulalongkorn‘s Royal Visits to Europe), 2006, Bangkok: Matichon, p. 30.

Although Tsar Nicolas II had a friendship with King Chulalongkorn, the Dual Alliance between Russia

and France made the Tsar could not completely take the side with Siam in its problem with France. See more detail in Nana, ibid, p. 47 – 59.

While it is generally understood that Siam was never colonized by Western powers, Thongchai

Winichakul proposed that it was indeed a crypto-colony (or, an indirect colony). See Thongchai Winichakul,

“ประวัติศาสตร์ ไทยแบบราชาชาตินิยม

จากยุคอาณานิคมอาพรางสู่ราชาชาตินิยมใหม่ หรื อลัทธิ เสด็จพ่ อ

ของกระฎุมพีไทยในปั จจุบัน ”

(Royalist-Nationalist History: From the Era of Crypto-Colonialism to the new Royalist-Nationalism, or the Contemporary Thai Bourgeois Cult of Rama V), ศิลปวัฒนธรรม, Year 23, Vol. 1 (November, 2001), p. 56 – 65.

Conclusion In this chapter, I started with the pictorial traditions of the Ottoman Empire and Siam as sharing a similarity in prohibiting realistic images of the living. Before an encounter with the West, both did not allow for any concession in their rejection of realistic images, especially that of a noble person. By tracing back the histories of the early republican period of Turkey and of the Fifth reign of Siam in relation to the political circumstance, I found the emergence of realistic images deeply associated with the political power-plays both in the domestic and the international level. The point is to see the realistic representation in the statuary in Turkey and Siam as a form of a political practice. In the 1930s, when Atatürk was head of the state, he employed the uses of the statue and the monument from western culture for establishing and expanding his authority and the new ideology of the new-founded state to the Turkish citizen. As a part of the national construction of the Republic of Turkey, the founder of the republic deprived the power of the previous regime, namely the Islamic Ottoman by replacing their signs (mosque) with his statues in the centers of the cities all over Turkey. Foreign sculptors had been hired to make and erect Atatürk statues, meanwhile Turkish sculptors had gradually appeared and they had also taken up the trade. In this period, Atatürk statues were produced out of marble or cement, they were erected in the schools, official institutions, and public offices as well as in the public space. These statues and monuments emphasized the omnipotent authority of the state through colossal representations of the leader visible in the public space. So it is apparent that Atatürk‘s encouragement and support of the statuary in Turkey aims at challenging the Islamic Ottoman pictorial discourse of which the production of the statue was strictly forbidden. The myth around him, for instance, Atatürk in the War of Independence (which associated with the foundation of the new nation-state) is one of the themes expressed in his statues and monuments. The theme ―the victory in the War of Independence‖ made both the outsider and the insider (the Ottoman) the enemies of the state. It was never an abstract symbol represented in the republican monuments, but a figurative one, that is, the figure of Atatürk. I should mention, too, that these representations of Atatürk were mostly produced in massive sizes. Atatürk in the public statues and monuments are muscular and larger than life-size, placing him on a high pedestal that makes the viewer look at him from the lower position. He was always depicted as ―the great.‖ Publicly erected monuments and other forms of mediating and displaying images serve as the declaration for the triumph of the new over the old: the old regime and beliefs in the case of Turkey and the old beliefs and administrative system in the case of Siam. The erection of Ataturk‘s monuments is an act against the Ottoman dynasty that governed by the rule of forbidding images of Islam. In this way, the desires for modernizing the new state (the Turkish Republic) and destructing the power of the old regime are indistinguishable.

In Siam, having the statutes and the monument produced too, King Chulalongkorn‘s admiration of western culture (which he considered as ―the civilized‖) helped him constructing a nationalistic sentiment of the Siamese around the monarch. Being civilized as the westerner, the Siamese elites, the only group that was accessible to western science and knowledge at that time, annihilated the traditional, superstitious belief that had prohibited the realistic portrait of the living, blaming that it was irrational and un-scientific— a sign of an ―uncivilized.‖ This conception of ―the civilized‖ in the Siamese elite‘s imagination is a part of the way in which they, especially King Chulalongkorn himself, were attempting to restrict the colonialist expansion.36 Although I do not deny that the adoption of realistic portraiture making was a fashion at the Siamese court, it was a strategy for dealing with Western powers as well. That means we have to consider its emergence and its uses seriously. King Chulalongkorn‘s images that were distributed in Europe in foreign media is not only a testimony of him as an active player in the colonialist game, but, regarding the photograph taken with Tsar Nicolas II for instance, also a part of the game itself— a bluff. Let me come back to Belting‘s notion of the image: the presence of an absence. An image makes an absence visible by transforming it into a new kind of presence. He remarks that images happen between who look at them, and their media, with which they respond to our gaze. Therefore, an image exists as a result of an interaction between our bodies (thus our minds) and the visual.37 There must be ―something‖ there to be seen, that ―something‖ is an image, which is an embodiment of the absent body. Furthermore, in his other work „Likeness and Presence: a history of image before an era of art,‟ Belting points out that the image derives its authority in the first case from the authentic appearance of a noble person, and in the second case from its ―correct‖ treatment of an event in the history of the national crisis.38 The portrait can be an accurate likeness if it renders the person distinguishable and recognizable. These are the two things that had been absent in the Ottoman Empire and Siam before an encounter with the West; the image of the person and the conception of realism. In those periods, the authorities had sustained their powers by being absent from their populace. They were too far, too divine to be approached by the ordinary. But after western knowledge and representation discourse came, the authorities, with the modern perspective, employed western realistic portraiture for making their powers visible. The absence became

For the Siamese conception of the ―civilized‖ and of the ―modern‖ in relation to western colonialism,

please see Thongchai Winichakul, “The Quest for „Siwilai‟: A geographical discourse of Civilization Thinking in the late 19th and early 20th Century Siam,” Asian Studies, 59, 3 (Aug 2000), p. 528 – 549.
37 38

Belting, p. 50. Hans Belting, Likeness and presence: a history of the image before an era of art (trans. by Edmund

Jephcott), 1994, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 10.

the omnipresent presence. We can see them everywhere in their countries, emphasizing their powers into the public consciousness. And, as the value of the portrait lies in its true likeness to the model, of course, the portrait that is the representative, the embodiment of that person, must be treated as if it is the person him/herself. Interestingly, both Atatürk and King Chulalongkorn were the authoritarians who initiated the new kinds of political ideology in their regimes. Therefore, such ideologies and their identities are intrinsically inseparable. Taking the visual representation into account, the monumental portraiture is, in this sense, the visualization of the power of the heads of the states in a figurative form, which are their figures with recognizable faces. I should remind here that the portrait as an embodiment of the person is the very same idea as that of the traditional beliefs of the Ottoman and the Siamese that prohibited the making of the images of the living. In their perceptions, portraiture was the transformation of the self into the objects. These agents of modernity put the attitude towards the portraiture on that same ground, but instead of prohibiting it, they used it. This is how I see the way in which Atatürk and King Chulalongkorn were aware of the power and the potentiality of images. They constructed the myths around them, as the great heroes, the national ancestor, the beloved, and the role model for their subjects, by using their images as representatives of all these ideas. The unified nations were proceeding through these monuments that constructed the collective memory for the citizens of the nations.

Chapter 2 Political Aspects of the Adoption of the Realistic Art Discourse and Nationalism in the Figures of the National Fathers: Images of Atatürk and King Chulalongkorn in the Early Modern Period

In chapter 1, I demonstrated how western realistic pictorial discourse was imported and served the demands of the noble indigenous. Interestingly, the adoption of western discourse created an interesting, paradoxical adaptation: nationalism. Once being nationalistic, it is hard, if not impossible, to accept any discourses and practices from the outside. This sensitivity that could lead to heterophobia in the worst case was constructed and aroused by the images whose emergences came actually out of an interaction with the westerners. The authorities, namely Atatürk and King Chulalongkorn, were the agents of western modernity in their lands. Through their adoption of portrait-making, they placed themselves in the mind of their subjects, made their subjects see them the way they wished, and aroused a nationalist sensibility through seeing their figures. In his famous work „Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism,‟ Benedict Anderson defined the nation as ―an imagined political community― and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.‖ It is imagined because the members of the nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the images of their communion.39 This chapter will investigate how the images of these authorities, in a form of a monument, motivated a nationalistic sense among the populace, created an imagination of the nation, and constructed an imagined community that is the nation.

Defining Turkey: Atatürk’s Statues and Monuments in the Early Republican Period ―Nationalism is not an awakening of nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist.‖ Ernest Geller, Thought and Change (1965, p. 169) Nation, nationality, nationalism are cultural artifacts of a particular kind invented under particular circumstances. According to Benedict Anderson, to understand these artifacts properly we need to consider carefully how they have come into historical being, in what ways their meanings have changed over time, and why, today, they command such profound emotional legitimacy.40 As a new-founded nation-state, Turkey needed to build a sense of
39 40

Anderson, p. 6. Anderson, ibid. p. 5

nationalism, a new identity that differs from that of the Ottoman. In this part I will focus at the materialization of the political-thus-national ideology in the Turkish society in the early republican period. As I mentioned earlier, Atatürk and the Kemalist government heavily encouraged the development of sculptural practice and the production of statues. These statues were erected everywhere in Turkey, emphasizing Kemalist ideology and power, anthropomorphized in the figure of Atatürk, in the public / national space and thereby in the people‘s consciousness. The construction of national space is an important component that seeks to institute a new sense of nationhood replacing the old one. In the case of Turkey, it appears in the form of placing Atatürk‘s monuments and statues in the cities. A new sense of nationhood comes to life and is reified through the erection and placement of symbols of the nation, that is, Atatürk in urban spaces. The placement of monuments and icons of the nation becomes one of the essential means through which the national ideology finds material presence and authority in public life. Second, such interventions serve to establish the victory and authority of the official national ideology over the Ottoman, the previous era. Atatürk‘s iconic figure evoked in official nationalist discursive frames the whole display as a victory and prevalence of one nationalist ideology over others.41 The city planning is the way in which the state forces its habitants to gaze at specific things. It plays a key role in visualizing and emphasizing the new order. Architecture had a special importance to the political leader who sought to influence all aspects of human life. The following examples will illustrate how the sculptural practice in the form of monuments, statues, and busts in relation to city planning functioned as a part of Atatürk‘s plan to create a new political ideology and a new sense of the nation, that is a secular republic. Sculpture, previously taboo in the Ottoman empire, was then used as a part of, and in conjunction with, Kemalist‘s city planning.

1. Atatürk as the Father of the New Nation: The Victory Monument (Ankara) Atatürk changed the capital city from Istanbul to Ankara, the city in Central Anatolia in 1923. It declared the new identity of the new Turkish state, founded upon the new norm, namely Western-oriented secularism. The city gained prominence under the leadership of Atatürk during the national resistance which followed World War I, and it was declared the capital of the new Turkish Republic on October 13th, 1923 when the War of Independence freed Turkey from foreign occupation.


Çinar, p. 100.

Most regimes, especially new ones, wish to make their mark both physically and emotionally on the places they rule. The most tangible way of doing so is by constructing buildings and monuments. Instead of doing an iconoclastic act over the Ottoman symbols in Istanbul as the Ottoman had done with Christian symbols of the Byzantine as we can see by the traces in Hagia Sophia (Fig. 15), the leader of the new nation-state chose another city. Ankara was chosen because of an absence of any reference and thereby relation to the Islamic Ottoman empire. It was seen as an ideal location that would rise as the embodiment of secularism, modernity, and a Western-oriented sense of civilization that constituted the main principles of the founding ideology. It was necessary for Atatürk to materialize the declaration of the independence and victory of the new nation-state into a concrete form. A monument is the best choice serving that purpose since it functions as an object for the cult of remembrance. What images in such monument could be better that that of the founder, especially in a very glorified posture such as riding on the horse back— an equestrian? Designed by the Austrian sculptor, Heinrich Krippel whose proposal won the competition, the Victory Monument was completed and erected in 1927 to commemorate the War of Independence that had been fought and won under the leadership of Atatürk (Fig. 16, 17). Significantly, the rules for the competition that were used to find a design for the Victory Monument had specifically stated this theme and pointed out in its thematic description that the monument should reflect Turkey‘s great victory, not only against foreign army, but also the enemy inside, which had been the Ottoman rulers (for their wrong-decided collaboration which led the empire to a defamed-state called the ―Sick Man of Europe‖). Reliefs and several quotations from Atatürk‘s speeches carved on both sides of the monument depicted the war fought against both these enemies. The Victory Monument carved this incrimination of the Ottoman rule and of Istanbul into stone and inscribed it in the center of the new capital Ankara.42 The founder of the Republic appears in a military uniform on a high, multifaceted marble pedestal decorated with scenes from the war. Again, we have to consider the importance of the location, the spatial context of the erection of the monument to understand its significance. The urban planning of Ankara made Ulus Meydanı (National Square), which was previously given the name as Hakimiyet-i Milliye Meydanı (National Sovereignty Square) the city center at the time of the founding the new capital. The Victory Monument was erected in the heart of it. It is precisely Atatürk‘s face that is turning to the first parliament building, whereas other official buildings and the central train station that connect all

Çinar, ibid. p. 106.

railroads in Turkey stand around. Beyond the surrounding buildings, the figure of Atatürk is looking at the city that extends downward from underneath the monument. The height and the strategic positioning of this monument placed the newly emerging city under the gaze of Atatürk, as if he was closely monitoring the growth of the new city under his feet, overseeing the development of Turkish modernity and nationalism in the direction he ordained. The whole environment identifies this area as the most important area, the center of the new nation in which the Victory Monument is the most potent sign. Below the equestrian figure of Atatürk, three figures stand in the three lower corners of the pedestal representing the Turkish nation: two soldiers and a peasant woman. On the front face of the bottom platform were the figures of two wolves, making a reference to the grey wolf, an idol appropriated from ancient Turkish mythology, which were later removed when the monument was moved to the new location on the square. The wolves made a reference to the ethnic roots of official nationalism, which locates the origin of the Turkish nation in pre-Islamic central Asia, a root that was constructed during the era of Atatürk as well. The two soldiers and the peasant woman represent the ―unnamed heroes‖ who had selflessly served their country and took their place on the Victory Monument alongside Atatürk as the gendered archetypes of the ideal citizen. The Victory Monument celebrated the victory ideology; Atatürk in a military uniform leading the Turks in the War of Independence, of which the name already declares the state of glory. Meanwhile, the ―victory‖ in this place signifies the victory of the new political regime over the old one: the Ottoman. To conclude this, I would say that this monument signifies that this new nation-state was constructed out of the war leading by this eminent figure. The monument created cult centers to promote the regime‘s glorification of war, patriotism and the great military leader. While looking at the landscape below, Atatürk gave birth to the whole new nation, the Republic of Turkey far beyond the capital Ankara. The notion of the national ancestor, who also appears in the way people call him ―the ancestor of Turks‖ (Atam = my ancestor, Turk = the Turks) led him to the other role: the protector of the nation and its people. There is the sense of power and force in the city planning of the Kemalist government in the state of the nation-building. Going back to the idea that the city planning directs the gaze of the people, it is not so much that Atatürk watching over the nation he had constituted, but it is indeed the people that have been watching him, being unconsciously forced to believe that he is watching them. It is not the people that are in the gaze of the bronze-casted Atatürk, but Atatürk in the gaze of the Turkish people who defined themselves as his descendants.

2. Atatürk as the Guide of the Turks: Monument to a Secure, Confident Future (Ankara) Due to the expansion of the city towards the south, the center of Ankara moved to Kızılay where Güvenlik Anıtı (Monument to a Secure Confident Future) was set up in Güvenpark in 1935. Sculpted by Anton Hanak and Josef Thorak, the monument displays Atatürk‘s inscription: Türk Ogün Çalıs Güven (Turk! Be proud, work hard, and be confident) illustrated with two, huge, muscular figures of naked male individuals carrying weapons on one side (Fig. 18), and Atatürk in a civilian attire with four naked, muscular youths standing hand-in-hand on the other side (Fig. 19). The reliefs at the base that show working male and female individuals illustrate the inscription, Türk Ogün Çalıs Güven encouraging Turkish people to take pride in themselves, to work hard, and to have confidence (Fig. 20). This monument visualized the ideal Turks, the way their national father wished them to be. All those figures including that of the group leader Atatürk, express the national obsession with the ideal body and espoused nationalistic, state approved values like loyalty, work, and family. The notions of health, strength, collective action and willingness to sacrifice the self for the common good, seen in many Nazi works with explicit glorification of militarism, is obviously shown in this monument. Sculptors Josef Thorak and Arno Breker were the most famous sculptors of the Nazi regime, and the Nazi style and iconography used in this monument is remarkable and significant. Nazi art and architecture, which had an important role in creating the new order in the Third Reich, gave the very same idea to the Turkish authorities; city planning catching a special interest for those who sought to establish and control every aspect of their people‘s life by visualizing the ideology they prefer, and, to place it in the public space. The relation with Nazi art and architecture in Turkey is undeniable. Sibel Bozdoğan mentioned that there was an admiration for German nationalism and its cultural artifacts since there were several contacts with visiting professors from the Third Reich.43 Official Turkish art and architecture in the 1930s – 1940s reflect the attempt to materialize the state power as well as in constructing a sense of nationalism through the monumental forms. As the two sculptors, Josef Thorak and Anton Hanack, were both Nazi artists, the Monument to a Secure Confident Future is associated with Nazi art ideology. While all the figures look very powerful and heroic with their muscular, monumental features, Atatürk appears the most outstanding one. His figure, in high relief stands against the granite wall, and his serious face portrays him as a charismatic authoritarian. The inscription on the granite base on the other

Sibel Bozdoğan, “Art and architecture in modern Turkey: the republican period,” in Reşat Kasaba (ed.),

The Cambridge History of Turkey, Vol. 4 Turkey in the Modern World, 2008, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 438.

side, bearing his name, sends the message to all the civilian Turk. The great leader‘s civilian costume creates a sense of intimacy between the guidance-given national father and his children. His image visualizes the national ideology of the new nation; he (as the Turk) feels proud and confident for his hard-working, thereby portraying him as an example, a role model for all Turks. The two monuments are the examples that best show how nationalism as part of nation-building, and how the ideal citizen of the new-founded nation state supposed to be, are conceptualized in one image: Atatürk. The Victory Monument expresses the glory and the independence of the Turkish republic after the army won in the War of Independence through the image of the great leader in a military uniform. The Monument to a Secure Confident Future, on the other hand, displays Atatürk in a civilian attire, didactically telling the people of the republic to behave, for the future of the nation that is, in turn, the future of themselves as a citizen. The first monument portrays Atatürk as the military leader saving Turkey from the enemies both inside and outside, giving birth to the new nation. The second one makes him a role model of Turkish citizen. These two types of image can be conceptualized into one: the forefather of all Turks, guiding his descendants to a secure future. The power of the monuments may be perceived through the Nazi style that depicted him, together with other anonymous figures, as a very strong, muscular, serious, and lastly, iconic figure. These monuments in which all figures are larger than life size have a powerful impact one can hardly resist. This kind of pictorial scheme became a pattern seen in other monuments and statues erected during the early republican period, though they may not always have the same scale. The figure of Atatürk replaced the mosque, the non-figurative sign, of the Ottoman sultan in every city all over Turkey. In the same manner, Ankara became a city model for the transformation of the Islamic-Ottoman space into a secular one. After Ankara, the centers of other cities were relocated from around the mosque to new-built squares where Atatürk‘s monument, statue or bust was erected. Istanbul where Taksim Square became the center, that shifted away from the Sultanahmet area, I described before, is an overt example of this operation. This is what Verdery terms as ―punctuating space,‖ the use of space as a metaphor of a geological landscape.44 Punctuating space highlights a specific landscape as a point of reference. It can be done by placing statues in particular places and by renaming landmarks such as streets, public squares and buildings. Atatürk also appeared as a text through the names of squares, avenues, and boulevards thereby emphasizing his presence in the mental state of the Turkish citizen. Through the placement of Atatürk‘s figure in the public space, nationalization and


Verdery, p. 39.

secularization of the land did not stop in the capital, but was extensively continued to the rest of the country.

The Siamese and their King: Nationalism in the Equestrian Statue of King Chulalongkorn Not only having a significant role in international politics, King Chulalongkorn‘s images functioned in the field of the domestic politics too. While the king had succeeded in the administrative reforms that made everything in Siam centralized to the royal family, the erection of King Chulalongkorn‘s equestrian on Ratchadamnoen Avenue that leads to the new palace, has made his authority over the Siamese subjects visible. It created a bond between him and the Siamese too. In the inscription, the king‘s veneration and kindness, especially that related to the concept of civilization, were inscribed. The king is first, the father of all the Siamese, and second, as a father who devoted himself for the good and the happiness of the people, he is ‘พระปิ ยะมหาราช’ (Phra Piya Maharaj), the Great Beloved King. The equestrian became the monument of love and gratitude from the Siamese towards their king. In the Fifth Reign, King Chulalongkorn‘s images served as both a weapon against Western colonization and a tangible form of power of the monarchy that was raised to an absolute one, the symbol of the centralization of the administration. Everything was made centripetal. Beside his admiration of photographs and paintings, King Chulalongkorn was also fond of having his portrait sculptures and statues produced. In this part, I will look at his equestrian statue at the Royal Plaza (Fig. 21). It was erected in 1908 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the king‘s accession to the throne. To understand the significance of this statue, the subject of the rise to absolute power, and the association with western city planning, the same as that of Atatürk, must be taken into account. Since King Chulalongkorn ascended to the throne at the age of fifteen as a young (but ill) king, the regent and his father‘s right hand Somdet Chaophraya Si Suriyawong (Chuang Bunnag) held the real power in the court. The members of the Bunnag family as well as their allies were in important positions. Somdet Chaophraya Si Suriyawong also appointed Prince Wichaichan to the position of wang na (the second king) thereby giving rise to the power play in the court government. During the regency period, King Chulalongkorn already started the modernization reforms that were associated with the kingdom‘s administration, financial and military institutions following the western model. He visited the neighboring colonies including Dutch

Java (Indonesia) in 1871 and the British colonies of Singapore, India and Rangoon (Burma) in 1872. In 1897 and 1907, the king visited Europe. (I will return to the trips to Europe in relation to the idea of having an equestrian statue and a new perception of the public space). His siblings and sons were educated by western tutors whom were hired in the palace; later on, they were sent to Europe for further education. These western-educated princes, together with the king‘s allies, came to replace the Bunnag group after their deaths or retirements in the second half of 1880s. The administrative reform that centralized everything to the court made King Chulalongkorn the absolute authority of the dynastic state. What symbolizes the rise to absolute power of the King is the equestrian statue located in the Royal Plaza. Significantly, the two visits to Europe were a crucial factor for rearranging the spatial dimension of the capital city that was associated with the power of the king as the head and the body of the state. The western-style of city planning was adopted for constructing the new area; Rajdamnern Avenue; the Dusit Palace; the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall; and the Royal Plaza, giving a new sense of public space and its utilities; the symbol of the centralized administration, and proof of the relationship between the royalty and their subjects. During the second visit to Europe (1907) when Ratchadamnoen Avenue was already finished and the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall was under construction, there was a plan to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the ruling of King Chulalongkorn, the longest reigning monarch in the history, which would be coming in 1908. It was agreed that as a gesture of gratitude to King Chulalongkorn who had ruled the country in peace and prosperity for a long time, the Crown Prince Vajiravudh who was responsible for the project announced to the Siamese to contribute money for building an object of commemoration for this special occasion. More than 1,000,000 Baht were collected from the people of Siam.45 The governmental committee agreed on building equestrian statue as they received the massage from France that the king appreciated the Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV (Fig. 22) at the front garden of the Versailles Palace in France. It is not completely clear that this equestrian was the king‘s inspiration because he had mentioned that the Equestrian Statue of King Victor Emmanuel II in Rome was gorgeous too (Fig. 23). Yet, either one of these statues or both, the inspiration came definitely from the West. It was the western conception of monument and taste that impressed the Siamese king, who wished to define himself as modern, and thereby as civilized. Just like the Equestrian of Louis XIV that was placed at the


It is 21,307.08 EURO according to the current currency exchange (1 EUR = 46.9327 THB). The rest of the

fund was used for the foundation of the Royal Page School which later became Chulalongkorn University.

end of the long avenue of the Champs Elysées leading to the palace, the king ordered that a statue of himself on horseback was erected somewhere between Ratchadamnoen Avenue and the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall (Fig. 24). That would make Siam look as grand as the European countries. 46

‘ไกลบ้าน’ (Klai Ban), the letter King Chulalongkorn wrote during the trip to his
daughter Princess Niphanophadol describes:

―…I sat for the sculptor {Georges Ernest Saulo} until 5 p.m. before I left for the other who is casting the horse… But the fine fellow set out to work immediately to correct the flaws after I sat down. More clay was added to the head and sunken cheeks. The temple, too, received refining touches. So did the brows and the awkward mouth. Despite the initial annoyance for having to sit for him, the annoyance was replaced by relish as I knew that after some correcting touches, the mould would look just fine…‖47 The message above shows the king‘s admiration of the realistic skill of the French artist, Georges Ernest Saulo, who had made a ―true likeness‖ in the face of his sculpture in the clay model. The face is, much more than the body, an important element of the monumental sculpture because it makes the model identifiable and recognizable. Therefore, the realistic skill of the artist is valuable since the face is the representative identity of someone. King Chualongkorn and his worldview, were transferred into the statue casted at the Ateliers de la Maison Susse Frères in Paris and sent abroad to be a monument in Bangkok. The king appeared in a military uniform, wearing Western-style trousers instead of the chongkrabane, riding a horse like the kings in the West instead of a white elephant. 48 While the model (the Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV and/or the Equestrian Statue of King Victor Emmanuel II), the technique of casting monumental statue, as well as the process of making a statue by a person sitting as the model, belong to the western culture, it fits well

Damrongrajanuphap, Prince, ประชุ มพระนิพนธ์ เบ็ดเตล็ด (Prachoom phra niphon bettaled), p. 59 – 62, cited in

Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรูปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริบทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรัชกาลที่ 5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง ่ (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), BA Thesis (Art History), 2005, Bangkok: Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University, p. 7.

Chulalongkorn, King, ไกลบ้ าน (Klai Ban), cited and translated into English in Poshyananda, p. 373. The rare chang pueak (usually translated as ―white elephant‖) was considered sacred and reserved


exclusively as a mount for the Siamese monarch.

with the local desire. This statue, once erected in the middle of the new-built Royal Plaza, became the symbol of the absolute power of the king in the public sphere. It is totally different from the old tradition, in which the representative of the deceased kings (the crowned Buddha I mentioned in the previous chapter) were only seen and worshipped by the royal members, in either a religious space (temple) or in the royal space (palace). At the occasion of celebrating the fortieth year of the accession to the throne, King Chulalongkorn‘s equestrian statue visualized the supreme power of the Kingdom of Siam, and presented it thus to its people. By having the statue in the Royal Plaza (which was also constructed upon a western notion of public space: the city center), the king was more accessible than ever before; 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Moreover, the fact that the statue was built by donations, the king and his subject were bound together, acclaiming the loyalty and gratitude of the Siamese towards their Phra Piya Maharaj (the Great Beloved King), the special title given to him in this very special occasion. The inscription on the plaque on the base of the statute tells about the king‘s virtue, his reign in righteousness, as he has been taking the business of government for the good and happiness of the populace; thereby his people, who considered him as their great father, gave him back their love and gratitude (Fig. 24, 25). The title Phra Piya Maharaj appeared for the first time in this inscription too (Fig. 26). The equestrian statue is the symbol of unity of the nation while it represents the gratitude and loyalty the Siamese had for their king. King Chulalongkorn‘s equestrian created both the discourse and the concrete form of the national unity that was built and centered by the royalty. From then on the Siamese (and now, Thai) nationalism is inseparable from royalism. Before I finish this part, I would like to discuss the other royal statues initiated in the reign of King Chulalongkorn. Very similar to the crowned Buddha originated in the reign of King Nangklao I mentioned in Chapter 1, the images of the five previous Chakri kings were also made into objects for worship in their honor. From 1869 - 1871, Prince Praditthavorakorn was assigned to model and cast statues, each of which was as high as the crowned Buddha image traditionally dedicated to each king. The likeness depended on words of those who had seen them. It was quite a problem in the case of King Phra Buddha Yotfa Chulalok the Great since few of his contemporaries were still alive. As for other kings, it was less troublesome since there were greater numbers of people who had seen them. Prince Praditthavorakorn did the works according to the descriptions of these people and made changes they wanted until they all agreed that the sculptures resembled the real persons. 49


Poshyananda, p. 342 – 343.

Prince Praditthavorakorn integrated traditional concepts with Western style in modeling each image: realist features in a lifelike face, the wavy hair, and the plump body of an elderly man. On the other hand, idealistic elements are represented in the curved lines of the body, the upright posture, and the sense of tranquility found also typical for the Buddha image. These statues were made to be representative of the Divine Fathers of the Rattanakosin period. Yet, the most interesting one is that of King Mongkut. It was made in exactly the same model as the statue of Phra Syama Devadhiraj, the divine monarchical protector of the Kingdom (Fig. 27). It is remarkable that King Mongkut‘s statute has the same gestures and accessory as that of the sacred statue, or perhaps, the other way around, the new Phra Syama Devadhiraj has the face of King Mongkut. On the wooden panel, there is an inscription written in Chinese ―a place of Phra Syama Devadhiraj.‖ Here again, by having an identifiable face (as King Mongkut), the likeness presence of the statue legitimated the ruling power of the monarchy over the land of Siam; the king as the royal-national divine protector. The monarchy, then, has been given gratitude and loyalty by their subjects. Although Phra Syama Devadhiraj was never all-time accessible for the public like King Chulalongkorn‘s equestrian, its narrative has been told to the Siamese (and later, the Thais). While King Chulalongkorn embodies the conception and the discourse of the westerncivilized, King Mongkut, in the form of Phra Syama Devadhiraj conveys the sacred dimension rooted in religious and supernatural belief. Integrating this with the narrative of King Chulalongkorn secured independence of the nation from Western powers. Phra Syama Devadhiraj and the equestrian constructed the discourse of authority and legitimacy of the monarchy in the public consciousness. Tradition and modern were hybridized, serving the demand of the monarch.

Conclusion Firstly, a monument is an object that creates a memory for a collective (in our case, the people of the nation). It materializes the selected persons and/or events in the past and has frozen them, made them visible forever. Secondly, a monument makes an abstract idea such as political ideology into a concrete form, making it perceivable and easily comprehensible. In a monument, there is always a message to be sent. That message is, too, selective and imaginative, based on a preference. In this way, visualization (making the invisible visible) and any form of image production engage in the ritual of remembrance. In this respect, after the persons whom became the monument, passed away, those persons never really die from the public memory. Moreover, they are capable to be revived, and their meaning may be altered. This will be the subject of Chapter 3 (The Return of the Monarchy: Images and King

Chulalongkorn Cult) and Chapter 4 (The Revival of the Dead: Images of Atatürk in Turkey‘s Contemporary Politics). The use of the portraits of Atatürk and King Chulalongkorn is to serve their political purposes because, as they surely knew the power of representation, the images are to be not only looked at, but also to be believed in. Lastly, I will finish this chapter with the Turkish poem entitled ―The Picture‖ (Resim), which was authored by the nationalist poet Behçet Necatigil for Turkish students in the elementary school. This poem teaches students how to feel about Atatürk‘s picture which faces them in every classroom, yet, it can be applied for the way in which the Siamese feel for King Chulalongkorn too. If the response emerges from the dialectic between particular image and particular beholder, as both great leaders are the fathers-rulers of the nations (though they already passed away), their children would always have to keep them in mind, and to respond to them the way children would do to their fathers:

We work hard Because when we work We see Atatürk smile When we make a mistake His eyes get cloudy We understand Atatürk became sad If we go right next to the wall He still sees us As he looks down If we go all the way back If we sit at the back We feel without lifting our head up Atatürk is here … Atatürk, through my life You are in front of me with this picture … Just like in the classroom In everything I do This picture is my guide

Çalışkanız çünkü Çalışınca Bakarız Atatürk güldü Bir yanlışlık yapsak Bulutlanır gözleri Anlarız Atatürk üzüldü Gelsek kürsünün dibine Görür bizi Eğilince Kalksak gitsek gerilere Otursak arkalarda Başımızı kaldırmadan duyarız Atatürk arada Atatürk artık ömrüm oldukça Bu resminle karşımdasın Tıpkı sinıftaki gibi Yapacağım bir işte Bu resimdir rebherim

If I reach toward something bad Frown your eyes Let my hands freeze Just like in the classroom Through my whole life In everything I do If I am right and good Show me your happiness Smile

Kötülüğe uzanırsam Çat kaşlarımı Tutulsun ellerim Tıpkı sinıftaki gibi Bütün ömrüm boyunca Yapacağım bir işte İyi doğru oldumsa Sevincini belli et Gülümse50


Özyürek, p. 117-118.

Chapter 3 The Return of the Monarchy: Images and King Chulalongkorn Cult

In Chapter 2, we have seen how western visual discourse was employed in the course of modernization in the Republic of Turkey and Siam. In my analysis, the realistic image appeared as embodying an abstract concept, a political ideology that conceptualized in a form of a person (who actually initiated such ideology). Atatürk and King Chulalongkorn, the beloved, yet authoritarians of their subjects, are both the symbol of particular political ideologies they were in, namely secularism and monarchism. The most important component that makes their images so powerful is, in my opinion, the likeness presence in the images. Definitely, the portrait derives its authority from the authentic appearance of the noble person it shows. The likeness, the exact replica, helps to transform the persons into their representation conceivable and believable. In this way, the holiness of the persons (no matter how much Atatürk identified himself as a ―secularist‖) ties with their representation. This is the reason why the image not only represents the person as such, but also is treated like a person. Chapter 2 shows both the image as the method of making the concept concrete and the transformation of a concept into an image. One can see that the attitude towards the image / portrait changed from iconophobia to iconophilia, from a complete absence to omnipresence. In Chapter 3, I will investigate the use of King Chulalongkorn‘s images in association with contemporary Thai politics (I will refer to the country as ―Thailand‖ from now on). It is interesting that his images, thus the king himself, too, suddenly appeared again in society after he had passed away in 1910. In this chapter, I will discuss the reincarnation of King Chulalongkorn in the form of a cult that made his images have a significant role and position. The re-appearance of his images in the 1980s and afterwards, in different forms and ways from those in the early modern period when he was alive, took place in a specific context of time and situation concerning the monarchy in the early 1980s. His images serve as a symbol, as well as an embodiment of particular political ideology acting in the political competition: Neo-Royalist vs. Democracy. I will explore the use of the images, which, in turn, will give me an explanation of the complexities of political conflicts among groups in Thai contemporary society.

The Return of the Monarchy The coup d‘état of 1932 that had changed Thailand‘s political system from an absolute monarchy to a democracy and that, consequently, had reduced the power of the monarchy by placing it under the constitution, took place in the reign of King Prajadhipok (King Rama VII, r. 1925 – 1935). The members of the coup stagers are some westerneducated, young civilian officials and some military officers. I will skip the complexity of the

political situation after the coup, yet, there is one counter-coup by the royalist to be mentioned. The almost-successful counter-coup in 1933 was led by Prince Bowordet, one of the grandsons of King Chulalongkorn. This counter-coup, though not successful, was one of the causes that urged the government to demolish the power of the monarchy. Mentioned in Irene Stengs‘ „Worshipping the Great Moderniser, The cult of King Chulalongkorn, patron saint of the Thai middle class,‟ and also generally known among the Thais who have an interest in politics, the coup stagers chose Prince Ananda Mahidol, the ten-years-old grandson of King Chulalongkorn who was living in Switzerland at that time, to be the next king. They abolished most of the royal ceremonies and festivals connected to the monarchy as well.51 The twenty-one-years-old King Ananda (King Rama VIII, r. 1935 - 1946) returned to Thailand in 1945, but his reign ended only a year thereafter due to his still-unclarified death.52 Consequently, his younger brother, Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej succeeded to the throne in 1946 at the age of nineteen. Similar to his deceased brother, King Bhumibol (King Rama IX, r. 1946 - present) returned to Thailand from abroad (1951). In 1957, as a result of a conflict in the government, the coup operated by Field Marshall Sarit Thanarat overthrew the government of Field Marshall Pleak Phibunsongkram, who had attempted to make the monarchy‘s power limited. Sarit, who needed his action legitimated, started a propaganda campaign promoting the monarchy because the monarchy, in the public consciousness, was still very much revered. Stengs‘ analysis of the ideology developed in Sarit‘s regime in relation to the revival of the monarchy‘s power demonstrates how the monarchy gained back its popularity (indeed, gained more) and its connection with the figure of King Chulalongkorn that re-emerged in the 1980s. Such ideology, namely ‘พ่อขุน’ (pho khun) that identified the character of the Thai leadership as the fatherly and accessible leader is rooted in the Sukhothai Kingdom of the 13th century (which was acclaimed as the first kingdom of Siam) that the kings ruled their subject the way the father does with his children.53 The concept of pho khun is connected to the concept of the king as the national ancestor I described in Chapter 2 too. Before discussing the cult of King Chulalongkorn which emerged in the early 1980s, it is necessary to mention another phenomenon that took place in Sarit‘s regime, that is, the fear of the communism.


Irene Louise Stengs, Worshipping the Great Moderniser, The cult of King Chulalongkorn, patron

saint of the Thai middle class, Proefschrift Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2003, Amsterdam: Universiteit van Amsterdam, p. 276.
52 53

King Ananda was found dead in his bed in the palace, shot through the head. Stengs, p. 278 – 279.

The fear of communism in Thailand is part of the cold-war atmosphere in Southeast Asia. According to Stengs, the second ideology initiated by Sarit is that of ‘พัฒนา’ (phattana, development) which mainly focused at developing the impoverished areas in several parts of the country.54 To be more precise, such areas are almost everywhere outside the capital Bangkok. This fear of communism that Sarit and the monarchy had shared, together with the phatthana and the pho khun ideologies, were integrated into propaganda campaigns of which one was the royal visit to the countryside. By the support of Sarit‘s government, King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit, sometimes with the Princess Mother traveled around the country, bringing development (phattana), and thereby giving to the people the image of persons of benevolence as the national father (pho khun) and mothers. The revival of the monarchy‘s power and popularity that had started to be promoted in Sarit‘s regime in 1950s did not end after the death of the Field Marshall in 1963. Furthermore, those royal visits have been reproduced and manipulated in various forms such as a documentary on the television, and photographs in calendars distributed every year by both the state institutions and the private companies. In this way, the image of the monarch, centering at King Bhumibol, that was constructed in the Thais‘ consciousness, appears as the benevolent, devoted father for all the people. At the same time, he remains sacred as a semidivinity as well as those previous Siamese kings of the Chakri dynasty.

King Chulalongkorn Cult and the Neo-Royalism Although my research does not focus on the image of King Bhumibol, it is necessary to mention him because the King Chulalongkorn cult and his images associated with that, have a special role in the revival of the popularity of the present monarch. What Thongchai Winichakul, a Thai historian and professor at the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, defined as ―neo-royalism,‖ which I will later describe, has a strong relation with King Chulalongkorn cult.55 While Winichakul did not mention the specific period of the emergence of the cult, Stengs and the another Thai historian, Nithi Aeusrivongse, remarks that the cult of King Chulalongkorn emerged in the 1980s when people began to gather at the Royal Plaza where King Chulalongkorn‘s equestrian is located.56 However, all of them agree that King Chulalongkorn cult is the cult of the Thai middle class.

54 55 56

Stengs, ibid. p. 280 - 281. Winichakul, 2001, p. 56 – 65. Nithi Aeusrivongse, ลัทธิพธีเสด็จพ่อ ร . 5 (The cult of Father King Rama V), 1993, Bangkok: Matichon, p. 45. ิ

and Stengs, p. 1.

The first work on the subject of the cult of King Chulalongkorn is ‗ลัทธิ พิธีเสด็จพ่อ ร. 5‘ (Lutthi Pithee Sadej Pho Ror Ha, literally, the cult of Father King Rama V) written by Aeusrivongse in 1993. While Aeusrivongse described the cult as the cult for the middle class business men,57 Winichakul (2001) and Stengs (2003) developed that idea in connection with the return of the monarchy and, as a result, the neo-royalist ideology which, spontaneously, opposes the principle of democracy. To consider the origin of King Chulalongkorn‘s cult in the line of the history of the Rattanakosin period and the Chakri dynasty, it makes a lot of sense why the cult appeared in the 1980s. Stengs marked the three important moments in the 1980s that enabled the connection and the comparison between the cults of King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol.58 These historical moments of the royal jubilees took place in the years 1982, 1987, and 1988:


The bicentennial of Bangkok as the capital and the two hundred years of rule by the Chakri dynasty King Bhumibol turned sixty years old and was honored with the title ‘มหาราช’ (Maharaj, the Great) given to him from forty-million Thai people (through


the survey operated by the Ministry of Interior). 1988 the reign of his grandfather, King Chulalongkorn. King Bhumibol broke the record of the longest reign, which was previously

These three years of royal jubilees and the importance they signified, make my assumption of the revival of the deceased King Chulalongkorn and the re-emergence of his images in connection with the propaganda for the living King Bhumibol comprehensible. Regarding the long-time resistance between the government and the monarchy after the 1932 coup d‘état, the increasing popularity of the king is very much related to contemporary politics. To be more precise, the king‘s increasing popularity is by itself a political thing. Aeusrivongse‘s explained that the origin of the cult of King Chulalongkorn grew out of a feeling of insecurity and frustration towards the politicians (in his term, the ―government‖). 59 In this way, the discourses of ―bad / hopeless politician‖ and of ―politics is bad / hopeless‖ were constructed. At the end, in my opinion,
57 58 59

the cult has created the axis between

Aeusrivongse, ibid. p. 34. Stengs, p. 298 - 299. Aeusrivongse, p. 34 – 37.

democracy-monarchism. Seen in this light, the popularity of the king transformed into the political ideology, that is the so-called ―neo-royalism.‖ Nevertheless, I have a slightly different view from Aeusrivongse about this ―bad / hopeless politician-thus-politics‖ discourse. While Aeusrivongse explained that the cult happened because Thai people were so frustrated with the politicians, I think it is because Thai people have been having their consciousness formulated to think so. It is not that the cult happened because people did not like the politicians, but the people did not like them; they felt they were the hopeless-greed partly because of the cult. It is precisely the cult that helped making the people hate them (more). In this work, Aeusrivongse did not put emphasis on the political ideology, he only mentioned that King Chulalongkorn is worshipped, as a cult, by the middle class business men, since this particular group found the politicians, and the government ineffective, thereby making their business uneasy. He did not go further, at least not explicitly, to analyze how the hatred towards the politicians and the government is connected with the admiration towards the king(s) of the Thais. My assumption is that, this democracy-monarchism axis is a part of the cult. What Aeusrivongse did not mentioned in his work is the fact that the conflict among the 1932 coup stagers (1950) and the attempt in discrediting them that was later transformed in the course of the construction of the bad / hopeless politician discourse has undermined the state of democracy. In this way, the King Chulalongkorn cult rooted in the anti-democracy ideology— the royalism.60 I will not go deep in terms of political science, or the history of Thai politics. However, it is important to clarify the formation of the cult and the idea behind it, otherwise the re-appearance of King Chulalongkorn‘s images started in the 1980s is unexplainable. I will stop with Aeusrivongse‘ idea of King Chulalongkorn cult at this point (yet, I will return to him in the last part of this chapter), but will demonstrate the concept of the ―neo-royalism.‖ According to Winichakul, the master narrative of Thai history, or rather, of the royalnational history is the narrative of the national struggle to secure the national security and independence under the leadership of the king.61 In Winichakul‘s analysis, this narrative structures the Thai official historiography. It is a collection of the same kinds of events (the threats from the foreigners that were handled

I conceptualized my assumption above from the discussion took place between December 11 th – 12th 2008

in sameskybooks web board, the Thai political web board (I skip the long and complicated courses of historical events in the Thai politics in this thesis). I thank you Somsak Jeamteerasakul in particular. Note: Somsak Jeamteerasakul is the expert on the Thai monarchy, and the lecturer at the Department of History at Thammasart University, Thailand.

Winichakul, 2001, p. 57 – 58.

by the kings) that took place in different periods and places within the today-territory of Thailand. Moreover, he remarked that this narrative is the key of the formation of Thai nationalism. In this perspective, the two ideologies― nationalism and royalism― become one, as in Winichakul‘s terms, ―royal-nationalism.‖ As the core of this master narrative is the ―struggle against the foreign protagonist,‖ King Chulalongkorn‘s against western colonial powers fits well with such narrative. To put it another way, the narrative of King Chulalongkorn‘s securing the country is grounded in this master narrative. The collective memory of the Thais about the nation-state is, hence, centered on the royalty, thereby making their nationalistic sentiment indistinguishable from royalism. According to Winichakul, the ―neo-royalism‖ ideology evoked partly by the royalnational history and the cult of King Chulalongkorn. He stated that the royal-national history, which was invented after the power of the monarchy had been declined after its peak in the reign of King Chulalongkorn, is an attempt in maintaining the monarchy‘s status. After the 1932 coup d‘état, this style of historiography did not change. As a result, the royalist ideology survived, and returned in the reign of King Bhumibol as ―neo-royalism.‖ The cult of the fathers, of Father King Chulalongkorn in particular, was part of the formation of neoroyalism, bringing back the past kings to the present.62 Winichakul remarked that the cult reflects the attitude of the Siamese towards their kings. The cult, first, is the return of the past, constructing the memory of a pillar of the neoroyalist ideology in remembrance of the Populist King (regarding the title ―Phra Piya Maharaj,‖ the Great Beloved King). Second, in its turn, this cult is the metaphorical representative of the present-day ideology of neo-royalism. Neo-royalism is the political ideology that characterized the king as the ―Populist King‖ by using the cult of remembrance that, in turn, has made the present king popular too.63 The collective, public memory towards their beloved-deceased king has re-established the reverence in the present monarch. They are the persons of faith to be worshipped and having hope for a last refuge in the political turmoil. Within this perspective, the emergence of the King Chulalongkorn cult in the 1980s is, in my opinion, far more significant and complicated than simply being the cult of the business men for the business‘ sake. The business prosperity that the cult worshippers wish for is just one of the aspects of the whole thing in the cult of King Chulalongkorn. Furthermore, this business wish is actually grounded, as well as functioning, in the construction of the axis of democracy-monarchism that has materialized the two, opposing ideologies into the form of one person— the politician vs. the king. In this way, the politician

62 63

Winichakul, 2001, ibid. p. 62 – 63. Winichakul, 2001, ibid. p. 64.

and the king became the dichotomy, and, apparently, the monarch has won this political competition. While I stated that the increase of the monarchy‘s popularity in the present reign marked the victory of monarchism over democracy, it does not mean that the Thai political system changed from democracy back to monarchism. This phenomenon is, as I would like to define, a ―crypto-monarchism,‖ meaning that the monarch, King Bhumibol, is capable to intervene in politics (as he actually did for several times), despite the fact that, by the constitutional law, he is legally incapable to do so. Let me clarify this point a little bit more. According to the constitutional law, the king is ―beyond politics,‖ meaning that he has neither right nor power to do anything concerning politics (and any business of the country). But what made the principle of the constitutional monarchy problematic is due to another law: the lèse majesté, the law that protects the reigning monarch from any offenses or criticism. These two laws function together in constructing the discourse of ―the King is beyond politics‖ while paradoxically they make his actions beyond any questions. To put it another way: King Bhumibol has is power but not the accountability, he is capable to do anything, including intervening in politics without any scrutiny. This characteristic is in conflict with the democratic principle, whereas the country is still identified as a democratic state. Furthermore, the king‘s intervention in politics is acceptable among the Thais. It is interesting that Thai people consider it not as an intervention, but as the solution that solves problems in any political turmoil. Ironically enough, these are the very same people that strongly believe that the king is beyond politics. This is the paradox of the contemporary Thai politics that illustrates what I called ―crypto-monarchism,‖ a monarchist mentality in a democratic state. King Bhumibol is the true-righteous ruler of Thailand. I would like to note that, in the coronation ceremony, there is a customarily dialogue between the king and the Brahmins. This dialogue is for the king to declare his position and the mission as the king, the ruler of the kingdom. In the coronation ceremony, the Brahmins would ask the king (in Thai and in Pali):

"ขอได้ ทรงราชภาระดารงราชสมบัติโดยธรรมสม่าเสมอเพือประโยชน์ เกือกูลและสุ ขแห่ งมหาชนสื บไป” ่ ้
(―May Your Majesty take upon Yourself the business of government, and, for the good and happiness of the populace, reign in righteousness!")

The king would reply:

"ดูกรพราหมณ์ บัดนี เ้ ราทรงราชภาระครองแผ่นดินโดยธรรมสม่าเสมอ เพือประโยชน์ เกือกูลและสุ ขแห่ งมหาชน…” ่ ้

("Brahmins, now that I have assumed the full responsibility of government, I shall reign in righteousness for the good wealth of the populace. . .") (Jeamteerasakul underlined) 64

Such declaration is legitimate in an absolute monarchy system, where the king takes the full responsibility in the country‘s administration. But it is completely illegitimate and senseless in a democratic system because such duty belongs to the government. The fact that King Bhumibol‘s reply in the his coronation ceremony in 1946, which was re-translated as

“เราจะครองแผ่ นดินโดยธรรม เพื่อประโยชน์ สุขแห่ งมหาชนชาวสยาม” (the meaning is the same as in the English
version I quoted and underlined above) is still in the public mind proved ―the righteous ruler who assumed the full responsibility of the government,‖ is the king, just like those past kings in an absolute monarchy system. King Bhumibol is the true national leader, the (head of) government of Thailand. This concept of the righteous ruler was naturalized in the Thai consciousness, while it is indeed in conflict with the principle of democracy. To conclude this part, I would like to say that; first, the early 1980s of Thailand was the period when the monarchy started gaining back the popularity after the country had changed its political system from an absolute monarchy to a democracy in 1932. Secondly, King Chulalongkorn‘s cult that emerged in the same period is a part of this restoration project of the monarchy‘s popularity. In this respect, the emergence of the deceased king and his images marks the reincarnation, the revival of the political ideology that king had believed in, and he became an embodiment of. This revival operation did not occur alone, but occurred within the context of the political situation. King Chulalongkorn was politicized, and was to become a political instrument. Therefore, the presence of his images in cults is first and foremost a matter of politics. In the following part, I will investigate how King Chulalongkorn‘s images functioned to empower the present king, King Bhumibol.

The Two Great Kings: King Chulalongkorn’s image and the Empowering of King Bhumibol In the previous parts I laid the foundation of how the cult functioned in supporting the revival of the monarchy project, the concept of neo-royalism, and the ironic political


For both the Thai and the English translation of the original Pali texts, I would like to thank you Somsak

Jeamteerasakul who kindly provided me the texts from Prince Thaniwiwat‘s „The Coronation of His Majesty Prajadhipok, King of Siam‟ (1925). His remarks on the coronation ceremonies before and after the 1932 coup d‘état are also valuable. All the conversation on this topic took place between December 10 th – 11th 2008 in

phenomenon I called a crypto-monarchism in the reign of King Bhumibol. Now I will illustrate how the images of King Chulalongkorn appeared and functioned in constructing the power of the present King, making this so-called ―crypto-monarchism‖ possible. The extensive portraiture of King Chulalongkorn helped constructing the revival of him in a form of a cult in the present time. Those portraits, especially the photographs produced during his life-time became an important element in making the deceased king present again among the living. To put it another way, it is the images that bring the dead back to life; through the presence of images, King Chulalongkorn continues to live in the memory of the Thais. As I mentioned earlier that King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol are the two kings having the longest reigns in the history of the Chakri dynasty, therefore of Siam and the nation-state Thailand, comparing them together became the best device in bringing back the monarchy‘s popularity. Regarding the characteristic of King Chulalongkorn as the absolute authoritarian in the political system, namely monarchism, nobody else could be better than him in representing, and being used as the most potent symbol of the absolute monarchy. Furthermore, the strong image of King Chulalongkorn as great father-ruler also enables him to be the perfect symbol, the icon in this revival project— the old ruler strikes back. The restoration of the monarchy‘s authority and popularity lies in these selected meanings of his charismatic images that were manipulated, reproduced, used, and distributed in the society. Due to the royal jubilees I described earlier, the comparison between King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol began in the late 1980s. As for the year 1988, in which King Bhumibol‘s sixtieth birthday and the celebration for the longest reign took place, Stengs referred to the book ‘สองมหาราชนักพัฒนา’ (song maharaj nak phattana, Two Great Development Kings) published that year that addressed most achievements of the two kings; its cover picture shows a composition of their portraits. According to her interpretation on the composition of the picture, the spirit of King Chulalongkorn (in the sepia color that identified him as the past) is watching over his grandchild, King Bhumibol, who was placed in the front and dressed in a white uniform with golden decorations. In this context, Stengs also related the spirit of King Chulalongkorn to the concept of Phra Syama Devadhiraj, the spirit of royal-national protector. 65 She also mentioned that the same composition was founded in one of the triumphal aches erected for the celebration on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok, as well as in the media, such as newspapers, magazines, and television broadcasts and other objects including coins, medallions, statuettes, greeting cards, stickers, and posters (Fig. 28) King Chulalongkorn keeps appearing in sepia, as to distinct him from the present time, for

Stengs, p. 300.

example, in the new year greeting card that shows a large portrait of the past king as a background for the smaller, colored figure of the present King Bhumibol (Fig. 29).66 King Bhumibol, standing in the rice field, holds a sickle in his right hand, giving him the image of the accessible for all classes including the peasants, and at the same time, of the national father of the agricultural country Thailand. Steng‘s interpretation of the spirit of King Chulalongkorn (in the form of a sepiacolored figure) coheres with Peter A. Jackson‘s remark on the message “King Rama 5 and 9 live on among their subjects,” regardless the grammartical incorrectness imprinted in that greeting card (the message is not visible in the picture I use). In „Royal spirits, Chinese gods, and magic monks: Thailand‟s boom-time religions of prosperity,‟ Jackson notes that this greeting card represents the connection between King Chulalongkorn as the spirit of the land, in both a metaphorical and a literal sense, and the living King Bhumibol as the strength of the land (in Sanskrit, Bhumi = land, Bala = strength).67 To connect the idea of the land with the nation, as the land, the territory is the objectivity of the abstract idea of the nation, to be the ―father of the land,‖ in terms of the spirit and / or the strength is to be the ―father of the nation,‖ too. Being the national fathers, both kings also live under the discourse of ―the devotional popularist king,‖ given love and loyalty by their childlike subjects. The last example of the ―merged image‖ of King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol I will put in this part is the banknote. There are three versions of the banknote; one of them shows the image of King Chulalongkorn on one side and King Bhumibol on the other side (Fig. 30), while the other two posit them together (Fig 31, 32). In the first banknote (Fig. 30), King Chulalongkorn, as Phra Piya Maharaj (the Great Beloved King) is depicted as standing on the pedestal among his grateful subjects, while the other picture of him in the foreground shows the full royal attire with the detail of decorations. The other side of the banknote shows the face of King Bhumibol. The same image of King Bhumibol is used in the second version of the banknote (Fig. 31), of which its other side displays King Chulalongkorn sitting on the throne with his grandchild standing beside him. It is remarkable that in both versions, King Chulalongkorn slightly turns his head and thereby his eyes are looking towards the space on the left of the banknotes. As the modernizer of Thailand, his gaze signifies the concept of the modern, the progress towards the civilized future. In a different manner, King Bhumibol makes eye

66 67

Stengs, ibid. p. 301. Peter A. Jackson, “Royal spirits, Chinese gods, and magic monks: Thailand‟s boom-time religions of

prosperity,” South East Asia Research, 7, 3 (November 1999), p. 303 – 304, cited in Surakarn Toesomboon, p. 174.

contact with the banknote user. His gaze looks out of the banknote, to the space of the people in reality. In the last version (Fig. 32), King Chulalongkorn was placed behind King Bhumibol, but both of them are looking towards the space on the left. This position gives the same sense as in King Chulalongkorn‘s images in the other two versions— the sense of modernity, looking towards the future. Through all these images, King Bhumibol established his power and authority by comparing himself with King Chulalongkorn the Great. To consider the revival of the popularity of the monarchy in the present reign, the King Chulalongkorn cult functions as a political cult. It makes the image of the monarchy, as opposed to that of the politicians, the last and the only pillar of political stability of Thailand. Images play a significant role in this monarchy revival project. Firstly, images bring back the deceased king to life. Although he passed away since 1910, King Chulalongkorn does not completely die from the Thai consciousness. As transformed into another kind of presence— as images— King Chulalongkorn can be seen everywhere both in the private or public space. Secondly, while making the deceased king reincarnated in the public remembrance, images visualized his being too. Since one of the most eminent characteristics of King Chulalongkorn is that of the absolute ruler in monarchism, he, precisely his images, is an embodiment of such characteristic. In other words, images make the abstract political ideology, monarchism concrete by personifying it in the figure of King Chulalongkorn. Thirdly, images make the comparison of the two kings from different times and spaces possible; by placing them together, they are seen (as if they really were) together. Images made a link between them. The living king was empowered by the deceased king, as if he was blessed by the supernatural power of his ancestor. This magical aspect of the image, in this case, was used for a political purpose. As images of the deceased king became a symbol of the ideology of monarchism, the use of his images is therefore an attempt to reestablish the power and the authority of the reigning monarch, which was also personified and symbolized in the figure of King Bhumibol in the course of contemporary political competition. In this way, an omnipresence of the two kings does not only make them, the semidivine noble, visible and accessible, but also spread their power to the mass. In the course of the image reproduction, manipulation, and distribution in modern society, the charisma of the model of the image, or, an ―aura‖ in Walter Benjamin‘s terms does not decline, nor does it disappear due to the change from an unreachable divinity to a reachable one.68 On the

In Benjamin‘s perspective, what he called an ―aura‖ is the magical, ritual aspect that that contains in the

uniqueness of an image in an artwork declines in the course of the media production. Once reproduced and

contrary, an ―aura,‖ a magical aspect that is rooted in religious belief and a charisma, or a power of the model that has been integrated in the images itself, spreads over to the wider area of the public, emphasizing the power of the model of that image in the public mind. The integration between the image and its model (the king; the semi-divinity on earth), through the likeness the image presents, makes the image sacred in itself. The king‘s image became an object for worship, to be given respect and loyalty, as the people would do for the king himself. Through this successful project of the revival of the monarchy, the images of the two great kings turned the political-national symbol, the true father-ruler of Thailand to one Thai people are ready to die for. This monarchist mentality was partly evoked from King Chulalongkorn‘s cult that motivates the nationalistic sentiment of the Thais. Interestingly, after a while, King Bhumibol‘s image became powerful enough to be independent from his grandfather. The images of the living king became symbols that are capable to stand alone; they have no need to rely on the images of the deceased king any longer. Instead of having a picture of any coup stagers or a politician hanging on the wall, Thai people put the picture of King Bhumibol in their houses, in their offices, and in the public space. Meanwhile, the King Chulalongkorn cult turned more and more magical. His images became an object for a vow, and have been worshipped especially by the middle class.

Worshipping King Chulalongkorn’s Images: Irony, or a Form of local Modernity? The other face of King Chulalongkorn‘s images is that of the magical one. As I mentioned earlier that the King Chulalongkorn cult is the phenomenon that shows that the Thai middle class puts their hopes on the dead king, an attempt in communicating with the dead, expresses the mystical, the supernatural aspect of the cult, as well as the attitude towards the modern king. This particular aspect transformed King Chulalongkorn from an important king to a powerful spirit, a divine being. What does this phenomenon signify? Instead of being in conflict with animism, why does the ―modern‖ king fit well with this ―traditional‖ belief? In this part, I will examine King Chulalongkorn‘s images and the ritual around them in search for an explanation of this paradoxical phenomenon. Within the realm of the cult, his images are both an amulet and a sacred object for a vow. As a cult, King Chulalongkorn protects those who believe in him personality cult, the; at the same time, he fulfills the favor of his believers who, in turn, give thanks to him. Now let me return to Aeusrivongse‘s analysis of the King Chulalongkorn cult. He remarks that, as a real characters and achievements of the person were brought in,

approachable from the mass, it will lose a uniqueness, an authenticity, and a ritual value that lies in its distance. See Benjamin, p. 251 - 283.

reinterpreted, and magnified to the stage of reverence.69 In this respect, some of these realities were selected; the discourses concerning King Chulalongkorn which were involved in this spiritual aspect of the cult, are that of the ―civilized‖ and the ―fatherly ruler.‖ Aeusrivongse explained that the cult worshippers are those who feel insecure towards the administration of the government, mainly one that engaged with the economics and business. These people turned to the glorious past, which is the period of King Chulalongkorn, the ―fatherly ruler‖ who had made the country ―civilized.‖70 They placed his images in their shops, restaurants, and offices because they believe that he will help their business ‚ทามาค้าขึ้น‛ (tum ma kha kheoun, literally means ―prosperous‖). King Chulalongkorn is an accessible fatherly king, at the same time, a divine spirit, capable of making wishes come true. The way the cult worshippers called him, ‚เสด็จพ่อ‛ (father), proves the intense relationship, the father-child relationship, between them and the deceased king.71 The notion of an accessible father made the Royal Plaza an all-time accessible cathedral for the public, where the statue of the king is the center of worship (Fig. 33). 72 As a personality cult, worshipping King Chulalongkorn is ground in the knowledge about him (his autobiography and favorites). Tuesday is the most important day of the cult because the king was born on Tuesday, and many believe that every Tuesday night, at 10 pm, the spirit of the king descends from heaven to enter the statue.73 The votive offerings that people bring to him are (among other Thai traditional votive offerings found in other cults, such as garlands, incense, fresh coconut, and Thai sweets) bunches of red or pink roses, brandies, and cigars, because they believe that these are the king‘s favorites. These offerings reflect that the king‘s taste is a mixture of Western and Thai delicacies.74 Moreover, this character of the cult is the perfect example of the relationship between an image and a beholder which shows that people respond to images the way they may do to a

Yet, the source of knowledge of the personality, characteristic, and achievement of the person (in other

words, the myths around the person) relies on the historical narrative of that person. The general body of knowledge on King Chulalongkorn is the history told mainly through an educational system; a school history curriculum, which, consequently, became a collective memory about him. Historiography is, as I already said, a method of constructing reality, which will become a memory.

In Siam and Thailand respectively, the notion of the ―civilized (ความเจริ ญ )‖ is the same as that of the

―progress (ความก้าวหน้า),‛ and the ―modern (ความทันสมัย, ความเป็ นสมัยใหม่).‛ See Winichakul, 2000, p. 528- 549.
71 72 73 74

Aeusrivongse, p. 12-13, 17, and 32-34. Aeusrivongse, ibid. p. 37. Stengs, p. 102. Stengs, ibid. p. 103. Stengs, ibid. p. 1.

real person (a model of an image). Freedburg makes an interesting observation on how the perception of an image as a representation changes to a presentation. He explains that what is represented becomes full present, indeed, representation is subsumed by presence. Therefore, the object slightly changes from ―it‖ to ―him/her‖; the sign has become a living embodiment of what it signifies.75 His explanation gives a comprehensive reason why images come to be not only respected, but also treated as if they were real persons. However, to take Freedburg‘s analysis to our case, I should further note that, because King Chulalongkorn is dead, the response towards his images is not as if to the real, living noble person, but to the divine spirit of that noble person. Visiting the Royal Plaza is not only to ask for help and to offer him votive offerings once a wish is fulfilled, but also to perform a consecration rite. In this perspective, the king appears fully as the divine spirit, the deity that can transform an ordinary object into a sacred one. The objects, yet, must be something that are related to him in some ways. Significantly, objects that most of the worshippers bring to a ritual initiation on Tuesday night are coins that have his portraits imprinted, especially the coins that were produced in his reign (Fig. 34). 76 After having been sacralized, these coins became amulets; they protect the bearer from harm. Stengs gave one example of the miracle of the coin; in 1992 the Thai movie star Bin Banlerit declared that he had survived a car accident because of the protective power of the original King Chulalongkorn coin he wore as an amulet.77 In the same manner, pictures and photographs of the king are consecralized; these images are given as gifts, placed at home, or made as an amulet locket (Fig. 35). From the examples I cited above, it is apparent that the king‘s portrait imagery acquires the aura of the noble person, of whom it was previously taboo to represent. Furthermore, because that noble person is dead, his image is not only divine, but also spiritual― a divine spirit. Since King Chulalongkorn as a divine spirit became a popular concept, worshipping him is in conflict with his identity as the modern king, the modernizer. Yet, his identity as the modern king that is grounded in the discourses of the ―civilized‖ and ―progress‖ discourses are indistinguishable; because they are the reasons, the purpose, and the wish in progress and prosperity the worshippers wish for. King Chulalongkorn cult, demonstrates that the Siamese / Thai concept of power and supernatural qualities of a Buddhist king transformed the deceased king into a powerful spirit, who is capable of making a wish come true, regardless

75 76 77

Freedburg, p. 27 – 28. Aeusrivongse, p. 17. Stengs further noted that after Bin told his story to the media, the number of people worshipping the king

at the equestrian statue increased. Stengs, p. 103.

of the Western-modern aspects of the king when he was alive. It is probably impossible to distinguish the traditional belief in animism from the modernist discourse (in terms of western rationalism) in the case of modernity in non-Euro-American cultures. While seeming to be an ironic form of modernity, it can be seen as a localized one as well. The realistic approach in western image-making was incorporated in the previous Buddhist-animist discourse and, finally, appeared in a mystic realm. King Chulalongkorn, in the form of a cult, has his afterlife in the today popular imagery of the Thais through the visualization, the various forms of modern media reproduction, and the objects on which his images were imprinted. These images prove that traditional belief and religion survive in today‘s society. In this way, tradition and modernity, no matter how strange it may seem, runs parallel in contemporary Thailand.

Chapter 4 The Revival of the Dead: Images of Atatürk in Turkey’s Contemporary Politics After Atatürk closed his eyes at 9.05 A.M. on the 10th November 1938 at Dolmabahçe palace in Istanbul, he never really died from the Turkish citizens. From then on, every year at the same day and the same time, the sirens will be heard all over the country to commemorate the national moment of grief. People still remember, talk about, and miss him, children also learn about him from their lessons in primary school.78 Yet, the intensive appearance of Atatürk‘s images in the mid 1990s is not simply a continuous practice of commemorating the national ancestor. Esra Özyürek remarked that Turkish politicians and intellectuals described the recent interest in Atatürk in the mid 1990s as a kind of resurrection (yeniden diriliş) or an awakening (uyanış).79 Why did this phenomenon occur in the mid 1990s? What made an already-ubiquitous images of the national ancestor increasingly appear at a specific moment? Chapter 4 will investigate the re-emergence, the new representation, and the use of Atatürk‘s images in the context of the political competition among groups in Turkey‘s contemporary politics. The mid 1990s is a transitional moment of Turkey when the secularist hegemony was challenged from the Islamist through the rise of political Islam. Yael NavaroYashin, one of the scholars on Turkish subjects wrote that the political context in the mid 1990s and the context of what was called the ―politics of identity‖ amongst secularists and Islamists are the factors of the deployment of the image of Atatürk. The figure of Atatürk was widely used and reproduced by self-declared Ataturkists.80 The images of Atatürk were employed in the production of posters, badges, portraits, photographs, busts, statues, and statuettes. These items were extensively distributed and circulated in public and private secularist venues as well as at demonstrations. In her analysis, Navaro-Yashin remarked that the efforts to inscribe a lasting presence for ―Atatürk‘s Turkey‖ arose in the middle of the 1990s out of anxiety over the possible disintegration of Turkey as a result of attacks from Kurdish and Islamist movements.81 This phenomenon evoked the use of Atatürk‘s images as a form of resistance to both the political Islam and the Kurdish minority. In this perspective, the emergence of images of the deceased

Nazlı Ökten, “An Endless Death and an Eternal Mourning. November 10 in Turkey,” in Esra Özyürek

(ed.), The Politics of Public Memory in Turkey, 2007: Syracuse University Press, p. 95.
79 80

Özyürek, p. 96. Navaro-Yashin, p. 188. In this chapter, I will use the term ―Kemalism,‖ when I refer to the ideology, while

the term ―Atatürkist‖ will be used while speaking about the people. The terms ―Atatürkism (Atatürkçülük),‖ as explained by Ökten, is a renamed version of ―Kemalism.‖ See Ökten, footnote 2, ibid, p. 96.

Navaro-Yashin, ibid, p. 196.

Atatürk is the reincarnation of the national ancestor, of the founder of the republic, as well as of the political ideology he had initiated (secularism). Yet, it is not only that those who claimed themselves as ―Atatürkist‖ that employ his images in declaring their political statement, in the late 1990s, the Islamic Party began to appropriate the images of Atatürk too.82 This revival operation did not occur alone, but was in reaction with the political situation. There has been a war of symbols going on in Turkey. This chapter will investigate how an Atatürkist and an Islamist give meaning to the deceased national ancestor, reconstruct and contend the memory about him. In so doing, they attempt to legitimate their ideologies as tied with his principle (as they believe theirs is ―genuine‖), and thereby use his images as their symbols against the others.

Atatürk of the Atatürkists Kemalism has been an official ideology of the Turkish republic since the 1930s, and an image of Atatürk has been the symbol of such ideology since then. As I mentioned in chapter 2, Atatürk‘s statues and monuments were erect everywhere in Turkey as a mark of the new secular republic in the old, Islamic Ottoman land. ―Punctuating space,‖ highlighting a specific landscape plays a significant role again when Kemalism was challenged by Political Islam in the mid 1990s. In 1994, while people joined forces to organize all sorts of Atatürk‘s events, the week of November 10 was officially organized as ―Atatürk‘s week‖ (Atatürk Haftası) in memory of the death of the nation‘s founder. President Demirel erected Atatürk statues into four new schools in Ankara, including the one in the neighborhood of Sincan, which is densely populated by Islamists. Atatürk statues were erected in the main school courtyards. In his speeches on this occasion, President Demirel declared that ―15 millions of young Turkish people are taking charge of Atatürk with love‖ and that ―the statue of Atatürk is a symbol of love.‖83 The erecting of Atatürk statues was the central defining activity of the Atatürk Week events. Another example of an act of punctuating space took place in 1996. An officer of the Turkish military (an adamant secularist institution) ordered the erection of a statue of Atatürk in a local square in Sultanbeyli, one of the districts of Istanbul, whose inhabitants had voted predominantly for the Islamist political party, the Refah Party. Çinar Alev points out that the placement of Atatürk‘s statue emphasizes an authority of secular nationalism in an Islamicized district. It was an attempt to re-establish the power and authority of secularism as
82 83

See Ökten, p. 96 - 113 and Özyürek, p. 151 – 177. Cumhuriyet, November 14, 1994, p. 15, cited in Navaro-Yashin, p. 196.

an uncontestable norm and defining mark of the nation.84 The iconic figure of Atatürk has become the most potent symbol of official nationalist ideology, not only for the state, but also for contending ideologies. As all of these punctuating spaces are in a public sphere (it is a matter for the public indeed), they provide contour to landscapes, socializing them and saturating them with specific political value, that is, secular value. Let me come back to İnci sculpture studio I mentioned in chapter 1. The molds in İnci‘s studio shop had lived through almost all of Turkey‘s republican history, and statues had been produced in an artisan way to be funded mostly by institutions of the state, until the Islamic Welfare Party took hold of Istanbul‘s municipalities in 1994. Necati İnci, the second generation of the studio, said that ―Welfarists are not erecting statues of Atatürk in every public site as the old municipalities used to.‖85 Yet, what is interesting is his remark that there has been increased interest from the private sector. More and more Atatürkist organizations and secular-mined owners of companies and shops were demanding Atatürk statues (Fig. 36). This phenomenon shows that the demand for Atatürk busts and statues, together with other objectified forms of portraits, posters, and badges that grew in the mid-1990s, is more widespread among members of society. It is not just a matter of the state anymore, but also of the private sectors, who identified themselves as ―secularist,‖ thereby as ―Atatürkist.‖ People decorate their physical surroundings with images of Atatürk. There were various styles of posters, framed portraits, postcards, and pictures of Atatürk to be found in the market. Navaro-Yashin mentioned one popular image of Atatürk. In this picture, he wore a white shirt and black suit-and-tie, looking up to the sky, and therefore to ―progress‖ (Fig. 37).86 On special occasions such as Republic Day (October 29) and Atatürk‘s death (November 10), mainstream secular newspapers such as Sabah, Hürriyet, and Milliyet will distribute free posters of Atatürk to their readers. Not only formal-looking images that Turkish people want to have, but also new representation of Atatürk appear during this period. Since the foundation of the republic, until then, an official representation of Atatürk displays him as a serious man in either a military uniform or in stylish, western civilian attire. Özyürek stated that in the late 1990s, some painters and sculptors began to depict Atatürk the way it never existed during his life time: a smiling Atatürk.87 New representations of Atatürk can also be found in photographs. Atatürk‘s newly popular photographs are ones that depict him in a leisure activities, especially these show him smiling (Fig. 38). These kinds of appearance desacralize him, and make a closer relationship to him. In her analysis on the images of the deceased leader and the role of
84 85 86 87

Çinar Alev, p. 100-101. Navaro-Yashin, p. 89. Navaro-Yashin, ibid. p. 86. Özyürek, p. 111.

nostalgia in the political transitional period, Özyürek further pointed out that the non-official representation of Atatürk‘s photographs portrays the happiness of the past (1930s). 88 In this respect, I think that it is a reconstruction of the memory. Images of the deceased Atatürk doing pleasurable activities signify the happiness of the time when he was alive, the happy past. The change because of the rise of Islam creates not only anxiety, but also nostalgia, the wish for past time happiness― the good, old days. At the height of the conflict with Islamists, Atatürk paraphernalia were put on the market. In 1994, after the victory of the Welfare Party in the election in municipalities, one could find all sorts of things on the market with Atatürk‘s figure on them. Whereas the veil is a symbol of Islam, the Atatürkists attached pins of Atatürk on their coats, sweaters, or blouses as brooches. Atatürkist women and men began to wear these pins to be visibly distinguishable from Islamists. There were silver-colored pins with Atatürk‘s portrait as well as gold-coated ones. Wearing Atatürk paraphernalia became quite widespread in society as reaction to the Welfare Party. School teachers, working women, businesswomen and men wore Atatürk pins, semiotically defending their lifestyle against the one professed and practiced by veiled Islamist women.89 In an interview with her mother, Esra Özyürek also pointed out that her mother started having Atatürk‘s pin on her clothes after the Islamic Party won the local election in Istanbul in 1994. ―When I am walking on the street, I want to show that there are people who are dedicated to Atatürk‘s principles. Look, now there are veiled women walking around even in this neighborhood {she lives in Erenköy, a secular neighborhood in Istanbul}. I put my chest forward to show them my pin as I pass by them. I have my Atatürk against their veils.‖ 90 In this way, Atatürk became a central symbol in contemporary politics of identity. People identify themselves as Atatürkists, at the same time they make their political statement as secularist outwards by having Atatürk‘s images with them, in their offices, houses, and on their bodies. Atatürk‘s images became a tool, a political symbol of secularism against Islam in the political transit of the 1994. All activities around Atatürk‘s image, and the large quantity of reproduction of his images in various forms led to criticism from the Islam. The Islamist Yeni Şafak newspaper likened the cult around Atatürk statues with ―idolatry‖ (putçuluk), while the other newspaper Akit declared that ―statues do not fill hungry stomachs.‖91 Before I finish this part, I would like to cite one interesting example of how people used Atatürk‘s image, which fits with the Islamist‘s critique of putçuluk. In 1997, the

88 89 90 91

Özyürek, ibid. p. 113 – 115. Navaro-Yashin, p. 89. Özyürek, p. 99. Yeni Şafak, November 11, 1996 and Akit, November 11, 1996. Cited in Navaro-Yashin, p. 197.

government abolished the religious schools (İmam Hatip) which were the centers that had produced Islamist activists and intellectuals. In reaction to that, the Islamists organized a public demonstration in Ankara to argue for their democratic right to choose the education of their children. When the demonstrators were marching, there was a young woman who suddenly took a portrait of Atatürk out from her handbag, and showed it to a demonstrator. In Navaro-Yashin‘s analysis of this event, she stated that the act of the young woman, Chantal Zakari, was as a religious act of holding a cross to stop the devil.92 Images of Atatürk, at a certain point, became just like an amulet at the moment of confrontation. In this respect, Atatürk is a cult figure that is used as a statement against Islam. Furthermore, the Atatürkists, by decorating their places with his images and having his face attached to their bodies, alienate the Islamists from the concept of the good Turkish citizen. Those who declare themselves as Atatürkists see themselves as the true descendants of Atatürk, the guardians of his republican principles, of which one of the aims is to distinguish religion from politics. Turkish nationalism and secularism are closely bound connected.

Atatürk of the Islamists In the previous part, I showed how the secular government and the people who declare their political position as Atatürkists, employ Atatürk‘s images in their reaction against Political Islam. In this part, I will demonstrate how the Islamists use images of this beloved-deceased leader in arguing with the first group. Whereas some Islamists criticized the frenzy of Atatürk‘s image‘s reproduction and distribution as putçuluk, in 1998, some of them, including the Welfare Islamist Party began to strike back the Atatürkists with Atatürk‘s images that are related to Islam.93 Regarding the fact that Islam prohibits image-making, Islamist appropriation of Atatürk‘s images is very extraordinary as well as very new. Until now, there are not so many scholars who studied this issue, but among them are Nazlı Ökten and Esra Özyürek, whom I will mainly refer to in this part. As it is a very special act of Islam, I would like to demonstrate that Islamist‘s appropriation of Atatürk‘s images is a pure political matter. After the rise to power in 1994 and the greatest number of votes they got in the 1995 election, the Islamist Welfare Party was closed down in 1997. The constitutional court banned the Welfare Party by accusing their works in conflict with the republic‘s principle of secularism. This incidence created a reaction from the Islamists, especially from the Virtue

92 93

Navaro-Yashin, ibid. p. 190. Yet, the first group, one that regards Atatürk as an enemy of Islam is much bigger. The second group, one

that believes that Atatürk is a savior of Muslim nation, is both smaller and newer than the other one. The second group seeks for the way to connect Atatürk with Islam. See more detail in Ökten, p. 95 – 113.

Party that came to replace the Welfare Party and the Islamists newspaper such as Akit and Milli Gazete. Özyürek pointed out that they attempt to challenge ―the foundational myths of the Turkish Republic‖ and to legitimate their ideology and actions by retrieving the memory of the founding moment of the republic and inscribing themselves with it.94 To give an example of what I described above, I will talk about the cover of the Islamist newspaper Akit. On the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Turkish Republic (29th October, 1998), Akit published a photograph of Atatürk that no one has ever seen before in any official media (Fig. 39). This particular photograph was taken in the public declaration of the republic on the 29th October, 1923. In this photograph, Atatürk was standing on the balcony of the National Assembly building in Ankara, having the religious leader with a white turban standing beside him. All of them were praying as we can see from their gestures (their palms turned upward at the chest level). It is not only this photograph of Atatürk in a religious manner that is striking, but also the way the editor composed the entire cover page. Below the photograph of Atatürk, there is a photograph of a policewoman covering the mouth of a veiled university student. That photograph was taken during the nationwide protests on university campuses organized by veiled university students after they had been informed that they would not be allowed to register in the universities if they still cover their heads with veils. 95 The headline located above Atatürk‘s picture reads, ―It Started Like This‖ (Böyle Basladi), whereas another one beside the veiled student reads, ―And It Became Like That‖ (Ve Böyle Oldu).96 By positioning these two pictures together, Akit criticized the present secular government that their action was actually against Atatürk‘s founding principle. By doing so, Akit reminded the forgotten history, that Atatürk and religious leaders were alliances at the beginning of the republic. 97 Moreover, the pictures proved that the secular republic means not emancipation for Turkish people, but oppression, and limitation of choices for both the body and the education for the Turks. The other example that shows Atatürk in relation to Islam is the cover of the newspaper Milli Gazete. On the anniversary of Atatürk‘s death (10th November) in 1998, Milli Gazete, which is known for its close association with the Virtue Party, published the picture
94 95

Özyürek, p. 152. Same as an abolishment of the religious school (İmam Hatip), the government oppressed the Islamists by

not allowing the university students to cover their heads. Among other academic works on this issue, I found that Kars (2004), the novel written by Orhan Pamuk, the noble-prize writer, presents the debate over the veiling-unveiling issue very nicely.
96 97

Özyürek, ibid. p. 158. Özyürek, ibid. p. 152 – 153.

of Atatürk and his then wife, Latife Hanım in a black veil (Fig. 40). Atatürk and Latife Hanım married in 1924, one year after the foundation of the republic and few years before he launched the secularization reforms in 1930s.98 According to Özyürek, Latife Hanım is a French-educated Turkish woman; although she wore a western-style costume many times, she only wore a black veil when accompanying Atatürk through Anatolia. Displaying Atatürk and his veiled wife also concerned the controversial debate about veiling. Milli Gazete criticized the government that forced the students to unveil (otherwise they wouldn‘t be accepted to the university) as an insult towards the Anatolian people, whom Atatürk referred to as ―masters of the nation‖ (köylü milletin efendisidir). Moreover, they limited the freedom of choosing the way of dressing, which is in conflict with the principle of democracy and this is one of the aims of Atatürk‘s Reforms. Milli Gazete quoted the 1923 speech of Atatürk: ―The veil recommended by our religion suits both life and virtue well. Those who imitate European women in their dresses should consider that every nation has its own traditions and national particularities. No nation should be an imitator of another.‖ 99 This quotation demonstrates the positive attitude of the nation‘s founder towards veiling; at the same time it blames the secular government to be the betrayer of Atatürk. Although the process of secularization began during Atatürk‘s lifetime, the editors of Akit and Milli Gazete found issues around Atatürk in the history of the nation-founding that they could use as strategies to argue with the secularists. Akit‘s cover is so powerful because the photograph of Atatürk functions as a testimony, a proof of his presence, that he was there praying religious prayer on the first day of the new republic. By displaying this eminent photograph, Akit made this fact undeniable. Furthermore, the composition of the page that posits the picture of the veiled university student under the picture of the praying Atatürk, and the headlines: ―It Started Like This‖ (Böyle Basladi), and ―And It Became Like That‖ (Ve Böyle Oldu) make a very strong impact. Similar to Akit, Milli Gazette‘s use of Atatürk‘s image also makes a strong argument with the secularists. The picture of Latife Hanım wearing a black veil and walking beside Atatürk fits perfectly with the speech of the nation‘s founder chosen by the editor. Milli Gazette‘s cover is a good example of a strategic manipulation of text and image. It declares a clear statement of Islam, through the subject of veiling, that it is on the side of Atatürk, and also the other way around, that Atatürk is on their side. More importantly, both Akit and Milli Gazette ―re-constructed‖ the past by displaying the forgotten history of the role of Islam in the

98 99

Atatürk and Latife Hanım divorced in 1925. Özyürek, p. 160. It is remarkable that this speech of Atatürk contrasts the way the leader himself dressed.

Later on, in 1925, Atatürk launched the Hat Law that prohibits wearing fez, a religious headgear. The Hat Law is part of the 1925 Atatürk‘s Reforms that aimed to modernize and secularized the Turkish republic.

foundation of the Turkish state. An image is the key of this asserting-Islamist operation that centers around the figure of Atatürk. The first image proves that the foundation of the republic was ground on Islam, as both Atatürk and a religious leader were praying together. The second image legitimates a veil, an Islamic dress code as it was supported by him. In this way, the Islamists declare that it is actually them, not the secularists that are on the side of the national ancestor. It is the Islamists that are the true follower of Atatürk, and the true guardians of his principle.100

The Superstition and the Images of Atatürk While the Atatürkists position themselves as ―secularists,‖ they actually treat Atatürk, as well as his images in a superstitious way. The example I gave above: Chantal Zakari holding Atatürk‘s framed portrait against the Islamist demonstrator suggests a religious-based gesture of using an amulet against the devil and the belief in animism: the spirit of Atatürk (as resides in his portrait). The other, and the more famous example of the supernatural aspect of Atatürk‘s image is that of his shadow on the hill near the village of Gündeşli in Ardahan (Fig. 41). The picture of the profile of Atatürk is indeed a shadow of the cloud that casted on the hill. It is remarkable that Ardahan is close to another city, Kars which is densely populated by the Kurds. On 30th October, 1994, the secularist newspaper Hürriyet published the picture of Atatürk‘s shadow on the hill. Regarding the bomb by the PKK (Kurdistan Worker Party) occurred earlier in the same month in Izmir, Hürriyet‘s interpretation of this particular natural phenomenon as a proof of ―the indivisible unity of our country,‖

aroused Turkish

nationalism and the confirmation of the national boundary around the image of Atatürk. In this respect, Atatürk appeared as a spirit: the guardian spirit that prevents the nation and the Turks from the Kurds. Meanwhile, he was a metaphor of the boundary of the nation; his shadow marked, or in Verdery‘s term, punctuated the national-Turkish space. The Islamists seek for a mystical aspect of Atatürk too. The link between Atatürk and Islam that the Virtue Party tries to establish, or more precisely, to resurrect, in order to legitimate the party and its actions, creates the Islamist intellectuals and media to seek for a religious-related character of Atatürk. Akit and Milli Gazette I cited earlier are parts of, or, in relation with this political move of the Virtue Party. This operation is actually a continuation of what happened during the time of the Welfare Party in 1994. In October, 1994, a wellknown journalist and public figure Cenk Koray published the book ‗Kuran, Islam, Atatürk, and the Miracle of 19.‘ The magic of number 19 was brought to connect with Atatürk. In Koray‘s analysis, Atatürk is connected with the magic 19 (and therefore, with Islam) because

As a matter of fact, the period that Atatürk worked with some religious leaders is the early 1920s. He

began to distinguish Islam from politics and other aspects in Turkish society in the 1930s.

Navaro-Yashin mentioned that this natural phenomenon happens regularly. See Navaro-Yashin. p. 193.

he was born in 1881 and died in 1938, the numbers that are divisible by 19. His first military assignment was as ―commander of the 19th army corps,‖ the number of letters in his name (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk) is 19, and he initiated the War of Independence on the 19th May, 1919. In his conclusion, Koray stated that ―Atatürk was sent to Turkey by orders of God in order to complete a particular mission.‖102 We can see that both the Atatürkists and the Islamists have attempted in interpreting Atatürk the way that benefits them. By creating a link to Atatürk, they legitimate their political position and actions. Many aspects of Atatürk were selected and, later presented; some parts were resurrected after his death in 1938. The identity and the meaning of the deceased leader, as he already passed away, and therefore incapable of arguing for himself, appear to be discursive, and sometimes contradict with each other. While Turkish people, regardless what groups they are in, commemorate him, they construct the myth around him the way they want him to be. After he passed away, Atatürk never dies from the heart of his subject. Yet, in the 1990s he is probably not the same as when he was alive. The nation‘s founder became a site of multiple political expressions. As people fight over the possession of him, and the construction of the memory about him, Atatürk transformed into a symbol, a tool in the battle field of Turkey‘s contemporary politics.


Navaro-Yashin, ibid. p. 195 – 196.

Conclusion ‗Body and medium are both involved in the meaning of funeral images, as it is the missing body of the dead in whose place images were installed.‘

Hans Belting, Towards an anthropology of image (2005, p. 46)

Politics is expressed through symbolism. To understand the political process, it is necessary to understand how the symbolic enters into politics, and how political actors consciously and unconsciously manipulate symbols. It is probably easier for people to conceive authority in terms of a person like the king or the president. They use the metaphor of the body to conceive an authority, or a political system. Many of the most potent symbols have a palpable quality to them, making it easier for people to treat concepts as persons. An ideology maintains its identity and its continuity through its symbolic representation. Whereas a political leader has become an important symbol of organizational unity, the leader‘s death can threaten this unity. One solution is to keep the symbolism connected with the leader alive after his decease. I began this thesis with some thoughts concerning the omnipresence of images of deceased political leaders. What image, and why it is so important are the main interests of my research. Through an investigation of the emergence and the use of King Chulalongkorn‘s and Atatürk‘s images, I found they function as a political symbol, a strategy in a political competition; they make an abstract notion like a political ideology visible, anthropomorphize them in a form of a person who initiates such ideology, and emphasize such ideology in the realm of the nation. As my case studies are the political leaders from the non-Euro-American world, ―the dead‖ as mentioned by Belting, and Benjamin I referred to in the introduction, has a two-fold meaning. The first one is the metaphorical meaning of ―the living‖ as actually being ―the dead.‖ This is because there is none of their representations. Therefore they are not living in the mind of the public. Since the superstitious belief of the Siamese and the religious prohibition of the Islam do not allow creating representations of a person in a realistic form, they are an ―absence,‖ an invisible authority to their subjects. And they are the dead because they never come into being in a perceivable form. The dead and the absence are synonymous. In this meaning, I related the idea of the dead with absence, understood as invisibility, and the idea of life with presence, understood as visibility. Within this framework, after the contact with the Western world, where the idea of realistic portraiture came from, King Chulalongkorn and Atatürk came to life, and became livelier among their populace more than any authoritarian person before them, and this was through their adoption of western portraiture. By placing their portraits in various forms such

as statue, sculpture, painting, and photograph in the public sphere, they began to live in the mind of their people. An image is an artificial body. It is then, a media and a medium (in a sense that an image needs an embodiment in order to acquire any kind of visibility) between the power, the body, and the perception of the people who see the image. By appropriating the practice of Western portraiture, King Chulalongkorn and Atatürk were ―present.‖ They had lives because they, their representation indeed, existed. The second meaning is the more direct one. ―The dead‖ literary means those who passed away. As they are no longer living, they have no physical bodies. An image comes to play a key role in making them eternal. Through an image that has been reproduced and multiplied in various forms, including that of the paraphernalia, those deceased continue living in their afterlife. Again, an image mediates, and it replaces the missing body of the dead. Only the narrative (the myths and the biographies that turned to be hagiographies) could not maintain their lives, King Chualongkorn and Atatürk forever exist, in other words, they live in the mind of the people because of a never-ending reproduction of their images, and of an everlasting presence of their visual representation. Their artificial bodies first replace their real, missing bodies. The picture of the deceased is meant to introduce the dead in their new status. Secondly, they maintain their being (though they actually no longer living) in the public mentality. An image represents the absence of someone. And by arresting the process of the person‘s bodily decay, an image alters the temporality associated with the person, bringing him into the realm of the timeless or the sacred. By comparing the political leaders from two different cultures, I discovered the similarities by constructing some specific characteristics around them. My starting points were their status as agents of modernity and as fathers of the nations. In the temporal context of the early 20th century when westernization / modernization began to expand in the nonEuro-American new nation-states, Siam and Turkey adopted the discourse of western modernity, which brought also the conception of realistic portraiture. The political significance of the adoption and the use of the portrait are very obvious, though they differ in detail regarding the operation process and the way the portrait is used. In the case of Turkey, portraits of Atatürk in the early republican period functioned as a tool to deprive the power of the previous Ottoman regime. As an opposition to Islam, the extensive production and placing of Atatürk‘s portraits, especially in the form of statues erased the Islam prohibition of image-making from the society of Turkey. At the same time, these portraits formulated a nationalistic sentiment for the new nation-state that centers on the visibility of Atatürk. While portraiture functioned in the domestic politics in Turkey, King Chulalongkorn‘s employment of realistic portraiture played an important role in politics, both inside and outside the country. As a proof of scientific thoughts that ended the superstitious

belief of the Siamese pre-modernity, the king‘s portraits in various kinds of publications, such as newspaper and postcards helped constructing the image of a modern king in the eyes of the Western colonizers. On the other hand, King Chulalongkorn‘s equestrian statue structured Thai nationalism in connection with the royalty. This relationship between nationalism and royalism of the Siamese (later on, the Thais) is inseparable and finally became a hindrance of the progress to democracy in contemporary Thai politics. Interestingly, the orientation of realistic portraiture in both Turkey and Siam has a special place in the formation of nationalism, the feeling that it is rooted in not just an antiWestern heterophobia, but also ethnic minorities and their cultures. In connection with nationalism, images were engaged with defining the national space too. The placing of portraiture is part of the city planning, as is very clear in Turkey. An erection of Atatürk‘s busts and statues marked the triumph of the secular republic over the Islamic Ottoman empire. Later on, it re-confirmed the Turkish space, as we can see from the so-called ―shadow of Atatürk‖ on the hill near the Kurdish area of Kars. In this perspective, Turkish nationalism in the images of Atatürk, a symbol of himself and his republican principle, alienated the minority in Turkey to be ―the other within,‖ and formulated the idea of the true Turks. Here comes the reason why portraiture is so effective. What makes the images of these two leaders very much revered is grounded in the likeness of the image to its model. When a person is revered, his / her portraits will be revered too, because it is a representation, an exact replica of that person. It is treated the same way as people treat that actual person. Yet, when the person passes away, the response and the treat towards the image change according to the new status of that person (as the spirit). The transformation of a living person into a spirit of the dead not only causes the change in the way people react to image, but also paves the way back to a traditional belief of superstition in a modernized society. Both rulers were modernizers who turned ―sacred‖ or ―divine‖ as they were being worshipped (as a cult of personality). They are sacralized, despite their roles in modernizing the nation according to Western criteria of modernity (rationalization and scientification). Image-worship, sometimes to the point of idolatry, contradicts the modern aspect. What intend to be scientific and progressive about visual representation ended up being seen ―sacred‖ and ―divine.‖ At the end, the tradition and the modern co-exist. They do not stand against each other, but walk hand in hand in the context of political rituals. The Siamese king uses ritual to shore up his authority, but Turkish revolutionaries also use rituals to overthrow the monarch. The political elite employs rituals to legitimate his authority, but rebel battle back with rites of de-legitimation. Ritual is important in every political system, even in a secularized state like Turkey; rituals still play an important role. An image is the center of all these actions in political context. In this way, sacred values are

added to political discourse. This means a new kind of relation between religions, at least something between religious aspects, politics and the state.103 One more thing I found from the study of King Chulalongkorn‘s and Atatürk‘s images is the fact that the meaning of images, as well as of the person, is instable. As an image is treated as a text, as coded, as a symbol― an interpretable object ― the image is then an object of dialogue, having a provocative character. It is not a dead image that always says the same thing or has the same static metaphor. The meaning of images is indeed contingent, depending on the socio-political situation of the society, which is also constantly changing. This point is very clear when speaking about images of the deceased ones. As they do not speak anymore, the words can be put into their mouths. An attempt in reviving those who passed away does not reincarnate them the way they used to be. In fact, the revival creates a multiple identity for those deceased. The symbolic image, manifest in a physical form, embodies and brings together diverse ideas. It is multivocal as there is a variety of different meanings attached to the same symbol (the same symbol may be understood by different people in different ways). Hence, it is ambiguous because it has no precise meaning. What happened in the past context, gives a multiplicity of meanings to the résumé of the deceased. It is his complex biography that makes him a good instrument for revising history. His manifold activities encourage identification from a variety of people. The deceased leaders are, and will always be, interpreted from various angles according to the purposes of those who revive them. These meanings may sometimes contradict with each other. Their complexities make it easy to discern different sets of emphasis, extract different stories, and thus rewrite history. This quality or characteristic of a dead person allows the interpretation and thereby the proclamation over that person as whatever the manipulator wishes him to be. In this way, Atatürk is a political tool in the conflict between the secularists and the Islamists in the mid 1990s, and King Chulalongkorn is a means in the revival of Thai monarchy‘s popularity, and the patron saint of the Thai middleclass. It is not that ―they,‖ as the spirit, or the national divine protector, gaze at us, the living. But it is us that keep an eye on them; their presence in our mind is a result of our gaze. While thinking that we are being watched by these divinities, and do things in the hope that it will make them satisfied, we are actually watching them, and using them to legitimate what we do. As long as they are still seen as a potent symbol, these deceased leaders will always be revived. Their lives will be scrutinized; taking some aspects that may benefit the reviver,


In this thesis, I skip the use of Atatürk‘s images of the Muslim minority, the Alevi and the activities

around the equestrian statue of King Chulalongkorn in the latest political conflict in 2008. But it shows that this practice still continues.

then, more layers of meaning will be added to the dead. More and more features in their images will be presented. Through the pictures, the dead enter the eternality in the presence of their images.


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ยุโรป (Politics outside annals. Behind the scene of King Chulalongkorn‘s Royal Visits
to Europe), 2006, Bangkok: Matichon. Toesomboon, Surakarn, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริบทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรัชกาลที่ 5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียน ่

แปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ideological context from
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เสด็จพ่ อของกระฎุมพีไทยในปั จจุบัน” (Royalist-Nationalist History: From the Era of Crypto-Colonialism
to the new Royalist-Nationalism, or the Contemporary Thai Bourgeois Cult of Rama V ),

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Source of illustration

Fig. 1

Michael Barry, Figurative Art in Medieval Islam and the Riddle of Bihzâd of Herât (1465 – 1535), p. 40

Fig. 2

Michael Barry, Figurative Art in Medieval Islam and the Riddle of Bihzâd of Herât (1465 – 1535), p. 41

Fig. 3

Apinan Poshyananda, Western-style Painting and Sculpture in the Thai Royal Court (Vol. 1), p. 17

Fig. 4

Apinan Poshyananda, Western-style Painting and Sculpture in the Thai Royal Court (Vol. 1), p. 97

Fig. 5 Fig. 6

Fig. 7

Yael Navaro-Yashin, Faces of the State. Secularism and Public Life in Turkey, p. 88

Fig. 8

Apinan Poshyananda, Western-style Painting and Sculpture in the Thai Royal Court (Vol. 1), p. 19 Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและ อุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่

Fig. 9

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 236 Fig. 10 Apinan Poshyananda, Western-style Painting and Sculpture in the Thai Royal Court (Vol. 1), p. 20 Fig. 11 Kraireuk Nana, การเมือง “นอกพงศาวดาร” รั ชกาลที่ ๕ เบืองหลังพระบาทสมเด็จพระ ้

จุลจอมเกล้าเจ้ าอยู่หัวเสด็จประพาสยุโรป (Politics outside annals. Behind the scene of
King Chulalongkorn‘s Royal Visits to Europe), p. 31 Fig. 12 Kraireuk Nana,

การเมือง “นอกพงศาวดาร ” รัชกาลที่ ๕ เบืองหลังพระบาทสมเด็จพระ ้

จุลจอมเกล้าเจ้ าอยู่หัวเสด็จประพาสยุโรป (Politics outside annals. Behind the scene of
King Chulalongkorn‘s Royal Visits to Europe), p. 55 Fig. 13 Kraireuk Nana, การเมือง “นอกพงศาวดาร ” รั ชกาลที่ ๕ เบืองหลังพระบาทสมเด็จพระ ้

จุลจอมเกล้าเจ้ าอยู่หัวเสด็จประพาสยุโรป (Politics outside annals. Behind the scene of
King Chulalongkorn‘s Royal Visits to Europe), p. 179

Fig. 14


Nana, การเมือง “นอกพงศาวดาร ” รั ชกาลที่ ๕ เบืองหลังพระบาทสมเด็จพระ ้

จุลจอมเกล้าเจ้ าอยู่หัวเสด็จประพาสยุโรป (Politics outside annals. Behind the scene of
King Chulalongkorn‘s Royal Visits to Europe), p. 193 Fig. 15 Fig. 16 Fig. 17 Fig. 18 Fig. 19 Thanavi Chotpradit. Photograph taken in 2007 Thanavi Chotpradit. Photograph taken in 2008 Thanavi Chotpradit. Photograph taken in 2008üven_park_anıtı.jpgüven_park_anıtı_ arka_heykel.jpg Fig. 20 =2&ExhibitionID=6 Fig. 21 Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 236 Fig. 22 8ada-1958907df268.jpg Fig. 23 VictorEmmanuel _ 6644.jpg Fig. 24 Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่ 3582d7-b2bd-4ac7-

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 236 Fig. 25 Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 261 Fig. 26 Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 233

Fig. 27

Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 241 Fig. 28 Irene Louise Stengs, Worshipping the Great Moderniser, The cult of King Chulalongkorn, patron saint of the Thai middle class, no page number Fig. 29 Irene Louise Stengs, Worshipping the Great Moderniser, The cult of King Chulalongkorn, patron saint of the Thai middle class, no page number Fig. 30 Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 270 Fig. 31 Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 270 Fig. 32 Surakarn Toesomboon, พระบรมรู ปทรงม้ าท่ ามกลางบริ บทสั งคมและอุดมการณ์ สมัยรั ชกาลที่

5 ถึงสมัยหลังเปลียนแปลงการปกครอง (Chulalongkorn Equestrian in the social and ่
ideological context from the reign of King Chulalongkorn to after the change to Democracy), p. 271 Fig. 33 Fig. 34 Fig. 35 Fig. 36 Yael Navaro-Yashin, Faces of the State. Secularism and Public Life in Turkey, p. 197 Fig. 37 Yael Navaro-Yashin, Faces of the State. Secularism and Public Life in Turkey, p. 88 Fig. 38 Fig. 39 Fig. 40 Fig. 41 Esra Özyürek, Nostalgia for the Modern. State Secularism and Everyday
Politics in Turkey, p. 153

Fig. 1 Gentil Bellini, Portrait of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, painted in Istanbul, c. 1480, National Gallery, London

Fig. 2 Sinan Bey, Portrait of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, painted in Istanbul, c. 1480, Library of Topkapı Sarayı Museum, Istanbul

Fig. 3 Anonymous, Phra Phuttha Loetla Napalai, gold enamel and precious stones, Third Reign, height 300 cm. Convocation Hall, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok.

Fig. 4 Prince Praditthavorakarn, Phra Syama Devadhiraj, gold, Forth Reign, height 20 cm. Paisal Taksin Hall, Grand Palace, Bangkok.

Fig. 6 Detail of the monument

Fig. 5 Pietro Canonica, Cumhuriyet Anıtı (Monument of the Republic), bronze and marble, 1928, Taksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey

Fig. 7 The statue of Atatürk in a military uniform made in the İnci studio in 1930s. The statue is located near to the highway that linked Izmir and Istanbul.

Fig. 8 Anonymous, King Mongkut, photograph, 1861, National Archives of Bangkok, Bangkok

Fig. 9 Emile François Chatrousse, King Mongkut, guilded bronze, 1863, height 59 cm. Ratcha Karaya Sapha Hall, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Fig. 10 Luang Theprojanana (Plub), King Mongkut, plaster, 1863 (casted in bronze in 1960), height 176 cm. Tamnak Petch, Wat Bowonniwetwihan, Bangkok

Fig. 11 The cover of L‟Illustration featuring King Chulalongkorn and Tsar Nicolas II, 14 September, 1897

Fig. 12 The caricature in Le Pilori displaying the French President Félix Faure unwillingly kissed King Chulalongkorn while he actually preferred Tsar Nicalos II, 19 September 1897.

Fig. 13 The postcard showing King Chulalongkorn meeting with Bismarck in Germany, dating 2 September 1897. Printed in Germany

Fig. 14 The postcard displaying the world leading monarchs (King Chulalongkorn is on the top of the left corner). c. 1906, Printed in England

Fig. 15 Islam ornament over the Christian cross on the ceiling of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.

Fig. 16 Heinrich Krippel, Victory Monument, 1927, Ulus Square, Ankara

Fig. 17 Detail of the relief on the pedestal showing battle scene.

Fig. 18 Josef Thorak and Anton Hanack, Monument to a Secure Confident Future, 1935, Güvenpark, Kızılay, Ankara. The inscription on the pedestal read ―Türk Ogün Çalıs Güven‖ (Turk! Be proud, Work and be Confident)

Fig. 19 The other side of the Monument to a Secure Confident Future showing Atatürk standing with four Turkish youths

Fig. 20 Reliefs showing working people on the pedestal of the Monument to a Secure Confident Future

Fig. 21 Georges Ernest Saulo, The Equestrian of King Chulalongkorn, cast in 1907 at Ateliers de la Maison Susse Frères in Paris, erected at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok in 1908

Fig. 22 The Equestrian of Louis XIV, Paris

Fig. 23 The Equestrian of King Victor Emmanuel II, Rome

Fig. 24 The Equestrian of King Chulalongkorn (view from Ratchadamnoen Avenue), Photograph taken in 1908

Fig. 25 The Opening Ceremony on 11th November 1908 (The equestrian is under-covered)

Fig. 26 The inscription on the plaque on the pedestal of King Chulalongkorn‘s Equestrian

Fig. 27 Prince Praditthavorakorn, The Statue of King Mongkut as Phra Syama Devadhiraj, Gold, Fifth Reign, height 20 cm. Ambara Villa, Dusit Palace, Bangkok

Fig. 28 New Year Greeting Card

Fig. 29 New Year Greeting Card

Fig. 30 100 Baht Banknote

Fig. 31 100 Baht Banknote

Fig. 32 100 Baht Banknote

Fig. 33 The cult worshippers at the Equestrian of King Chulalongkorn

Fig. 34 King Chualongkorn‘s coin

Fig. 35 One of the cult worshipper, Police Manager General Payoong Trongsawasdi, shows his amulets which one of them is King Chulalongkorn‘s coin. He believes that these amulets protect him from the helicopter accident.

Fig. 36 Statues and busts of Atatürk for sale

Fig. 37 Newspaper advertisement featuring the picture of Atatürk in 1994

Fig. 38 Atatürk performed a traditional Aegean folkdance during his visit to Bursa in 1938.

Fig. 39 Cover of Akit on October, 1998

Fig. 40 Atatürk and his then wife, Latife Hanım

Fig. 41 The shadow of Atatürk‘s profile on the hill near the village of Gündeşli in Ardahan

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