Turkey’s Pioneering Psychoanalyst
İzeddin Şadan’s Disquisition on (Homosexual) Love as Sickness
İzeddin Şadan, considered to be among the pioneers of psychoanalysis in Turkey, published a series of essays in 1936 titled “Eros (Aşk) İle Mücadele” [“Strife with Eros (Love)”] in the popular magazine Yeni Adam. He hailed these essays as a landmark in the scientific endeavor to objectively lay out the true nature of love. In them, he described love as “a volatile microbe” constituting sickness with its origins in Christianity; however, by inverted logic, he projected the same sickness onto Islam, in particular Sufism, which he disparaged as homosexual debauchery. This article looks at how Şadan’s pathologizing of Sufi love of beardless boys as sexual perversion is itself a symptom of pathology, pointing towards a fundamental change in the gendered/modernized/Orientalized subject’s relationship with the other and itself.