From Empire to Republic : Turkish Nationalism and the Nation-State (HIST 489)

2020 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Ayşe Ozil,
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SPS102 SPS101
Formal lecture,Interactive lecture,Seminar
Discussion based learning
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A dense survey course on the making of Modern Turkey with a special focus on the ideological dimension of nation-building. Moves from multiple backgrounds (in : the broad outlines of Ottoman history; the ''long'' 19th century; the New Imperialism; Eurocentrism and Orientalism; racism and Social Darwinism), through Ottoman-Turkish elites? evolving love-and-hate relationship with the West, to the fashioning and grounding of a specifically Turkish (as against an Ottoman or a Muslim) identity in the throes of the protracted crisis of 1908-22. Makes considerable use of literature, too, to explore the myths of originism and authocthonism, as well as the ''golden age'' narratives, connected with both early and Kemalist varieties of Turkish nationalism. Also see HIST 589 for the possibility of being taken at the graduate level.


Students will be enabled to recognize the "long 19th century" roots of Turkish nationalism in a series of reactions to a constitutive outside perceived as essentiall hostile, thus feared and hated, yet emulated at the same time. They will be introduced to different nationalist historical narratives, revolving around the alternative "golden ages" of (i) a mythical central Asia c.7000 BC; (ii) the historically more tangible steppe empires of 300 BC to AD 1400; and (iii) the heyday of the Ottoman Empire, and yet all embodying the same complex love-and-hate relationship with the outside world.


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects. 5

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 5

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 1

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 5

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 5

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 5

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the multiple methodologies and interpret different approaches, concepts, and theoretical legacies in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies. 5

2. Identify interconnections of knowledge within and across the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, literature, visual studies, philosophy, and psychology. 5

3. Cultivate a critical approach to the study of culture, articulating the relations between culture, power, and history; exploring cultural diversity and socio-cultural change at the local, national and global level; and exploring the corresponding demands for rights and social justice. 5

4. With the use of appropriate technologies, be able to present advanced oral and written evaluations of developments in the realm of cultural production, consumption, and representation. 1

1. Understand and follow changes in patterns of political behavior, ideas and structures. 5

2. Develop the ability to make logical inferences about social and political issues on the basis of comparative and historical knowledge. 5



All primary and secondary readings, maps, pictures and other visuals are available in electronically scanned form on the course web site. Large amounts of primary materials available in the form of unique and unpublished English translations done by the course instructor, Halil Berktay.