Principles of Atatürk and the History of the Turkish Revolution I (HIST 191)

2021 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
4/3 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Cemil Hüsnü Koçak, Selçuk Akşin Somel, Adam Bennett McConnel,
Click here to view.
Formal lecture
Click here to view.


This basic, comprehensive survey of the politics, economics and sociology of Turkish modernization begins with a review of the pressures building up on the Ottoman Empire, and the recurring confrontations between the conservative and the reform-minded wings of the ruling elite, through the 17th and 18th centuries, dovetailing into the challenges confronting the porte under Selim III and Mahmud II. The long drawn-out tragedy of the Turkish 19th century, comprising: a context of continuing retreat and territorial contraction, as well as of deepening despair, summed up as a non-colonial pattern of incorporation; the complicated relationships between the Great Powers and the various Balkan nationalisms; the initial introduction and the subsequent expansion of modernization agendas from the top down; the interplay of political and economic factors, and of local vs international forces, in the major crises of the 1830s, the 1850s, and the 1870s; the course of restructuring in the legal, administrative, educational, fiscal and economic spheres; the ancien régime complexity set up by Tanzimat dualisms; the Ottomans' ambition to modernize and to be recognized as modern (and hence of being admitted into the Concert of Europe); the gradual emergence of a state of law, and the replacement of the First Constitution's abortive liberalism by the resurgent authoritarianism of the Hamidian era.


The aim is to provide a comprehensive perspective and multi-layered knowledge on Atatürkist reforms and on the history of modern Turkey.


  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to compare and contrast the disciplines of history, social sciences, and natural sciences.
  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to examine different trajectories toward modernization.
  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify the main themes of the Ottoman modernization process.
  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to comprehend the history of those innovations which constituted the bases for the reforms of the 20th century.
  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify the key developments of Ottoman political, social and economic history and relate them to an overall conception of the subject matter.
  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe large themes over a relatively long span of history.
  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to develop independent study capability.


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. 3

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; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 3

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 3

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. 2

1. Possess sufficient knowledge of mathematics, science and program-specific engineering topics; use theoretical and applied knowledge of these areas in complex engineering problems. 1

2. Identify, define, formulate and solve complex engineering problems; choose and apply suitable analysis and modeling methods for this purpose. 1

3. Develop, choose and use modern techniques and tools that are needed for analysis and solution of complex problems faced in engineering applications; possess knowledge of standards used in engineering applications; use information technologies effectively. 1

4. Have the ability to design a complex system, process, instrument or a product under realistic constraints and conditions, with the goal of fulfilling specified needs; apply modern design techniques for this purpose. 1

5. Design and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret the results to investigate complex engineering problems or program-specific research areas. 1

6. Possess knowledge of business practices such as project management, risk management and change management; awareness on innovation; knowledge of sustainable development. 1

7. Possess knowledge of impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, health and societal context; knowledge of contemporary issues; awareness on legal outcomes of engineering solutions; knowledge of behavior according to ethical principles, understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. 1

8. Have the ability to write effective reports and comprehend written reports, prepare design and production reports, make effective presentations, and give and receive clear and intelligible instructions. 1

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 2

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 4

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 4


  Percentage (%)
Final 50
Midterm 50



Zürcher, E.J., Modernlesen Türkiye'nin Tarihi, Iletisim Press, November 2015.
Various book chapters assigned for each course week.

Findley, Carter V., Modern Türkiye Tarihi, Timas Press, 2016.
Various book chapters assigned for each course week.