Fall 2022 - HIST 457 D100

The Turkish Republic: Politics, Society, and Culture, 1918-Present (4)

Class Number: 4539

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5028, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 151 and 249.



Examines the political, social, and cultural transformation in Turkey from the end of World War I to the present. Topics may include the Ottoman legacy in the Turkish Republic, issues of nation building, national identity and ethnicity, the role of the military in Turkish politics, changing concepts of gender, the role of political Islam, and Turkish diasporas.


Currently the world’s twentieth largest economy and in the midst of a highly conflicted transition towards an illiberal democracy, the Republic of Turkey is one of the principal successor states of the Ottoman Empire and an emerging economic and political power in the eastern Mediterranean. This course examines the transformation of politics, society, and culture in Turkey from the War of Independence in 1919-22 to the aftermath of the attempted military coup of July 2016. We will start with a two week-overview of these trajectories of change. We will then move on to explore a series of related key issues, such as the continuities and ruptures between empire and republic, the tensions and contradictions of nation building, the rise of the military to political prominence from the 1960s onward, contested notions of secularism and political Islam as central elements of Turkish politics and culture, tensions between urban centers like Istanbul and Ankara and the Anatolian “hinterland,” the relationship between Turkey and European Union, and the ongoing power struggle between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on one side and their political opponents on the other. The emphasis of this course will, therefore, be not on “events” but rather on the historiographical problems and debates reflected in our readings (e.g. What is nationalism? What is the modern state?). These will be of interest to students of twentieth-century history in general. 


  • One-page, double-spaced term paper proposal (due in class, Week 5) 10%
  • Three-page, double-spaced term paper outline (due in class, Week 8) 15%
  • 16-page, double-spaced term paper[*] 16 double-spaced pages of text PLUS a bibliography (due in class, Week 13) 30%
  • One three-page and three two-page, double-spaced response papers 25%
  • Participation 20%


Prerequisites: 45 credit hours including 9 hours of lower division History credit; Hist 151 and Hist 249 (recommended). Students who have not taken these courses should read the chapters covering the period up to the end of World War I in William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East. 3rd edition (Boulder: Westview Press, 2004). 



Thomas Kuehn, Courseware.


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