Fall 2023 - HIST 350 D100

The Ottoman Empire and Turkey (4)

Class Number: 3539

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Oct 6, 2023: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

    Oct 11 – Dec 5, 2023: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 18, 2023
    Mon, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: one of HIST 151, 249.



A study of Ottoman society and the impact of Ottoman rule in the Middle East from the conquest of Constantinople to the death of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Emphasis will be on the conflict between preservation and reform in the nineteenth century and on the significance of the Ottoman legacy for twentieth century Turkey and the Arab world.


This course is an introduction to the political, economic and social history of (a) the Ottoman Empire from its emergence as a major European and Middle Eastern power in the early fourteenth century to its demise in the aftermath of World War I and (b) of the Republic of Turkey, one of its principal successor states. We start by looking at the origins of the Ottomans as warlords on the frontiers of the fading Byzantine Empire in the early fourteenth century. We will then examine Ottoman expansion and methods of rule over a multi-ethnic, multi-religious empire during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries in the wider context of other early modern polities; the lives of Ottoman women and men in both the imperial capital Istanbul and the provinces; Sufi orders and grandee households as key elements of metropolitan and provincial societies; the rise of provincial elite families to political and economic prominence and the shift from a centralized imperial structure to a conglomerate of semi-autonomous regions during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the making of a modern Ottoman state and the transformation of local society through the encounter with European imperialism from the late eighteenth century; the making of the Turkish Republic in the aftermath of World War I; the Ottoman legacy in Republican Turkey.


  • Mid-term examination 20%
  • Research Essay 25%
  • Final examination 35%
  • Tutorial participation 20%


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). 



  • Ahmet Midhat Efendi, Felâtun Bey and Râkım Efendi. An Ottoman Novel. Translated from the Turkish by Melih Levi and Monica M. Ringer (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2016).
  • Colin Imber, The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650. The Structure of Power. Third Edition (London: Red Globe Press, 2019).


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

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Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.