MØNA2503 - Modern Turkey: Politics, Cultures, People
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
This course provides a survey of the revolutions and evolutions, thoughts and thinkers, cultures and institutions, and rulers and resisters that made Turkey the country it is today. Emphasis will be placed on how attempts to save the Ottoman Empire shaped a Turkish republican elite who made the nation-state of Turkey in their image. Furthermore, it will deal with how the legacy of the Kemalist reforms of the 1920s and 1930s was challenged and reconfigured by the proliferation and radicalization of political ideologies and religious and ethnic identities during the Cold War, and how the troubled liberalisation period of the 1980s and 1990s culminated in the rise and consolidation of the AK Parti in recent years. In addition to interactions between between major institutional players—in particular political parties and the Army — we will pay attention to how political and economic reforms have been adopted, adapted or rejected by the society they were meant to transform.
The primary objective of the course is to familiarize the students with the main political developments in modern Turkish history and to realize that the historical and social complexities cannot be reduced to a matter of Westernisation. The secondary objective is to provide them a historical perspective in order to render their own political analyses of the Turkish political system.
After having followed this course, you will have:
- gained familiarity with the main developments and personalities of Turkish history
- acquired a grasp of historiographical and social-scientific approaches to explaining the emergence and development of modern Turkey
- acquired the knowledge and tools you need to understand Turkish society today
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Recommended previous knowledge
The course is based on a total of 11 two-hour sessions. The first class meeting will be an introductory lecture to the course. Subsequent classes will be a combination of lecture, student presentations and group discussion based on the readings.
All students must submit two reflection papers based on the syllabus texts in the course of the term. These will be delivered in Fronter, one in September, another in October, and they shall not exceed one A4 page. The reflection paper should be a small 'book review' of two of the syllabus texts. In the papers, the students will give a brief summary of the content of the text, consider how the text relates to the literature on the subject in general, and give a very brief evaluation of how the text contributes to the understanding of Turkish history. These two submissions are mandatory and are part of the exam as a portfolio submission.
All students must give one oral presentation of one syllabus text during the course. This is mandatory, and topics will be distributed the first week.
Other mandatory activities include submission of a draft of the term paper within the 8th week of lecturing, and participating as oral opponent on the draft of a fellow student during the last two seminars. If a student becomes ill, comments may given in writing. In that case, contact the course coordinator.
See Guidelines for mandatory instructional activity at HF
It is strongly recommended to attend all classes.
Before you may sit the exam, you must have completed compulsory tuition activities, see the point "Teaching" above.
The course is assessed with one portfolio submission consisting of two reflection papers in the middle of the semester (see the point Teaching above), and a term paper of 8-10 pages pages (about 2300 characters per page, spaces excluded) at the end of the semester.
Proposals for relevant issues to the task will be given in class. All students are expected to deliver a four-page essay draft within lecturing 8 (see the point “Teaching” above). The proposals will all be discussed and commented on during the last two seminars.
Use of sources and citation
Language of examination
English. You may write your term paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
Withdrawal from an examination
If you wish to withdraw from the exam you must do so in Studentweb at least two weeks prior to the deadline. Failure to do so will be counted as one of the three opportunities to sit the exam.
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.
The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.