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
Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.
If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.
Recommended previous knowledge
The student is responsible for making sure that the course content does not overlap with other courses the student has already received credit for.
Autumn 2020: Teaching will follow the guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid-19.
A detailed plan for the semester will show which activities will be digital, and this will be updated by the beginning of August.
There will not be a requirement for compulsory attendance for teaching which is done digitally, but we strongly recommend that you follow all the teaching.
Lectures and seminars
- Lectures: 2 hours a week
- Seminars: 3 seminars throughout the semester
The lectures will focus on narrating and discussing various aspects of the history and historiography of Turkey, while the seminars will be based on group discussions of selected readings from the syllabus. Seminar attendance is not mandatory but is highly recommended.
- Reflection paper
- Proposal paper
All students must submit one reflection paper and one proposal paper for the semester assignment essay based on the syllabus texts in the course of the term. Each reflection paper should be a small ‘book review’ of a single syllabus text, excluding the two books, and should not exceed one A4 page. 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.
More information about the reflection papers and the deadlines will be given during class and in Canvas. You must submit the reflection papers within the given deadlines, and you are responsable for familiarizing yourself with the requirements for the compulsory activities.
If you have valid absence from the compulsory activities, you must submit an application and hand in documentation.
Semester assignment essay.
You must fulfill the requirements of compulsory activities in order to qualify for taking the exam.
The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.
Language of examination
The examination text is given in English and Norwegian, and you may submit your response in English, Norwegian or another Scandinavian language.
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
It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.
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.