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History and Culture of Modern Turkey


Admission Requirements



The course History and Culture of Modern Turkey (1923-now) builds on the course Middle East History II, but with its exclusive focus on modern Turkish history profoundly deepens the knowledge gained in this general course. The course History and Culture of Modern Turkey (1923-now) also forms the second part of a specialized track on Turkish history and culture from 1300 to the present day. The first part of this track is the course Ottoman History and Culture (1300-1922). The course History and Culture of Modern Turkey (1923-now) is divided into two parts. The first part provides an overview of the history of the Turkish Republic since its establishment in 1923 until now. It covers subjects such as the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of the Republic of Turkey, the period of the Kemalist one-party state (until 1950), the transition to the multi-party system, political polarization and the coups of 1960, 1971 and 1980 and political developments since 1983. The second part focuses on the cultural aspects of these developments. This section covers subjects such as the impact of the creation of the Republic of Turkey on society and culture, the cultural politics of the early Republic, nation building and culture, art, architecture and urban design (the model capital Ankara), the Atatürk cult, the changes in Turkish culture after 1950 and the emergence of popular mass culture (as opposed to Kemalist elite culture) and the latest developments in Turkish culture (globalization, rediscovery of the Ottoman-Turkish past and diversity).

Course objectives

Thorough knowledge of the political and social history of the Republic of Turkey, good knowledge of modern Turkish culture and cultural history through lectures and study of secondary literature.


For the most recent update of the timetable click here

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Written exam 1 (in English or Dutch) at the end of the first period (50%)

  • Written exam 2 (in English or Dutch) at the end of the second period/semester (50%)


Blackboard will be used for internal communication and the distribution of additional reading and/or source material.

Reading list

  • E.J. Zürcher, Een geschiedenis van het moderne Turkije, Amsterdam 2006.

  • E.J. Zürcher, Turkey: a Modern History, London and New York 2003.

Additional articles t.b.a. via Blackboard


Through uSis

Registration for ‘A la carte’ and ‘contractonderwijs’

Registration A la Carte

Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact information

Prof. Dr. E.J. Zürcher
Emre Erol MA


Deze cursus is de Engelstalige variant van Modern Turkse Geschiedenis en Cultuur die niet meer in het Nederlands wordt aangeboden.