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Accentcollege: History and Culture of Modern Turkey


Admission Requirements

Having successfully completed the propedeutic exam of an Academic Bachelor programme.


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). History and Culture of Modern Turkey deals with a number of major issues that have determined the way modern Turkey has developed. The issues that are treated during the course are: the legacy of war and ethnic conflict, the Kemalist reform programme, the political party landscape, demography (population growth and urbanization), the economy, cultural change and Turkey’s place in the world.
The course consists of bi-weekly thematic lectures of 90 minutes. These form the subject matter of the final test. The students prepare for the lectures by reading the textbook Turkey A Modern History. This will be the subject of the mid-term test. In the alternate weeks, the course consists of seminars in which the students give 20-minute presentations on the primary and secondary materials provided for that week (50%), followed by Q&A and discussion.

Course objectives

Achieving a thorough knowledge of, and insight in, a number of major themes in the development of modern Turkey and a broad knowledge of the outlines of Turkish history in the 20th Century.



Mode of instruction

Classes consist of lectures and seminars (in alternating weeks). For the seminars students are required to read the assigned texts and post comments or questions on them on Blackboard 24 hours before the class. For each seminar two student moderators will then put up questions based on these Blackboard postings, which will be discussed in a number of parallel groups as well as by the class as a whole.”

Assessment method

The assessment will be:
25 % on the basis of the midterm ( a written exam on the parts of the textbook that have been assigned)
25% on the basis of the participation (Blackboard posts, debating and moderating)
50 % on the basis of a 2500-word term paper.

There is a 100 % resit in the form of a written exam.

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an an overall mark of “6” or higher.

The course is an integrated whole and must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


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

Reading list

Students are expected to read any of the following versions of the course book (only Part II and Part III of all the versions) and the relevant readings for each week of the course.

  • E.J. Zürcher, Turkey A Modern History , London: IB Tauris, 2017 or

  • E.J. Zürcher, _Een Moderne Geschiedenis van Turkije _Amsterdam: AUP, 2016


Through uSis

Registration for ‘A la carte’ and ‘contractonderwijs’

Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact information

Prof. Dr. E.J. Zürcher


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

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accomodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).