nl en

History and Culture of Modern Turkey


Admission Requirements

This class is intended (in order of preference) for:

  • (1) students of the BA Middle Eastern Studies who have successfully completed the propedeutic exam of the BA Middle Eastern Studies;

  • (2) premaster students for the MA Middle Eastern Studies;

  • (3) students from other programmes. Please contact the education coordinator, to find out whether you can be admitted to this class.


The course History and Culture of Modern Turkey builds on the course History of the Middle East 2 (1500-present), 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 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.

Turkey is always in the news. While Turkish foreign policy is deeply involved in the conflicts of the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, the growing authoritarian populism has disconcerting effects on society, economy, and culture of Turkey. Expertise on Turkey’s contemporary history, complex political affairs, and vibrant cultural life is sought after ever than before. This course offers a critical introduction to modern history, discussion of contemporary politics, and a view into social and cultural life of Turkey.

Course objectives

Students will be able to:

  • give an overview of the political history of modern Turkey in regards to themes of continuity and change;

  • assess the academic literature on a given theme and summarize its main paradigms and debates;

  • report on contemporary political and cultural developments in Turkey based on online research;

  • analyse the content and context of a given primary sources about Turkey’s history and culture;

  • write a paper that answers a relevant research question through an assessment of secondary literature and use of primary sources and theory.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Partial Assessment Weighing
the midterm assignment 25%
Preparation, assignments, and participation 25%
2500-word term paper 50%

The term paper must use one of the proper academic citation systems (Chicago style notes-bibliography preferred) and it must be authentic. The term paper must conform to the designated limit of 2,500 words. Plagiarism will be checked and automatically means failing the class.

The final mark for this course is determined by the weighted average. An additional requirement is that students must pass their term paper. In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.


Students who miss the deadline for the first opportunity will get an INC (Incomplete).
A re-sit is available to students whose mark on the term paper was insufficient (5.49 or lower) or to students who missed the deadline for the 1st opportunity and got an INC mark.
Please note that handing in the term paper after the deadline will count as a re-sit.
The re-sit deadline will be at least 10 working days after the fail grade has been issued.

Reading list

A list of weekly articles will be made available after the first session.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory. General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar on the right.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office Vrieshof


Please note that the additional course information is an integral part of this course description.