What do people in Turkey want for their future?
Second edition. September 2016.
Turkey is found at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Its largest city, Istanbul, once known as Constantinople and Byzantium, was previously the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s efforts to create a modern, unified, and secular state out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire is one of the most remarkable stories of the twentieth century. While Atatürk’s legacy still looms large, there are new forces at play today that are shaping Turkey and its relationship to the world.
Empire, Republic, Democracy: Turkey’s Past and Future traces the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the struggle for independence, and Turkish resistance against European imperialism. Students explore the birth of the Turkish Republic, the emergence of a multiparty democracy, the military coups of the twentieth century, and the Kurdish conflict. The readings conclude by examining current issues in Turkey, including economic development, religion and secularism, human rights, authoritarianism, and foreign affairs. Students explore recent developments, such as the Syrian Civil War, the emergence of ISIS, the global refugee crisis, and the attempted military coup of 2016. In a culminating simulation, students grapple with the questions and challenges facing people in Turkey today.
Part I of the reading provides an overview of Turkey’s population and geography before delving into the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of an independent Turkey. Part II examines Atatürk’s reforms, political upheavals throughout the twentieth century, and the Kurdish conflict. Part III brings students up to date by covering the political and economic developments of the last few decades and exploring the critical issues affecting everyday people in Turkey.
The Geography of TurkeyStudents practice map–reading skills and consider how geography has affected the history of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire.
Art as Political ExpressionStudents analyze Turkish artist Zeki Faik İzer's 1933 painting, "On the Road to Transformation," by identifying symbols and their historical significance.
Photo Analysis: Looking at TurkeyStudents analyze photographs of present-day Turkey to learn about Turkish life and society. Students consider the benefits and limitations of using photographs as a source.
The Options Role PlayWorking cooperatively, students take on the roles of Turkish politicians and citizens to explore different options for Turkey's future.
Young People Speak OutWorking in groups, students read and analyze oral histories from the "Young People Speak Out" project based at Sabanci University in Istanbul.
Assessment Using DocumentsStudents review ten documents pertaining to Atatürk's legacy and answer a series of documents-based questions.
Includes eight maps that are used in the readings and lessons.
For use with the lesson “Photo Analysis: Looking at Turkey.”
For use with the lesson “Art as Political Expression.”
Additional reference material for added context and support.
Findley, Carter V. Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity—A History, 1789-2007. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010.
Hanioğlu, M. Şükrü. Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011.
Kinzer, Stephen. Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.
White, Jenny. Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013.
Zürcher, Erik J. Turkey: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris, 2004.