The course was composed of three classes. The first class focused on the late Ottoman Empire, the rule of Sultan Abdulhamid II, and the Young Turks. The class traced the beginnings of modernization attempts and the European influence back to the late eighteenth century and discussed the struggles of the Ottomans through economic challenges as well as trying to find a new identity. The rise of nationalism was appealing not only for the Christian nations of the Empire, but even the Arab and Turkish intellectuals were beginning to turn to nationalism as a way of redefining state-society relations.
The second class focused on the birth of the modern Turkish Republic. Ataturk's radical reforms, or revolutions, destroyed many of the old institutions of the Ottoman life and set out to build a homogenous, nation-state modeled after the European nations. The development and challenges of Turkish democracy was the focus of the last class. Specifically the rise of AKP and Erdogan's political success as well as strife followed a discussion on the social changes and continuities in the late twentieth century Turkey.
The course was held over the course of 3 weeks and attended by 22 participants. Students were actively engaged in the course and asked many thought-provoking questions.
Dr. Mustafa Gökçek answered the students' many questions including: what was Russia's role in that event, when did that sultan rule, was that really what happened or just propaganda, and what was the reasoning behind that particular policy, just to name a few. He answered all these questions in detail and without a moment's hesitation - the sign of a scholar who has truly mastered his field of research.
To learn more about this course or others, call us at (703) 230-2843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.