Europe and Turks: Past and Present (Kapitoly z 20. stol. A)

Typ semináře:B
Semestr (Rok):Summer 2017

Europe and Turks: Past and Present

This survey course investigates the history of relations between Turks and Europe while reading critically, thinking rationally, and questioning logically and intelligently. This course aims to show you that almost all present-day debates, questions, and concerns about Turkey’s place in Europe are many hundred years old.

 The famous philosopher of science Karl Popper once wrote: “all teaching on the university level should be training and encouragement in critical thinking.” In this course, you are expected to reconsider every fact, assertion, assumption, conviction, and interpretation in your mind about Turkey and its place in Europe. At the end of the course, some of your thoughts may be strengthened while others are weakened. However, merely accepting established perspectives, the authority of another person (such as a journalist, TV commentator, politician, or political activist), or even agreeing with me on everything I say is neither necessary nor sufficient for determining your own views. Such uncritical submission to another person’s opinions are corrupting influences that tend to prevent the development of independent thinking. So don’t let your established ideas or others’ voice to mislead you. Ask questions, think, and be open-minded.

 Course description and goals

In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire was called by Europeans “the terror of the world.” In the 19th century, it became “the sick man of Europe.” In the 20th century, historians explained the success of the Ottomans in the 16th century via weapons the imperial armies used, calling it a “gun-powder empire,” while the same historians saw a continuous decline in the last 250 years of the empire. The modern Republic of Turkey replaced the Ottoman Empire in 1923. Turkey applied to become a member of the European Economic Community in 1963 and was recognized as a candidate for full membership to the EU in 1999. Today, European media again question if Turkey has become the "sick man of the EU."

  Starting from the foundation of the Ottoman dynasty, this course narrates the story of Europe’s relations with the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Chronologically, we will start in the year 1300 when Osman/Othman/Ataman, the traditionally accepted founder of the Ottoman dynasty, became the leader of his tribe. In the following six centuries until 1914, the Ottomans ruled in three continents and controlled lands that were once ruled by the Romans and the Byzantines.

In Europe, the Ottoman rule extended to the gates of Vienna/ Vídeň until 1683. Between 1700 and 1914, the Ottomans gradually retreated back to Anatolia, losing all the territory they once ruled in Southeastern Europe and the Balkans. In 1923, Republic of Turkey was founded by Ataturk. Ankara—not Istanbul—is the capital of modern Turkey. 

 During the semester, we will discuss political, social, cultural, and economic contacts and interaction between Europe and the Ottoman Empire and Turkey. We will explore many important moments of contact and exchange, including major battles such as the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 and the two Ottoman attempts to conquer Vienna in 1529 and 1683, the impact of the Ottomans on European music and opera in the 18th century, European-style reform attempts of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century (1839 and 1856 are two important years), and European-Turkey relations in the 20th century, not to exclude an overview of the turbulent recent years.     

 Course objectives/outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to

  1. identify the basic events and personalities in early modern and modern history of the relations between Europe and the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey
  2. learn the historical geography of European-Ottoman encounters and the Ottoman Empire
  3. appreciate the various types of historical inquiry, focusing on the differences between political, economic, social, and religious history
  4. evaluate primary sources in history
  5. study history objectively, by setting aside their own political, religious, or social beliefs in the pursuit of historical understanding

Feb 16: Introduction

 Feb 23: The rise of the Ottomans and the fall/conquest of Constantinople in 1453

Required readings:

·        Molly Greene, “The Ottoman Experience,” The Daedalus (2005), pp. 88-99.

·        Daniel Goffman, The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: 2002), pp. 1-20.

March 2: Who are the Turks? European perspectives, 1400-1700

Required reading:

·        Palmira Brummett, Mapping the Ottomans: Sovereignty, Territory, and Identity in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Cambridge, 2015), pp. 43-74.

Additional readings:

·        Nancy Bisaha, Creating East and West: Renaissance Humanists and the Ottoman Turks (Philedelphia, 2004), pp. 43-93.

·        Margaret Meserve, Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought (Harvard University Press, 2008), pp. 117-154

March 9: Two worlds connected: alliances, rivalries, diplomacy, travel, and commerce

Required reading:

·        Suraiya Faroqhi, The Ottoman Empire and the World Around It (London: I. B. Tauris, 2004), pp. 179-210

            Additional readings:

·        Palmira Brummett, Mapping the Ottomans: Sovereignty, Territory, and Identity in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Cambridge, 2015), pp. 239-276.

·        Robert Dankoff, An Ottoman Mentality: The World of Evliya Çelebi (Brill, 2006), pp. 48-82. 

·        Anna Contadini, “Sharing a Taste? Material Culture and Intellectual Curiosity around the Mediterranean, from the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Century” in Anna Contadini and Claire Norton (eds.) The Renaissance and the Ottoman World (Ashgate, 2013), pp. 23-61


March 16: Between two worlds: Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire

            Required reading:

·        Colin Imber, The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650 (Plagrave, 2002), pp. 128-142

            Additional readings:

·        Tom Papademetriou, Render unto the Sultan Power, Authority, and the Greek Orthodox Church in the early Ottoman Centuries (Oxford, 2015), pp. 19-62

·        Molly Greene, A Shared World: Christians and Muslims (Princeton, 2000), pp. 110-140


March 23: The climax in the Mediterranean and Central Europe: 16th and 17th centuries

            Required reading:

·        Colin Imber, The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650 (Palgrave, 2002). Chapter 8: The Fleet, pp. 287-317

            Additional readings:

·        Virginia Aksan, “Ottoman War and Warfare, 1453-1812” Originally published in Jeremy Black (ed.), War and Warfare in Early modern World (1450-1815) (London, 1999). Also available in Aksan, Ottomans and Europeans: Contacts and Conflicts (Isis Press), pp. 141-172.

 March 30: Turquerie: Ottomans in European fashion, architecture, and fine arts

            Required reading:

·        Paula Sutter Fichtner, Terror and Toleration: The Habsburg Empire Confronts Islam (1526-1850) (Reaktion Books, 2008), pp. 73-115.

Additional readings:

·        Virginia Aksan, “Who was an Ottoman? Reflections on "Wearing Hats" and "Turning Turk",” in Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp (ed.) Europa und die Türkei im 18. Jahrhundert (V & R Unipress, 2011), pp. 305-318.

·        Nebahat Avcioglu and Finbarr Barry Flood, “Introduction: Globalizing Cultures: Art and Mobility in the Eighteenth Century,” Ars Orientalis, Vol. 39 (2010), pp. 7-38.

·        Edmund Bowles, “The impact of Turkish military bands on European court festivals in the 17th and 18th centuries,” Early Music, Vol. 34, Issue 4 (2006), pp. 533-559.

 April 6: A new age: Ottomans and Europe in the 18th century

            Required reading:

·        Virginia Aksan, “Ottoman Sources of Information on Europe in the 18th century” Originally published in Archivum Ottomanicum. Available in Aksan, Ottomans and Europeans: Contacts and Conflicts, Isis Press. pp. 13-23.

·        Fatma Muge Gocek, East Encounters West: France and the Ottoman Empire in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 1987), pp. 97-135.

 April 13: Attempts at renewal and reform

Required reading:

·        Şükrü Hanioğlu, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire (Princeton, 2008), pp. 6-41

Additional reading:

·        Virginia Aksan, “Military reform and its limits in a shrinking Ottoman world, 1800-1840,” in Virginia Aksan and Daniel Goffman (eds.) The Early modern Ottomans: Remapping the Empire (Cambridge UP, 2007), pp. 117-133.

 April 20: Ottomans in Europe, Europeans in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century

            Required reading:

·        Donald Quataert, The Ottoman Empire (1700-1922) (Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 174-194.

 April 27: A full-fledged reform and the end of the empire

Required readings:

·        Engin Deniz Akarlı, “The Tangled Ends of an Empire: Ottoman Encounters with the West and Problems of Westernization—an Overview,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East vol. 26, no. 3 (2006), pp. 353-366.

·        Primary source: “Negotiating the power of the sultan: the Ottoman Sened-ittifak (Deed of Agreement), 1808,” in Camron M. Amin et al. (eds.) The Modern Middle Middle East: A Sourcebook for History (Oxford, 2006), pp. 22-30.

 May 4: The birth of the Republic of Turkey and relations with Europe in the 20th century

            Required readings:

·        Erik Jan Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History (Tauris, 2004), pp. 133-165.

·        Donald Quataert, The Ottoman Empire (1700-1922) (Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 195-201.

·        Primary Source: Kemal Atatürk on the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate, 3 March 1924 in Camron M. Amin et al. (eds.), in Camron M. Amin et al. (eds.) The Modern Middle Middle East: A Sourcebook for History (Oxford, 2006), pp. 233-238.

 May 11: Turkey and Europe in the 20th century

            Readings TBA


Your final grade in this course will be determined based on your performance in the following three assignments. (There are no in-class examinations)

Participation: 20% (credit earned every week throughout the semester) Attendance is not mandatory and you will not receive any credit for merely attending lectures. However, %20 of your final grade will be determined according to your participation in lectures.

In-class presentation: 20% (you are required choose a book from the below list - the revised list below include many modern history titles) Each student is required to make one in-class presentation about a book. You grade on this assignment will form 20% of your final grade.  These presentations will be 10 minutes long, followed by a question-answer session. Each presenter should prepare a class handout of 3-5 pages which serves as a book summary and book review for your student colleagues. You are also encouraged to use power point in your presentation. I will hand out further guidelines for this assignment.

Final paper: 60% (15-page long (excluding bibliography), double-spaced, 12 point-font)

 60% your performance in this class will be measured mainly according to the quality of a final paper that will be submitted by the end of the semester. The final deadline for this assignment is June 9, 2017. However, writing a paper is a process so this assignment will be performed in multiple steps:

        February 23rd, Thursday: Choose a topic of interest before you come to class.

  ·     March 1st, Wednesday: Submit a bibliography containing at least 20 journal articles and 10 scholarly books, but you are not required to limit yourself to scholarly articles and books. Research sources can consist of internet entries, books, periodicals, music, art, etc. with full notation. Follow Chicago Manuel of Style when preparing your bibliography. The bibliography may include titles in English, Czech, or any other language. When using sources in languages other than English and German, please provide an English translation of the title.

  ·       April 14th, Friday: First draft of your paper is due at 6:00 pm. This draft should contain the research questions that you are dealing with and explain why your questions are important. The draft should clearly outline—in the form of prose, not numbered lists—the relevant themes and topics your paper will examine (concepts, ideas, events, names of persons and/or places etc.). The draft should also contain the results of preliminary literature review (what did scholars argue so far about the issue you are exploring?) may also include rough ideas about probable conclusions of your research. At this stage, your paper should be 5 page-long (excluding bibliography), double-spaced, 12 point-font.

  ·        May 19th, Friday: Penultimate draft of your paper is due at 6:00 pm. This version of your paper should be 10 page-long (excluding bibliography), double-spaced, 12 point-font. A penultimate draft should have a clear and well-planned structure, properly titled subsections which are formed of complete paragraphs, and a preliminary conclusion. However, a penultimate draft may still have room for the expansion of the narrative with new data.

    ·     June 9th, Friday: Final paper is due at 6:00 pm.

  Late submission penalty: For every deadline missed, your final average will be lowered 3 points.

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