Course handbook: Turkish

Turkish

The course aims:

  1. to make you proficient in reading, writing and speaking modern Turkish;
  2. to familiarize you with the evolution and concerns of modern Turkish literature, and to develop your literary critical skills;
  3. to teach you to read Ottoman historical texts of various periods, and to give you the ability to interpret and analyse them.
  4. to help you to understand the major cultural and political issues which have been involved in Turkey’s transition from empire to modern nationhood.
  5. to provide options in the study of Ottoman and modern Turkish history, in Ottoman and traditional Turkish literature, and in the language reform movement that has left such a mark on the contemporary language.

Turkish with a subsidiary language

The course aims:

  1. to make you proficient in reading, writing and speaking modern Turkish;
  2. to familiarize you with the evolution and concerns of modern Turkish literature, and to develop your literary critical skills;
  3. to teach you to read Ottoman historical texts of various periods, and to give you the ability to interpret and analyse them.
  4. to help you to understand the major cultural and political issues which have been involved in Turkey’s transition from empire to modern nationhood;
  5. to provide you with a firm grounding in a second language with which Turkish is historically and culturally linked, and to introduce you to the literature of that language.

Teaching Staff

Preliminaries (First year)

The first three terms of your course are designed to give you a sound foundation in modern Turkish, and to introduce you to Islamic religion and culture and the history of the Islamic Middle East (most of which was for four centuries part of the Ottoman Empire).

All degrees do the same papers. Turkish Prelims comprise three examination papers of 3 hours each:

  1. Prepared texts and unseen translation from Turkish.
  2. Turkish grammar and translation from English into Turkish.
  3. Islamic history and culture.

You will prepare for Papers 1 and 2 by attending language classes for up to 7-8 hours per week, and working on the course material systematically by yourself every day. You will be required to build up a basic vocabulary, and to learn to handle all the essential grammatical structures of contemporary Turkish during these three terms. The teaching method combines systematic presentation of grammatical topics with oral practice and conversation sessions. Written translation exercises will be set on the material covered each week. The set texts for Paper 1 which consist of short poems, traditional tales and modern short stories are available from the Faculty Office. All texts will be read in full in class.

SET TEXTS

Paper 3 is taught principally through lectures and tutorials (respectively, 1 hour per week and 1 hour every other week) in Michaelmas Term and Hilary Term and weeks 1-4 of Trinity Term. You will also be required to write a total of 10 essays over the year (4 in each of Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, and 2 in Trinity Term).

TURKISH: TRINITY TERM, YEAR 1

In the third term of your first year you will also be preparing for your year abroad. Some of the spoken Turkish classes this term will be oriented towards particular situations that you are likely to encounter in Turkey.

Special note: If you wish to read Turkish with Islamic Art and Archaeology, you must complete an approved project of fieldwork or museum-based research during your year abroad (Year 2). You should therefore consult with the course co-ordinator as early as possible in Year 1 in order to identify and prepare for a suitable project.

Second Year: Your Year Abroad

You will spend Year 2 in Turkey, following a course of study approved by the Faculty Board. There are currently three institutions that are recommended, but if you know of another which you think has suitable provision, and to which you would particularly like to go, discuss this with your teachers as early as possible.

Istanbul is unquestionably the most important city for undergraduates to get to know well, because of its pre-eminent role in the cultural and intellectual life of Turkey from its conquest by the Ottomans in 1453 right down to the present day. Your reading both of Ottoman history and of modern Turkish literature will be immeasurably enriched by a close knowledge of the former imperial capital, still Turkey’s largest city and the centre of its economic life. However, you should be aware of the possibility (rated as strong by many seismologists) that Istanbul will be affected by a major earthquake at any time within the next thirty years. As you will see below, suitable courses can also be found in other Turkish cities.

(1) Boğaziçi University, Istanbul

http://www.intl.boun.edu.tr/?q=node/3

Boğaziçi University, which was founded as an American college in 1863 but has been a Turkish state university since 1971, is one of the best universities in Turkey, with a strong tradition of liberal scholarship, a wide range of student activities, and a most beautiful campus situated on a wooded hillside overlooking the Bosphorus. The medium of instruction here is English, but the vast majority of the degree students are Turkish, and Turkish is what is spoken outside the classroom. The teaching and assessment is organized on a semester basis, as is the standard pattern at Turkish universities; the first semester runs from late September to mid-January, and the second from mid-February to early June.

The Faculty of Oriental Studies has an agreement with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Boğaziçi University under which undergraduates reading Turkish at Oxford can enrol as ‘special students’ for one or two semesters at a reduced fee. They are supervised by academics in the Department of Turkish Language and Literature who are personally known to the teaching staff at Oxford, and follow a curriculum of four or five courses per semester from among those available to Boğaziçi undergraduates. Three of these courses are likely to be in Turkish for Foreigners and elementary Ottoman Turkish, and additional options may include an introduction to linguistics, modern Turkish history or a period of Ottoman history. However, if you have entered Oxford University with no prior knowledge of Turkish, the provision in Turkish for Foreigners at Boğaziçi is not at the level of intensity that you are likely to need in your first few months in the country. For students in this situation a few months’ intensive study at TÖMER or DİLMER (see below) is likely to be the most efficient way to achieve fluency in everyday communication. You will then probably wish to transfer to Boğaziçi for the second semester, to take advantage of the much richer academic provision that a university can offer.

(2) The DİLMER language school in Istanbul

http://www1.dilmer.com/

DİLMER (Dil Öğretim Merkezi /Language Teaching Center) is modelled on the TÖMER pattern (see below), with exactly the same hours per week and 4-week terms. But DİLMER has only seven levels, which means that the structural material is covered faster. In recent years student feedback from DİLMER has been rather better than that from TÖMER, which makes it now the top recommendation for the first four months.

(3) The TÖMER language schools

http://www.tomer.ankara.edu.tr/english/index.html

TÖMER (Türkçe Ögretim Merkezi [‘Turkish Teaching Centre’]) is an institution which originated in the Faculty of Arts of Ankara University, and has become a semi-autonomous organization with branches all over Turkey. The largest and probably the most reliable are those in Ankara and Istanbul. All branches operate the same system of courses at twelve levels, following a common curriculum and using the same textbooks. As there are no specific entry requirements, you are likely to find yourself in classes with students from a very wide range of countries and educational backgrounds. The teaching is given entirely in Turkish, and there is a strong emphasis on communicative skills.

TÖMER courses are organised in a rolling programme of four-week terms that run continuously throughout the year. Each level is completed in one term, with 20 hours of teaching per week and an examination at the end. If you are able to start at the beginning of September, this will enable you to take a month’s break in December and still complete four levels by the end of January.

Accommodation

The best way to acquire fluency in Turkish during your year abroad is to live with Turkish people - who are rightly famed for their hospitality. One way of doing this is to stay with a Turkish family, perhaps in return for providing help with English to members of the household. Such an arrangement can be set up in advance, with the assistance of teaching staff at Oxford using academic e-mail networks. Another possibility is to share accommodation with Turkish students. Boğaziçi University has a modern ‘superdorm’ with individual study bedrooms arranged in flats, which provides just such an opportunity. Alternatively, rented accommodation can be found over the internet, or through local estate agencies. Rents are considerably lower than in Oxford.

Final Honour School (Third and Fourth Year)

Turkish and Turkish with a subsidiary language

Throughout Years 3 and 4 you will be pursuing several different kinds of study in parallel. Language work will continue steadily, and will focus on two types of teaching session. You will have language tutorials, normally once a week, for which you will usually produce either a translation from English into Turkish or a short essay (of about 400 words) in Turkish, for discussion with your tutor. There will also be 3 hours per week of classes conducted in Turkish, designed to improve your active command of the language. One of these will be devoted to the reading of articles from the contemporary Turkish press, one to discussion of the political or cultural issues raised in those articles, and one to direct practice for the aural comprehension component of the FHS paper ‘Spoken Turkish’. The study of prescribed texts (‘set texts’), both Ottoman and modern, historical, literary and political, will form another major ingredient of your course work. Depending on the options you have chosen, you can expect to spend 4-6 hours per week in the first four terms in classes devoted to the close reading and explication of these texts, to which you must come adequately prepared.

For students following the Turkish degree:

One element of choice in this course comes in the range of options for papers 7, 8 and 9. It is possible, if you so wish, to devote all three of these options to history, in which case you can either cover the entire span of Ottoman and modern Turkish history from 1300 to 1980, or you can combine one or two Ottoman options with one from the wider history of the Islamic Middle East. [NB this is subject to confirmation, please discuss with Dr Mignon first.] Those who are more interested in language and literature can choose instead a texts-based paper on classical Ottoman poetry and traditional Turkish popular literature, a paper on general topics in Turkish literature, and a paper on Turkish language reform. Combinations of historical and non-historical papers are also possible in this flexible part of the course.

Finally, you will write a dissertation (to be worked on in Hilary Term of Year 4) where you have the opportunity to pursue in greater depth a topic that particularly interests you, whether this be in language, literature, history, culture or politics. Your dissertation topic has to be approved by the Faculty Board at the beginning of your final yearThe length of the dissertation can be up to 15,000 words. (See Appendix I for general guidance on the writing of dissertations.)

Turkish with subsidiary language

For students following Turkish with a subsidiary language:

Your subsidiary language will probably demand at least one-third of your time, especially in Year 3, when you will be attending an intensive elementary class. Because of the heavy demands of a course combining two languages, the Special Subject is optional in this course. Any Special Subject topic has to be approved by the Faculty Board at the beginning of your final year. If you choose to write a dissertation the length of this can be up to 15,000 words. (see Faculty Undergraduate Handbook)

Graduates will have acquired a range of expertise. Linguistic proficiency and knowledge of the general culture and religion of Islam may lead some towards a variety of jobs connected with Turkey, such as diplomacy, journalism, broadcasting, banking and business. Other graduates may decide to make use of their specialist knowledge of Islamic art and archaeology. There is a small but steady demand for trained Islamic archaeologists, both in the field and in museums and research institutions, throughout the Middle East and in Europe. Others still may choose to pursue an academic career by taking a research degree in Islamic Art and Archaeology.

Important Deadlines

Turkish

Turkish with a subsidiary language

  1. Unprepared translation from Ottoman and modern Turkish.
  2. Translation into Turkish and essay in Turkish.
  3. Spoken Turkish.
  4. Ottoman historical texts.
  5. Turkish political and cultural texts, 1860 to the present.
  6. Modern Turkish literary texts.
  7. 8. 9. Three optional papers
  1. A dissertation, topic to be approved by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.
  1. Unprepared translation from Ottoman and modern Turkish.
  2. Translation into Turkish and essay in Turkish.
  3. Spoken Turkish.
  4. Ottoman historical texts.
  5. Turkish political and cultural texts, 1860 to the present.
  6. Modern Turkish literary texts.
  7. 8, 9. A subsidiary language from: Arabic, Armenian, Classics Hindi/Urdu, Persian.
  1. An optional special subject, to be approved by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.

Optional Papers:

  1. Turkish and Ottoman literary texts, 1300–1900.
  2. Turkish literature: general questions. (Only available to candidates taking option (1))
  3. Turkish language reform and language politics from 1850 to the present day.
  4. Islamic History, 570–1500.
  5. The Ottoman Empire, 1300–1566.
  6. The Ottoman Empire, 1566–1807.
  7. The Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, 1807–1980.
  8. Any one paper of the paper below from the syllabus for Arabic and Islamic Studies (not all options are available yearly, refer to Arabic course handbook).
    1. Early Islamic historiography
    2. Aspects of Islamic art, architecture and archaeology (not available to students doing Turkish with Islamic Art and Architecture). 
    3. The rise of the Sufi orders in the Islamic world, 1200-1500
    4. Sufism
    5. Religion and politics during the Mongol period
    6. The Middle East in the Age of Empire, 1830-1971
    7. Society and Culture in the Modern Arab World
    8. The biography of Mohammad

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Teaching Staff

The following list gives most of the members of the Faculty who teach Islamic Studies. Messages can also be left in the pigeonholes in the foyer of the Institute.

Professor James Allan, Professor of Eastern Art [retired]

Mr Talal al-Azem, Research Officer (Impact Project)

Dr Walter Armbrust, Associate Professor in Modern Middle Eastern Studies (St Antony’s)

Professor Marilyn Booth, Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor for the Study of Contemporary Arab World (Magdalen) [On leave 2014-15]

Professor Julia Bray, Laudian Professor of Arabic (St John’s)

Dr Dominic Parviz Brookshaw, Associate Professor in Persian Literature (Wadham)

Dr Stephanie Cronin, Department Lecturer in Persian Studies

Professor Geert Jan van Gelder, Laudian Professor of Arabic (St John's) (Retired)

Dr Otared Haidar, Instructor in Arabic

Professor Edmund Herzig Soudavar Professor of Persian Studies (Wadham) [On leave 2014-15]

Professor Clive Holes, Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World (Magdalen) [Retired]

Dr Robert Hoyland, Associate Professor in Islamic History (St Cross)

Dr Lamia Jamal Aldin, OCIS Instructor in Modern Arabic, Email: lamia.jamalaldin@oxcis.ac.uk

Dr Nadia Jamil, Co-ordinator; Senior Instructor in Classical and Modern Arabic

Professor Jeremy Johns, Professor of Islamic Archaeology and Director of the Khalili Research Centre (Wolfson)

Mr Tajalsir Kandoura, Instructor in Arabic

Dr Homa Katouzian, Iran Heritage Foundation Research Fellow (St Antony’s)

Dr Laurent Mignon, Associate Professor in Turkish

Dr Christopher Melchert, Associate Professor in Arabic and Islam

Mr Ronald Nettler, Faculty Tutor (Mansfield) [retired]

Dr Mohammed-Salah Omri, Associate Professor in Modern Arabic Language and Literature (St John’s)

Dr Judith Pfeiffer Associate Professor in Arabic (St Cross) [On leave until Hilary Term 2016]

Dr Philip Robins, Associate Professor in the Politics of the Middle East and Faculty Fellow (St Antony’s)

Dr Eugene Rogan, Associate Professor in the Modern History of the Middle East (St Antony’s)

Dr Ahmed Al-Shahi, Research Fellow (St Antony's)

Dr Nicolai Sinai, Associate Professor in Islamic Studies (Pembroke)

Dr Luke Treadwell, Samir Shamma Associate Professor in Islamic Numismatics (St Cross)

Dr Elizabeth Tucker Jill Hart Research Fellow in Indo-Iranian Philology (Wolfson)

Professor Oliver Watson, J.M. Pei Professor of Islamic Art and Architecutre (Wolfson)

Dr Michael Willis, University Research Lecturer and H.M. King Mohammed VI Fellow in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies (St Antony’s)

Dr Zeynep Yurekli-Gorkay,  Associate Professor in Islamic Art and Architecture [on leave until 2017]


Compulsory Subjects

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Unprepared Translation from Ottoman and Modern Turkish

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Years 3 and 4.

Teaching staff:

Dr Laurent Mignon, Dr Emine Çakır  

Course description:

Translation from Turkish into English forms a major part of the work of the ‘set texts’ classes which you will be attending several hours a week throughout Year 3 (and perhaps in the first term of Year 4 also). The detailed guidance on translation strategies and techniques that you will receive in these classes should, together with your own work on vocabulary learning, provide you with sufficient skills and knowledge to tackle unseen translations with confidence, at least as far as modern Turkish is concerned. You will also get ‘exam-type’ practice in modern unseen translation in collections. As your overall exposure to Ottoman will have been less extensive, in Hilary and Trinity Terms of Year 4 you will have a weekly session on Ottoman unseen translation.

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Translation into Turkish and Essay in Turkish

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Years 3 and 4. 1 hour tutorial per week (alternately for translation and essay writing).

Teaching staff:

Dr Laurent Mignon, Dr Emine Çakır  

Course description:

Your skills in translating from English into Turkish, involving appropriate vocabulary choices in both semantic and stylistic terms, grammatically correct sentence construction, and the linking of sentences together in a way which is cohesive and which develops the argument as required, will be built up gradually over this period.

Essay writing in Turkish involves the same command of vocabulary, idiom and style, but here, instead of the requirement to reflect the sense of an English source text as accurately as possible you have the freedom - and the challenge - of creating a Turkish text that reflects your own knowledge and perspective on a given topic. The length of essay expected in the examination, and also in your work for tutorials, is about 400 words. Essays are evaluated not just in terms of linguistic skills but also as pieces of academic writing. That is to say, as in all essay writing at Oxford you will be expected to develop a clear, strong argument and to present appropriate evidence to support it. The topics set may relate specifically to Turkey or to some aspect of Turkish life, or may reflect issues of general political or cultural interest. The essays that you write for your tutorials will be co-ordinated with the topics that you are working on in Spoken Turkish classes, which in turn will have been the subject of newspaper articles read in the language classes ‘Political and Cultural Articles’. The living experience of Turkish that you will have acquired during your year abroad will, of course, greatly assist you in the development of your writing skills.

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Spoken Turkish (Oral)

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Years 3 and 4

Teaching staff:

Dr Laurent Mignon, Dr Emine Çakır

Course description:

The classes in ‘Spoken Turkish’ are designed to build upon the oral and aural language skills that you will have acquired during your Year Abroad. Much use is made of material from recent newspapers (‘Political and Cultural Articles’), both in order to familiarise you with topics of current concern and debate in Turkey, and also to provide you with the necessary vocabulary and structures to discuss such issues yourself. A third type of language class is ‘Aural Comprehension’, which trains you for part (i) of the oral examination.

The ‘Spoken Turkish’ component of FHS consists of the following parts:

i) Listening comprehension. Candidates will be presented with a list of factual questions, in Turkish, relating  to the content of the text that they are about to hear. They will be allowed five minutes to study these questions. A recorded Turkish text, lasting about five minutes, will then be played to them twice, with a pause of five minutes between the two playings. Candidates will be required to write brief answers to each question, in Turkish, in the spaces provided on the question sheet. A further ten minutes after the end of the second playing of the recorded text will be allowed for candidates to complete their answers.

(ii) Conversation

  1. Each candidate will be required to discuss with the examiner a topic chosen by the candidate from a list of three announced one hour before the commencement of the oral examination. (Approximate duration ten to fifteen minutes.)
  2. Candidates will be presented with a brief written description, in English, of a situation from everyday life in which they are required to imagine themselves. The description will include instructions as to what they are trying to achieve by verbal communication in that situation. Each candidate will be given five to ten minutes’ preparation time, and will then be asked to conduct a dialogue with the examiner, in Turkish, appropriate to the situation and goal specified. (Approximate duration, excluding preparation time, five to ten minutes.)

(iii) Interpreting.

Each candidate will be required to interpret, in a non-technical subject area, between a person speaking Turkish and a person speaking English. (Approximate duration ten minutes.)

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Ottoman Historical Texts

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Year 3 (Hilary and Trinity Terms). 2-3 hours of classes per week. Occasional essay tutorials.

Teaching staff:

Dr Zeynep Yürekli-Görkay, Dr Laurent Mignon

Course description:

This paper introduces students to the major topics in Ottoman history and historiography of the 15th-17th centuries through a close reading of elected primary texts. Selections are from three Ottoman chronicles, a book of travels, a reform treatise, an autobiographical essay, and a dream diary. You will learn about the historical contexts these texts reflect and explore how the Ottoman authors responded to significant developments in Ottoman history. Topics will include the nature of the early

Ottoman expansion and the “gaza thesis”, the reconstruction of Istanbul after the conquest, devşirme recruitment, the 1622 revolt that led to the execution of Sultan Osman II, and the dreams of a 17th-century Ottoman princess. The examination will contain passages from the set texts for translation with annotation. There will also be a choice of essay questions on the subject matter, style, purpose or historical importance of particular texts. Some of the essay questions will ask for comment on a passage reproduced on the examination paper.

Recommended reading:

Faroqhi, Suraiya. Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire,  New York, 2000.

Finkel, Caroline. Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923,   London, 2005.

Goffman, Daniel. The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe, Cambridge, 2002.

Imber, Colin. The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650: The Structure of Power, New York, 2002.

İnalcık Halil. The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300-1600, translated by Norman Itzkowitz and Colin Imber, London, 1989, c1973.

Kafadar, Cemal. Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoma State, Berkeley, 1995.

Set texts:

SET TEXTS

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Turkish Political and Cultural Texts, 1860 to the Present

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

40 hours spread over three terms. 2  hours of classes per week. Occasional essay tutorials.

Teaching staff:

Dr Laurent Mignon

Course description:

The purpose of this paper is to give you a good understanding of the processes of constitutional, ideological and cultural change that were involved in the transformation from a traditional, pre-national, multi-ethnic empire to the modern, national, and culturally diverse Republic of Turkey. The texts set for this paper include excerpts from the Ottoman constitution of 1876, the provisional constitution of 1921 and the first constitution of the Republic of Turkey (1924). There is also a wide selection of writings on political and cultural issues, ranging chronologically from the 1860’s to the 1990’s. The texts include an article by one of the oppositional Young Ottoman writers of the 1860s, an essay on Ottoman Jewish identity by a leading Ottoman Jewish intellectual, and writings from the early and late 20th century representing a spectrum of nationalist, humanist, leftist and Islamist viewpoints on questions of modern Turkish identity. The examination will contain passages from the set texts for translation with annotation. There will also be a choice of essay questions on the subject matter, style, purpose or historical importance of particular texts. Some of the essay questions will ask for comment on a passage reproduced on the examination paper.

Recommended reading:

Ahmad, Feroz. The Making of Modern Turkey, London, 1993.

Davison, Roderic. Turkey: A Short History, 3rd edn., Huntingdon, 1998.

Hanioglu, Sukru. The Young Turks in Opposition. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1995

Heper, Metin et al. (eds). Turkey and the West: Changing Political and Cultural Identities, London, 1993. (Chapters 4, 5, 11.)

Kadioglu, Ayse et al. (eds). Symbiotic Antagonisms: Competing Nationalisms in Turkey. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2011.

Lewis, Bernard. The Emergence of Modern Turkey, 2nd edn, London, 1968.

Macfie, A.L., Atatürk, London, 1994.

Mango, Andrew. Atatürk, London, 1999.

Poulton, Hugh. Top Hat, Grey Wolf and Crescent: Turkish Nationalism and the Turkish Republic, London, 1997

Zürcher, Erik Jan. Turkey: A Modern History, Revised edn, London, 2004.

Set texts:

SET TEXTS

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Modern Turkish Literary Texts

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

40 hours spread over three terms. 2 hours of classes per week. Occasional essay tutorials.

Teaching staff:

Dr Laurent Mignon

Course description:

The texts set for this paper consist of selected short stories, poetry and excerpts from novels from the post-Tanzimat period to the present day. The detailed class study of the texts makes it possible for any linguistic problems to be dealt with, and also for attention to be paid to the ways in which a writer’s style and narrative technique contribute to the meaning of a work. The texts are discussed both in terms of their literary qualities and, where relevant, in relation to their historical or political context. The texts will provide you with a firm background in Turkish literary history. They will also introduce you to some of the major issues explored by contemporary critics in Turkey, from debates about minority literature to controversies on “native orientalism”.

The examination will contain translation, commentary and essay questions. In commentary questions on short stories you will be expected to bring out the significance of a particular passage in relation to the work as a whole, and to discuss issues such as style, narrative technique, point of view, and characterization. Commentaries on poetry may involve comparisons between two or more poems, and in all cases you are expected to be able to identify and discuss the particular strategies that contribute to a poem’s overall effect. Essay questions will focus on the set texts themselves, but will assume some knowledge of their authors and of the historical, literary and ideological contexts in which the works were produced.

Recommended reading:

Göksu, Saime and Timms, Edward. Romantic Communist: The Life and Work of Nazim Hikmet, London, 1999.

Evin, A.O., Origins and Development of the Turkish Novel, Minneapolis, 1983.

Heper, Metin et al. (eds). Turkey and the West: Changing Political and Cultural Identities, London, 1993. (Chapters, 4, 5, 11.)

Kerslake, Celia. ‘New Directions in the Turkish Novel’, in Brian Beeley (ed.), Turkish Transformation, Huntingdon, 2002.

Mignon, Laurent, ‘Lost in Transliteration: A Few Remarks on the Armeno–Turkish Novel and Turkish Literary Historiography’ in Evangelia Balta and Mehmet Ölmez, Between Religion and Language,Istanbul: Eren, 2011: 101-123.

Ostle, Robin (ed.). Modern Literature in the Near and Middle East 1850-1970, London,    1991. (Chapters 7 and 12.)

Seyhan, Azade.  Tales of Crossed Destinies: The Modern Turkish Novel in a Comparative Context. New York: The Modern Language Association, 2008.

Set texts:

SET TEXTS


Further Subjects

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Turkish and Ottoman Literary Texts, 1300–1900

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Trinity Term of Year 4. 2-3 hours of classes per week. Occasional essay tutorials.

Teaching staff:

Dr Laurent Mignon

Course description:

This paper is designed to give you an insight into the world of pre-modern Turkish literature, where the favoured genre was indisputably poetry, and also into the processes of change that entered that world in the second half of the nineteenth century. In early Anatolian Turkish poetry religious themes are dominant. The highly sophisticated classical divan literature that developed as the Ottoman state grew into an imperial power drew its inspiration from Persian court literature, and specialized in lyric and panegyric poetry and versified romances. Alongside this a vigorous tradition of popular poetry produced by itinerant âşık poets gives glimpses into the lives and concerns of various sections of the wider population. You will also read an example of narrative prose of an epic character. In the late nineteenth century increasing exposure to European influences caused Turkish intellectuals to question many aspects of their literary heritage. Included, therefore, in this paper are some examples of the new poetry of the Servet-i Fünun group, which displays an individualism not seen before. The examination will contain translation, commentary and essay questions. In commentary questions on poetry you will be expected to show knowledge of the literary conventions within which poets worked, or (in the case of the early modern texts) the aims and concerns of particular poets.

Recommended reading:

Andrews, Walter. Poetry’s Voice, Society’s Song: Ottoman Lyric Poetry, Seattle and  London, 1985.

Andrews, Walter G. and Mehmet Kalpaklı. The Age of Beloveds: Love and the Beloved in Early Modern Ottoman and European Culture and Society. Durham and London:  Duke University Press, 2005.

Evin, Ahmet Ö. Origins and Development of the Turkish Novel, Minneapolis, 1983.

Halman, Talat Sait (ed.). Turkey: From Empire to Nation, New York, 1973. (Review of National Literatures.) (Chapters by T.S. Halman, J.R. Walsh, and R.C. Clark.).

Holbrooke, Virginia. The Unreadable Shores of Love: Turkish Modernity and Mystic  Romance. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994.

Ostle, Robin (ed.). Modern Literature in the Near and Middle East 1850-1970, London, 1991. (Chapters 1 and 2.)

Gülten Akın, ‘Oyun’, Reprinted in Ataol Behramoğlu, Son Yüzyıl Büyük Türk Şiiri Antolojisi 2 (Istanbul: Sosyal Yayınlar, 1997), pp. 709-710. (AT)

Birhan Keskin, ‘Delilirikler I’ and ‘‘Delilirikler II’, Reprinted in Mustafa Sever, Divan’dan Günümüze Türk Kadın Şairler Antolojisi (Istanbul: Yön Yayıncılık, 1993), pp. 169-171. (AT)

Set texts:

SET TEXTS

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Turkish Literature: General Questions

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Michaelmas Term of Year 4. 1 weekly lecture.  Six tutorials.

Teaching staff:

Dr Laurent Mignon

Course description:

This paper looks at Turkish literature in a broad perspective. Major topics included within the scope of the paper are, for example, the characteristics, genres and conventions of classical Ottoman poetry and its imaginative world, the formal and thematic qualities of Turkish popular poetry, the origins of modern Turkish literature, and the aims of writers and poets at different periods (tensions between educative or social-critical aims and aesthetic ideals or individual imagination). For this paper you will be expected to read some further works of Turkish literature on your own, depending on your particular interests. You can also make use of English translations where these exist. You will be expected to use a certain amount of analytical and critical work in Turkish, as there are very few studies of modern Turkish literature available in English.

Recommended reading:

Refer to Modern Literary Texts and Turkish and Ottoman Literary Texts, 1300-1900.

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Turkish Language Reform and Language Politics from 1850 to the Present Day

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Michaelmas Term of Year 4. 2 hours of classes per week, and 4 tutorials.

Teaching staff:

Dr Laurent Mignon

Course description:

Work for this paper includes the study of a selection of texts concerned with the issue of language reform, beginning with the writings of Ottoman intellectuals in the 1860s and continuing through the ‘New Language’ campaign of the Young Turk period and the radical language reform programme launched by Atatürk in the 1930s to the highly politicized controversies of the 1960s and 1970s. In your essays you will read more widely around the subject, and consider topics such as the changing concerns and priorities of reformers at different periods, the complex relationship between language reform and nationalism, and the concerns of opponents and critics of the movement.

The examination will consist of comment and essay questions. You will be expected to be able to discuss specific issues of reform, such as the elimination of Arabic and Persian grammatical forms and constructions, and the means of lexical substitution, with appropriate terminology and supporting examples. Some questions may ask you to comment on the style of an unseen passage or passages from the point of view of language reform issues.

Recommended reading:

Heyd, Uriel. Language Reform in Modern Turkey, Jerusalem, 1954.

Iz, Fahir. ‘Ottoman and Turkish’ in D.P. Little (ed.), Essays on Islamic Civilization presented to Niyazi Berkes, Leiden, 1976.

Lewis, Bernard. The Emergence of Modern Turkey, 3rd edn., New York/Oxford, 2002. Section ‘Script and Language’ in Ch. xii, ‘Religion and Culture’.

Lewis, Geoffrey, The Turkish Language Reform: A Catastrophic Success, Oxford, 1999.

Mignon, Laurent. ‘The Literati and the Letters: A Few Words on the Turkish Alphabet  Reform’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 20/01 (2010):11-24.

Thomas, George. Linguistic Purism, London, 1991.

Set texts:

SET TEXTS

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The Ottoman Empire, 1300–1566

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Michaelmas and Hilary Terms of Year 3. (Lectures one hour per week in Michaelmas Term. 6 tutorials spread over Michaelmas and Hilary Terms.)

Teaching staff:

To be announced

Course description:

This paper introduces the history of the Ottoman state and society from the emergence of the Ottoman principality in 1300 to its transformation into a world empire in the sixteenth century. Topics will include: the nature of the early Ottoman state and debates on the “gaza thesis”; the development of Ottoman provincial and central administration; imperial ideology and the nature of sultanic authority; religious, political and cultural influences. There will be a special emphasis on the nature of Ottoman rule in the Arab provinces and on the place of the Ottoman Empire in Islamic History.

Recommended reading:

Faroqhi, Suraiya. The Ottoman Empire and the World around it, New York, 2004.

Finkel, Caroline. Osman’s dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923, London, 2005.

Goffman, Daniel. The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe, Cambridge, 2002.

Imber, Colin. The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650: The Structure of Power, New York,  2002.

Inalcık, Halil. The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300-1600, translated by  Norman Itzkowitz and Colin Imber, London, 1989, c1973.

Kafadar, Cemal. Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State,  Berkeley, 1995.

Necipoğlu, Gülru. Architecture, Ceremonial and Power: Topkapı Palace in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, Cambridge, MA, 1991.

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The Ottoman Empire, 1566–1807

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

Hilary and Trinity Terms of Year 3. (Lectures one hour per week in both terms. 6 tutorials spread over Hilary Term and Trinity Term.)

Teaching staff:

To be announced

Course description:

This paper assesses the middle period of Ottoman history, in which the empire adjusted its political, economic and cultural practices to accommodate a state both enlarged by the inclusion of the Arab world and challenged by financial and military difficulties. Topics will include: the changing nature of Ottoman sovereignty and the role of royal women; Islam and the sultanate; political and military reform; altered relations with the West and Russia; the Ottoman impact upon Egypt; Ottoman identity.

Recommended reading:

Abou-El-Haj, Rifaat Ali. Formation of the Modern State: The Ottoman Empire,  Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries, Albany, 1991.

Cambridge History of Egypt, vol. 2, 1999.

Cambridge History of Turkey, vol. 3, 2006.

Finkel, Caroline. Osman’s Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923, London, 2005.

Murphey, Rhoads. Ottoman Warfare, 1500-1700, London, 1999.

Peirce, Leslie P. The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, New York, 1993.

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The Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, 1807–1980

Term in which it is taught and hours of teaching:

8 lectures in Hilary Term of Year 3 and 6 tutorials.

Teaching staff:

To be announced

Course description:

For this paper you will study the final century of the life of the Ottoman empire, the ‘national struggle’ that followed the dismemberment of that empire after defeat in World War One, and the development, down to the military intervention of 1980, of the Turkish nation state that emerged under Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk]’s leadership in 1923. Topics within the Ottoman period will include the 19thcentury modernizing reforms known as the Tanzimat, the effects on Ottoman state and society of greatly increased political intervention and economic penetration by the European powers, the causes and results of territorial contraction, the intellectual renaissance accompanying the birth of the Turkish press, the new Islamic emphasis of Abdülhamid II, and the efforts of the ‘Young Turks’ to save the empire by constitutional government. Thereafter we shall examine how it was that the Republic of Turkey emerged in the form that it did, the impact on state and society of the nation-building measures of the one-party period, the transition to multi-party politics after World War Two and the interaction between democratic development and military intervention in the succeeding decades.

Recommended reading:

Finkel, Caroline. Osman’s Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923,London, 2005. Chapters 13-16.

Hanioğlu, M. Şükrü. A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire, Princeton/Oxford,  2008.

Lewis, Bernard. The Emergence of Modern Turkey, 3rd edn, New York/Oxford, 2002.

Mango, Andrew. Atatürk, London, 1999.

Macfie, A.L., The End of the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1923, London, 1998.

Poulton, Hugh. Top Hat, Grey Wolf and Crescent: Turkish Nationalism and the Turkish  Republic, London, 1997.

Zürcher, Erik Jan. Turkey: A Modern History, Revised edn, London, 2004.


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Important Deadlines

Monday Wk 9 of Trinity  Term

Year 1

Provisional start date of the First Public Examinations.

Monday Wk 0 of Hilary Term

Year 4

Deadline for submission of dissertation titles for Faculty Board approval. 

Forms available here.

 

 12 noon, Friday Wk 10 of Hilary Term

 

Year 4

Deadline for submission of dissertation.

 

Wk 0 of Trinity Term

Year 4

Oral examinations for Turkish language.  Timetables available about 5 weeks before the oral exams.

 

Monday Wk 7 of Trinity  Term

Year 4

Provisional start date of the Final Honour School examinations.