Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

100 Years of Republic of Turkey in 100 Sources

On the occasion of the centennial of the Republic of Turkey in 2023, the team of Turkish Studies at Leiden University is editing a unique volume which will feature 100 short contributions from prominent and promising scholars of Turkish Studies, introducing 100 textual and visual sources on 100 years of Turkish history.

2020 - 2023
Alp Yenen

Author: Erik-Jan Zürcher, Alp Yenen, Didem Yerli, Uğur Derin, Petra de Bruijn, Remzi Çağatay Çakırlar, Nicole van Os, Onur Ada, Deniz Tat, Hans Theunissen, Gözde Kırcıoğlu, Nicolas Kontovas, Ömer Koçyigit

Postcard of Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) during the introduction his “hat reform” in 1925. Image shared by courtesy of Ali Yenen.

On October 29, 2023, the Republic of Turkey will celebrate its centennial. The foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923 marks the foundation of a new nation-state as the successor of the defeated and partitioned Ottoman Empire. Until today, Turkey remains to be the center of attention due to its remarkable historical trajectory, continued state of crisis, and position between Europe and the Middle East.   

In the 100 years of its history, Turkey went through multiple political and social transformations. The Kemalist origins in the Interwar years were marked by nation-state building in a post-imperial society with cultural reforms and modernization projects which radically constructed a new national identity and a secular ethos. The tumultuous decades during the Cold War opened a more democratic and culturally diverse field, but rapid socio-economic developments and ideological radicalization contributed to political instability, which in return enabled Turkey’s endemic military tutelage over civilian-democratic affairs. While post-Cold War Turkey suffered from corruption and intensified identity politics, the brief moment of political stability and opening as well as the economic growth reached in the 2000s proved to be a false promise, resulting in Turkey’s current crisis. This volume will be the first of its kind in offering a history of hundred years of Republican history through expert introductions to 100 sources on various themes of politics, economy, society, culture, gender, and arts. In doing so, this project will not only tell a truly multi-faceted and interdisciplinary history under the guidance of international scholars of Turkish Studies, but will also allow its readers to hear voices and see images of a fascinating Republican past.

Staff members, PhD candidates, affiliated scholars, and alumni of Turkish Studies at Leiden University as well as many of their international friends and colleagues are contributing to the volume.

The project is under the guidance of Professor emeritus of Turkish Studies Erik-Jan Zürcher and managed by Dr. Alp Yenen with the assistance of Didem Yerli and Uğur Derin.

For more information please consult: leiden2023@gmail.com

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