The History of Modern Turkiye WEA Sydney

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Modern Turkiye was founded by the great Kemal Ataturk out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. Defeated in World War I, Turkiye, who had dominated the Ottoman Empire, had to recreate itself without all the trappings of empire outside of the borders of Turkiye. Ataturk was determined to set up a modern secular republic, like many emerging European powers. While that arrangement worked well for some years, it has been threatened by coups and the Islamist politics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This course examines the modern history of Turkiye and its role across the East-West divide.


  • Hybrid (F2F & Online simultaneously)


  • The collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of the modern Turkish state
  • Turkiye’s foreign policy, including a war with Greece and a neutral world position until 1945
  • Various military coups after World War II and Turkiye’s membership of NATO
  • The coming of Islamism and Turkiye’s relationships with Europe and the West
  • Kurds and Terrorism
  • Erdogan and secular protests


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Discuss how and why Turkiye became independent
  2. Explore the nature of Turkiye’s policies over the last century
  3. How Turkiye has tried to maintain an Islamic culture and identity in a Western environment
  4. Know Turkiye’s relationship with other Middle Eastern and Near Eastern powers