Turkey from Empire to Revolutionary Republic

The Emergence of the Turkish Nation from 1789 to the Present

January 2007 9781850658320 360pp


Sina Aksin is one of Turkey’s most important historians, and published in 1996 the Turkish version of this book, which has already gone into several editions. It was inspired by the author’s conviction that in Turkey itself the teaching of twentieth century Turkish history — with which the book is largely concerned — and indeed of the social sciences as a whole is inadequate. As the Bibliographical Note makes clear, the histories of modern Turkey available to Western readers are almost entirely by Western scholars; substantial works in Turkish exist, but have not been translated. The appearance of Aksin’s work in this English edition thus establishes a bridge between Turkish scholarship and Western readers, who will find his treatment of the period before, during and after the First World War, encompassing the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Ataturk, clear and compelling. The final three chapters, on the 1980s, the 1990s and the new millennium, concluding with the question of EU accession, were written specially for the English edition, and will attract particular attention for the sophisticated Turkish view they provide of the contemporary period.


‘Of recent important works on the history of Turkey, this one should rank among the best in recounting the evolution of the modern state from 1789 to the present. […] The book is replete with important detail, well written in the translated form, and quite suitable to substitute for other works on the subject. […] Essential.’ — Choice


Sina Aksin is a professor of modern history at the University of Ankara.

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