The Emergence and Early Decline of Political History in Turkey

This article seeks to examine the emergence and development of political history as an academic discipline in Turkey and Turkish historiography. It first gives an outline of the development of history in general and political history in particular in the west. It then examines the conditions in which history as modern academic discipline emerged in the late Ottoman and modern Turkey. It also gives a brief outline of the early development and rise of political history vis-à-vis economic and social history. It argues that in the 1930s socio-economic history became dominant paradigm in Turkish academic historiography and that political history at this early stage of its development lost its prestige and attraction. It therefore could not have completed its proper development process, and remained as a secondary and outmoded branch of history. The article finally discusses the current problems of political historiography in Turkey and proposes some steps to be taken in order to solve these problems.


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