History of Turkey Explored

Robin Fjelstad, Web Editor

The semester-long examination of Turkey continues this week with several events, including two presentations that examine the history and traditions of the ancient country.

Dr. Serdar Poyraz, a visiting assistant professor at Missouri State University, will take the audience at Corley Auditorium on a journey from ancient times to the present and explore the modernization of Turkey. Both presentations will be on Oct. 2. “Turkey in a Nutshell: From Ancient Times to Today” begins at 9:30 a.m., and “From Fez to Hat: How did Turkey Modernize” begins at 11 a.m.

“Dr. Poyraz was recommended to us by Dr. Dave Adams, a retired history professor from Missouri State University who has attended several of our themed semester programs over the years,” said Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the Institute of International Studies. “Dr. Poyraz is a specialist in the social and intellectual history of the late Ottoman Empire and the early Turkish Republic. It’s always nice to find such experts so close to Joplin.”

According to the Turkey semester brochure, these talks will provide an overview of the entire history of ancient Anatolia and modern Turkey from the dawn of civilization to the Republican period of Turkish history. Poyraz will explore the historical sources of the modern Turkish identity. The emphasis of the talk will be on the major political and cultural developments in the last 700 years of Turkey’s history.

The first part of this session will emphasize the continuities between the 19th and 20th century, and will try to explain the Ottoman roots of Turkish modernization. The second part will present a historical narrative of the major economic and political developments, which took place in the Turkish Republic in the last 90 years.