Institutionalization of History in the Ottoman Empire


TURKISH STUDIES, vol.16, no.2, pp.219-239, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683849.2015.1048232
  • Journal Name: TURKISH STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.219-239
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This article examines the process within which history was institutionalized in the Ottoman Empire. Institutional space for history had begun to be constructed within the context of interstate rivalry during the mid-nineteenth century. History had the task of "proving" the fact that the Turks had been from the very beginning a part of the "Western civilization." The essential period for the institutionalization history was that of the regime of the Committee of Union and Progress in 1908-18, providing historians to emphasize the role of the "people" in history along with large structures of geography and "civilizations." Once professional institutions were established and various history journals began to be published in this context, historians also began to pay due attention to the professional standards of the discipline. Despite the exclusionary tendencies of the Turkish official history, institutionalization during a revolutionary period functioned as a significant counter-tendency as institutions are path-dependent.