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Program Type: 
Course Code: 
POLS 635
Course Type: 
Course Language: 
Course Objectives: 

In this seminar, issues such as religion's stance to the changing social conditions in Turkey, the exploitation of religious thought for ideological purposes in the process of socio-economic differentiation, the politicization of religion as a reaction to change and the political utilization of the religious faith, symbols and figures that are important in the national culture are analyzed.

Course Content: 

Topics will include the development of secularism in Turkey, religious education, religious associations, political economy of religious fundamentalism, and political Islam. 

Teaching Methods: 
1: Lecture, 2: Discussion based lecture, 3: Case study, 4:Small group work, 5: Seminar, 6: Group work, 7: Research paper, 8: Oral presentation/exam, 9: Survey, 10: Panel, 11: Guest speaker, 12: Activities within a Student Body or Research Project.
Assessment Methods: 
A: Exam, B: Homework, C: Presentation, D: Discussion

Vertical Tabs

Course Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes Program

Learning Outcomes

Teaching Methods Assessment Methods
Demonstrate an understanding of the central themes of sociology of religion, secularism, political Islam, political economy of Islamic resurgence. 1, 3 1, 2, 3, 7 A, B, D
Interpret some of the major theoretical shifts in political, social and economic life in Turkey and relate these to politicization of Islam. 1, 3, 6 1, 2, 3, 7 A, B, D
Conduct an extensive literature review of primary and secondary sources about social change and religion in Turkey. 1, 3, 6, 8 1, 2, 3, 7 A, B, D
Collect qualitative or quantitative data on social, economic, and political structures of Turkey and interpret them within the frame of a research paper. 5, 6, 8 1, 2, 3, 7 A, B, D
Compare and contrast Turkish laicism with other models of secularism. 2, 4, 13 1, 2, 3, 7 A, B, D
Analyze the rise political Islam in Turkey within an interdisciplinary and comparative framework. 2, 4, 13 1, 2, 3, 7 A, B, D

Course Flow

Week Topics Study Materials
1 Introduction  
2 Social Structure in Traditional and Industrialized Societies Yücekök (1971)
3 Religion and Society at the Age of Industrialization Weber (1930)
4 Religion and Politics at the Age of Industrialization Yücekök (1971)
5 Islam in the Ottoman Empire, 1299-1838 Yücekök (1971)
6 Islam in the Ottoman Empire, 1838-1918 Yücekök (1971)

Mardin (1991)

7 Mid-Term  
8 Islam in the National Struggle, 1919-1923 Yücekök (1971)

Mardin (1991)

9 Islam in the Single Party Period, 1923-1946 Yücekök (1971)

Mardin (1991)

10 Political Islam in the Multi-party Period, 1946-70 Yücekök (1971)

Mardin (1991)

11 Political Islam and Party Politics in Turkey, 1970-1980 Toprak (1981)

Geyikdağı (1984)

12 Political Islam and Party Politics in Turkey, 1980-2002 Ayata (1996)

Öniş (1997)

13 Political Islam and Party Politics in Turkey, 2002- Mecham (2004)

Öniş (2012)

14 Student Presentations  
15 Student Presentations  

Recommended Sources

Textbook Yücekök, Ahmet (1971) Türkiye'de Örgütlenmiş Dinin Sosyo-Ekonomik Tabanı: 1946-1968 (Ankara:  AÜ SBF Yayınları).

Weber, Max (2001) [1930] Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism (London: Routledge).

Mardin, Şerif (1991) Türkiye’de Din ve Siyaset (İstanbul: İletişim).

Toprak, Binnaz (1981) Islam and Political Development in Turkey (Leiden: Brill).

Geyikdağı, Yaşar (1984) Political Parties in Turkey: The Role of Islam (New York: Preager).

Additional Resources Ayata, Sencer (1996) “Patronage, Party and State: The Politicization of Islam in Turkey,” Middle East Journal, 50 (1):

Öniş, Ziya (1997) “The Political Economy of Islamic Resurgence in Turkey: The Rise of Welfare Party in Perspective”, Third World Quarterly, 18 (4): 743-766.

Mecham, R. Q. (2004) “From the ashes of virtue, a promise of light: The transformation of political Islam in Turkey”, Third World Quarterly, 25 (2): 339-358.

Öniş, Ziya (2012) “The Triumph of Conservative Globalism: The Political Economy of the AKP Era,“ Turkish Studies, 13 (2): 135-152.

Material Sharing

Documents Required readings and documents can be found both in the Reserve section of the library and in the bookstore.
Assignments Handouts explaining the assignments will be given in class.
Exams Exams will be given in class.


Mid-terms 1 .25
Research Paper 1 .50
Presentations 1 .25
Total   100
Total   100

Course’s Contribution to Program

No Program Learning Outcomes Contribution
1 2 3 4 5  
1 The ability to analyze and critically evaluate basic research models, approaches and intellectual traditions in the field of political science, international relations, comparative politics, Turkish politics and foreign policy. To demonstrate the ability to create innovative and original contribution to the field by specializing and expanding on these models and approaches.         X  
2 To demonstrate the ability to make original contributions to the field with an interdisciplinary approach.       X    
3 A command of basic research models and approaches of political science and international relations discipline and the ability to apply them in academic research and project design.         X  
4 Having the ability to compare, contrast and analyze societal and political systems with an interdisciplinary approach.         X  
5 Having a command of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods and abiding by the highest levels of academic and research ethics.       X    
6 The ability to contribute to the progress of the field of political science and international relations by conducting original and independent studies that produce original thought, methods, models, and applications to the field and/or utilize existing ideas, methods, models, and applications in another field of study.       X    
7 The ability to contribute to the progress of the field of political science and international relations by publishing at least one academic article at a refereed journal and/or by producing or interpreting an original contribution.   X        
8 To develop current and advanced level of data into original thought and research as a specialist. The ability to develop original ideas and methods in the field of political science and international relations.       X    
9 The ability to debate and make presentations within an intellectual framework, and the ability to express oneself in a professional and academic manner. The ability to apply academic writing and presentation methods to dissertations, articles, and project design.     X      
10 Having advanced reading, writing, comprehension and speaking skills in the English language.       X    
11 Having the ability to apply knowledge of political science and international relations discipline to information technologies and traditional tools so as to produce sound solutions to problems.     X      
12 Having the competency to work in the public sector, NGOs, research institutions and the academia.     X      
13 Having empathy towards diverse and differing communities, which will facilitate conducing teamwork at local as well as global platforms.       X    
14 Having competency of comprehending and interpreting local and global issues through information exchange with international academics and students.       X    


Activities Quantity Duration
Course Duration (Including the exam week: 16x Total course hours) 16 3 48
Hours for off-the-classroom study (Pre-study, practice) 16 15    240
Mid-terms 1 30 30
Homework 1 40 40
Presentation 1 20 20
Total Work Load     378
Total Work Load / 25 (h)        15.12
ECTS Credit of the Course          15