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Ottoman Studies

International Master's in Ottoman Studies at Istanbul Medeniyet University 

The International M.A. Program in Ottoman Studies at Istanbul Medeniyet University is primarily (but not exclusively) oriented towards students from countries and/or regions sharing Ottoman heritage. These students will be encouraged to focus on research topics related to their places of origins and base their research on the sources of their localities along with the archives in Istanbul. By means of this, the program aims to create an intellectual environment where the Ottoman past is studied and analyzed as a common experience of these countries and regions from late middle ages down to the early twentieth century. This scholarly activity is then expected to contribute to the deconstruction of nation state-centric perceptions of Ottoman history by bringing-in alternative histories of the Empire, while at the same time lay the ground for a more balanced and scholarly approach to the Ottoman era in the national narratives of Post-Ottoman states.

The program offers courses on administrative and political history, economic, social and cultural history, the history of empires and intellectual history. Specific emphasis is given to the development of historiography, of theories about historical processes and of methodologies of historical research. Students will have opportunities to conduct research at the major archives and libraries of Istanbul, the city where the richest part of the cultural, architectural and archival heritage of the Ottoman Empire is conserved.

The program emphasizes close consultation between students and advisers while defining fields of study and tools of research. Students are expected to take eight courses over two semesters. Two of these courses can be taken from outside the program, and of these two, one may be taken at another university in Istanbul following the approval of the program coordinator. Those who have intermediate-level knowledge of Ottoman Turkish may skip the otherwise compulsory Ottoman-language courses, while students without a background in a field related to Ottoman Studies or History might be required to follow relevant courses prior to or along with their master’s courses. In addition to Ottoman Turkish, students can also take other relevant language courses offered by our University (such as Arabic or Persian).

The courses offered by the program aim to help students specialize in one period or interdisciplinary area as they design an individual program of study in consultation with their advisors. The program concludes with a thesis on a topic within the student’s area of concentration, which is encouraged to be related to the student’s country of origin.

Graduates of the International M.A. Program in Ottoman Studies may continue their studies in a Ph.D. program at Istanbul Medeniyet University.