october, 2023

27oct - 28oct 279:00 amoct 28Building the Turkish Republic: The Early Decades

Event Details

Date: October 27, 2023 – October 28, 2023

Time: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Location: Buell Hall (515 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10027)

This event is in-person and open to the public, but registration is required. Please register here.

The full program is viewable here.


Day One: October 27th

9:00 AM – Registration

9:30 AM – Opening

Welcome: Neslihan Şenocak, Director of SSC, Columbia University

Introductory Remarks: Zeynep Çelik, Sakıp Sabancı Visiting Professor, Columbia University; A. Tunç Şen, Deputy Director of SSC, Columbia University


10:00 AM – Panel 1: Institutions

Benjamin Fortna, University of Arizona. “Education from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic: Continuity and Change in an Iconic Endeavor.”

Ali Cengizkan, METU and Bilkent University. “Legacy of the Early Planning Decisions on the Making of the Republican Capital: Ankara 1920-1960.”

Feza Günergun, Istanbul University. “The Aurora of Scientific Research in Republican Turkey: Institutions and Actors.”

Discussant: Nükhet Varlık, Rutgers University.

12:00 PM – Lunch Break

1:45 PM – Panel 2: Peoples

Ari Şekeryan, Independent Scholar. “Between ‘Armistice Complex’ and Promises of Civic Nationalism: Armenians in Early Republican Turkey.”

Ayşe Ozil, Sabancı University. “Agency and Society in a Minority Regime: Greeks in Early Republican Istanbul.”

Louis Fishman, Brooklyn College, CUNY. “From Ottoman Jews to Turkish Ones: The Making of a [Disappearing] Religious Minority During the First Decades of the Turkish Republic.”

Discussant: Mark Mazower, Columbia University

3:45 PM – Coffee Break

4:00 PM – Panel 3: Religion

Amit Bein, Clemson University. “Turkey, Islam, and the Middle East in the Interwar Period.”

Sevgi Adak, Aga Khan University. “Women, Kemalism, and the State: Revisiting Early Republican Gender Policies and Their Implications.”

Markus Dressler, Leipzig University. “Nationalist Knowledge Production and Policies on the Alevis in the Kemalist Era.”

Discussant: Joseph Massad, Columbia University.

6:00 PM: Reception


Day Two: October 28th

9:50 AM  – Welcome from CGC Istanbul

Welcome: İpek Cem Taha, Director of Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul

10:00 AM: Panel 4 – Foundations

Ayşe Buğra, Boğaziçi University. “Social Policy and the Early Republican Perspectives on Development.”

Reşat Kasaba, University of Washington. “The Masters of the Nation: The Early Republican State and Turkey’s Peasants.”

Levent Köker, Gazi University. “Revolutionary Antinomies: Constitutional Change and Legal Reform in Early Republican Turkey.”

Discussant: Benjamin Fortna, University of Arizona.

12:00 PM – Lunch Break

1:45 PM – Panel 5: Arts

Esra Dicle, Boğaziçi University. “Theater in People’s Houses and the Construction of the Modern Nation-State.”

Nergis Ertürk, Pennsylvania State University. “Literary Entanglements Across Turkey and the Soviet Union.”

Savaş Arslan, Dokuz Eylül University. “Early Cinema in Turkey.”

Discussant: Sibel Erol, New York University.

3:45 PM – Coffee Break

4:00 PM – Panel 6: Opposition

Christine Philliou, University of California, Berkeley. “Muhalefet and the Transposition of Political Opposition, 1918-1928.”

James Ryan, Foreign Policy Research Institute. “Vectors of Dissent: Gender, Race, and Class Politics Underneath Kemalist Authoritarianism”

İlker Aytürk, Bilkent University. “Turkish Opposition in Early Republican Turkey: The Rise and Fall of the Center-Periphery Thesis.”

Discussant: Ayşe Kadıoğlu, Sabancı University.


This event is organized by the Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies at Columbia University and co-sponsored by the Columbia Global Centers – Istanbul.


27 (Friday) 9:00 am - 28 (Saturday) 6:00 pm


Buell Hall