From Politics to International Relations: A Conceptual History of the International Relations Discipline in Turkey - Gencer OZCAN



Gencer OZCAN*

The precursors of International Relations [IR] education in Turkey appeared to be during the era when dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire gained momentum in the latter part of the 19th century. The turn of the century witnessed inclusion of such courses as Sciences of Diplomacy, Political History and International Law into higher education curricula. In those courses, students were assigned to follow subjects that we now commonly specify as those of IR. It was the first quarter of the 20th century when the first courses titled as International Relations were delivered in higher education institutions in Turkey. However, the institutionalization of the discipline came into being in the aftermath of the World War II. This article traces the evolution through which the key concepts such as politics, foreign policy, international and its various synonyms in Turkish gained their present meanings. Questions addressing the transformation of the concepts and the way they interacted with Turkey’s socio-political realities enable us to place the evolution of IR in Turkey as a social science discipline within the historical processes through which the very discipline took its present form.

Keywords: Politics, Foreign Policy, Nation, International Relations


* Prof. Dr., Department of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University