Perspectives on History

Professor Sina Aksin writes that the “Tanzimat was the beginning of the national movement for civil rights and constitutional government.” This short but lively book is intended for absolute beginners and it gives them a readable but authoritative tour across two hundred years of history which will surely leave them with a clear and deep understanding of how Turkey came to be the country it is.

Professor Aksin starts with in 1787 with Selim III and the impact of westernisation and nationalism in the Ottoman lands and takes us down to 2002 and the end of the Ecevit Government and Turkey’s growing confrontation with the EU.

He writes in a plain but colourful style which conveys an unmistakable sense of the flavour of the times and the people who lived in them. When there is an important question to be asked about why things unfolded as they did, Professor Aksin pauses to ask it, giving brief but lucid answers drawn from a deep understanding of his period.