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Dr Banu Turnaoğlu

Banu Turnaoglu
College Research Associate
SpecialisationHistory of Political Thought
Research interestsMy research interests lie broadly in intellectual history, republicanism, and particularly in Ottoman political thought, and the legacy of imperialism in the Middle East. My current project, The Western Question: The Eastern Question seen from the East, examines how the Ottomans approached the Eastern Question – whether and how Ottoman territories should be partitioned, Christian minorities protected, Ottoman finances controlled, and the Empire “civilised” by the West – and how they struggled to respond to their own Western Question. A textual analysis considers how Ottomans evaluated and imagined politics, society, economics, and morality; how they employed ideas like imperialism, liberalism, peace, war, and religion; and how these ideas shifted in meaning over time and space. It illustrates the striking exchange of ideas and interconnection between Western and non-Western political thought, transforming a still largely Eurocentric narrative. My research argues that to understand the sources of today’s socio-political turmoil in the Middle East, the Black Sea region, and Eastern Europe, it is necessary to understand the Question’s emergence and evolution.