Online course: Introduction to Ottoman History (5 ECTS)

Course applications open for: Introduction to Ottoman History

March 13 – May 4, 2023

Weekly course sessions on Mondays and Thursdays at 16:00-18:00 (Helsinki time, UTC +2)

Application period: January 26 – February 9
Format: Zoom sessions
Credits: 5 ECTS  (subject to home institution recognition)
Organizer: Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME)
Target group: The course is intended for advanced bachelor’s or master’s level students in the fields of history and Islamic and Middle Eastern studies. Applications are welcomed from students at Finnish universities and Finnish students studying abroad. The course is free of charge. 

Apply here (link)

Chosen applicants will be notified in mid-February.

Course description:

The Ottoman Empire (1299-1923) was one of the longest lasting and most territorially extensive of all empires in history, yet Ottoman history is rarely taught at Finnish universities. In the spring of 2023, FIME offers a rare opportunity for students at Finnish universities and Finnish students abroad to join an online course taught by historian Dr. Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Director of the Memory and Peace Studies program at Hafıza Merkezi (Truth, Justice, Memory Center) in Istanbul. Her research and publications focus on policing, urban dynamics and legal history in the late Ottoman Empire.

To fill the gap in teaching on Ottoman history, this course offers a comprehensive survey of the history of the Ottoman Empire, from the rise of the Ottoman dynasty to the dismantlement of the empire proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. During this period the Ottoman state faced a series of challenges that significantly transformed the ways it governed and interacted with the people under its rule.

On this course, we will examine these transformations by paying attention both to the internal dynamics of the empire and to the interconnections with developments in other parts of the world, especially in the late Ottoman period. We will also critically assess the different ways modern historians have engaged with key issues in the history of the late Ottoman Empire in recent decades.

Learning methods

The majority of course sessions consist of a lecture, Q&A section, and a student’s presentation on the required readings followed by a group discussion. Students are expected to have read the assigned reading for each session ahead of time. Each session a student will present their assessment of the assigned weekly reading as well as questions and topics for the group discussion. Completing a final essay is required to pass the course. The presentation and active participation form 20 % of the final course grade and 80 % of the assessment for this course is based on the final essay.

Equivalency with courses at the University of Helsinki:

  • ALKU – Lij312 Lähi-idän historian erityiskysymyksiä (5 ECTS)
  • HISK-213 – Maailmanhistoria (5 ECTS) 
  • KUKA – LIS213 Modernin Lähi-idän historia (5 ECTS)

Equivalency with courses at the University of Jyväskylä:

  • HISA1004 – Kansainvälisten suhteiden historia (5 ECTS)

Equivalency with courses at Åbo Akademi:

  • 110525.0 Globalhistorisk fördjupning II: region (5 ECTS)
  • 110528.0 Globalhistorisk fördjupning V: valfri fördjupning 1 (5 ECTS)
  • 110529.0 Globalhistorisk fördjupning VI: valfri fördjupning 2 (5 ECTS)

For equivalencies with other universities, please consult your own university institution.

If you have any questions about the application or the course, please contact Anu Leinonen (


Featured image: The taking of the fortress of Székesfehérvár by the Ottomans in 1543. Wikimedia Commons.