Eurocentrism in Turkish History Textbooks


This study examines the coverage of Eurocentrism in Turkish history course books. In this regard, the means by which Eurocentrism has influence in historiography is identified. Such incursion includes Eurocentrism’s influences in terms of historical time, historical space, historical phenomenon, person (character) and event, historical model, and historical narrative. Within this context, history course books employed at Turkish high schools were examined based on the above-mentioned criteria through document and discourse analysis techniques. Although no improvement was observed on the subject of the progressivist conception of historical time, the coverage of synchronous information cards, synchronous timelines, and comparative historical information in the text books was found to be favorable. On the other hand, the issues of the “incessant European progression myth” and “age division” still continue. Such concepts as “geographical discoveries”, the “Middle East”, and the “Far East”, all products of the Eurocentric mindset, still remain. The reflections of the Eurocentric mindset may be witnessed in the coverage of concepts such as the Ancient Era and Greek-Roman Civilization, Geographical Discoveries, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, Modern Science, and NATO. The Mercator projection is included in course books in the depiction historical space. Although course books mostly adopt a Turkish-centered historical narration, those subjects that are related to Europe are still covered through a Eurocentric approach. Even though Eurocentric models are not complimented in course books, a general acceptance of the “great incessant progression” of Europe, traced as far back as the 12th century, is still evident.


History Textbooks Eurocentrism Historiography History Education