A Century of Mongol Studies in Turkey

The Anatolian peninsula on which modern Turkey was established was one of the geographies most affected by the Mongol conquests along with Russia and Korea. The beginning of Mongol studies in Turkey dates back to the 19th century during the late Ottoman era, but these were in the form of translations from western languages. To date, there have been institutes in a couple of Universities, but no independent Mongolian program has been opened. And yet as will be shown in this presentation, Mongol studies played a crucial role even in the political sphere in the nation-building process of the young Turkish Republic (in fact one minister of foreign affairs who almost became a president was a Mongolist).

This presentation will therefore not only give a list of publications and a sketch of those who have been in the Mongol studies since the last century, but will also try to explain, how independent from the Mongols themselves, the approach to Mongol studies was shaped by politics. The same case can be said about the situation in Russia and to some degree Japan, but the Turkish case has so far been neglected both in Turkey and abroad.

Also, although not a leading country in Mongol studies globally, Turkey has been the leading academic center for Central Asian and Inner Asian studies in the Turco-Mongol world, and in many ways, it influenced the Mongol studies via academic cooperation and PhD students raised in Turkey from Central Eurasian countries including Mongolia and China in the post-Soviet era.Therefore, a general literature review which has so far not been done for Turkey will be included within this presentation covering different disciplines.


Kubilay Atik is an Associate Professor at Nevsehir HBV University, in the Department of History. He is an historian, and previously worked at Xiamen University as a Hanban New China Studies fellow between 2015-2018.

His work covers the diplomatic history of Medieval East Asia putting the Eurasian polities at its center (ie. Khitans, Jurchens and Mongols). He employs English School of International Relations to the states system and politics of East and Inner Asia during the Eurasian ascendency between the 10th-14th centuries and beyond connecting his work to international relations and political science.

He additionally teaches in Meiji University Faculty of Political Science in Japan and writes chapters for books covering Asia Pacific countries to the Ankara University Asia-Pacific Research Center book series. Lately he is working on early modern use of diplomacy by various Mongol polities in Eurasia following Chinese and Russian expansion into Central Eurasia.

Event details



Kubilay Atik, Nevsehir University

Date & time

Friday 29 Apr 2022



Online Event


ANU Mongolia Institute


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