University of Wisconsin–Madison

Berke Torunoglu

Lecturer: History 225 - The Modern Middle East: 1800 to the Present

Advisors: David M. McDonald and Kemal Karpat

Office: 5269 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 4111 Mosse Humanities
Phone: 608.890.0589
Office Hours: By appointment only.

Berke Torunoglu


My research interests focus on nineteenth to early twentieth century Ottoman and Russian empires. I examine efforts by Ottoman and Russian officials to redefine categories of citizenship in their respective empires. My work argues that citizenship laws promulgated in these two competing powers did not intend to create a more inclusive imperial identity, but rather aimed to establish and maintain control of the state over the subject peoples i.e. by facilitating expatriation, displacement, naturalization and loss of citizenship.

By examining the ways in which the mass deportations in both empires reflected in policy the new approaches to “imperial citizenship,” my project advances historical arguments related to studies of genocide in the Middle East and Russia, from the mid-nineteenth through early twentieth centuries.


M.A., Bilkent University, Department of History (2006 – 2009)
Saint Petersburg State University, Russian Studies Program (2006)
B.A., Bilkent University, Department of International Relations (2002 – 2006)


  • Nineteenth Century Ottoman Empire and Imperial Russia.

MA Title

  • “Murder in Salonika, 1876: A Tale of Apostasy Turned into an International Crisis”

Working Dissertation Title

  • “Comparative Imperiology: Autocracy, Citizenship and Subjecthood in Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1856-1876.”

Selected Publications

  • Murder in Salonika 1876: A Tale of Apostasy and International Crisis, (Libra Press & Gorgias Press, 2012.)
  • Nader Sohrabi, Revolution and Constitutionalism in the Ottoman Empire and Iran, (Cambridge University Press, 2011) the International Journal of Turkish Studies, vol. 18, 2012: 172.

Courses Taught as TA

  • “Braided Histories: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” (Prof. Charles Cohen, 2015 – 2016)
    “Imperial Russia, 1801-1914,” (Prof. David McDonald, 2013)
  • “The Making of the Islamic World: The Middle East, 500-1500,” (Prof. Michael Chamberlain 2010 – 2011)
  • “Islamic History from the Origin of Islam to the Ottoman Empire,” (Prof. Michael Chamberlain 2011)
  • “Islam in Iran,” (Prof. David Morgan, 2012 – 2013 and 2013)

Courses Taught as Instructor

  • Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Instructor, Summer 2017)
    HIST 224: Explorations in Transnational/Comparative History (Humanities):
    “Displacement, Immigration and Genocide in the Middle East, 1815-1948”
    Focusing on the correlation of state violence and displacement, the students will be acquainted with the terminology, historiography and politicized debates on the study of immigration and genocide in the region. The seminar is thematically and chronologically structured providing both breadth and depth on the subject matter. Beginning with an introduction to theories and terminologies that will be used in the rest of the semester, the readings then focus on different ethno-religious communities that were displaced due to state violence or wars. In presence of multiple monographs, priority is given to the most recent scholarship on the field.
  • Department of History, Yeditepe University (Instructor, Fall 2013)
    “Ottoman Diplomatic History, 1300 – 1839″
    In this upper-level division course, I designed and sole-taught a focused survey and analyses of Ottoman diplomatic history from the beginning of the Empire to the nineteenth century, with a geographical focus on Arab Middle East, Balkans and Turkey. The objective of this course was to analyze the ways in which Ottomans conducted diplomacy, the transition from ad hoc diplomacy to reciprocity, and to develop a better understanding of the historical development of institutions that practiced diplomacy.
  • “Comparative Institutions in World History”
    In this upper-level division course, I designed and sole-taught a survey on comparative institutions in world history covering a period from Late Antiquity to the formation of modern state, from Mesopotamian and Persian states to Roman Empire and beyond. The scope of this course was not limited to political institutions; but it also covered religious, financial and judicial institutions.