skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Banu Turnaoglu

Dr Banu Turnaoglu

Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

Isaac Newton Trust


Dr Banu Turnaoğlu is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and a Research Associate of St John’s College. She received her PhD from the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge on the development of Turkish republicanism and was awarded the Political Studies Association’s 2015 Sir Ernest Barker Prize for Best Dissertation in Political Theory for her doctoral thesis. She earned a BA in International Relations and History from Koç University, Turkey and an MSc in Political Theory from the University of Oxford.

Research Interests

Banu specialises in Ottoman political thought, focusing on concepts of republicanism, constitutionalism, secularism, positivism, and anti-imperialism. She has particular interests in the exchange of ideas between Western and non-Western political spheres, examining both in a comparative perspective. Her first book, The Formation of Turkish Republicanism, examines the origins and development of republican thinking and conceptions of the state within the intellectual and political context of the Ottoman Empire. Her current research and second book project, The Eastern Question: The Western Question Seen from the East, is supported by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, partly funded by the Isaac Newton Trust. Based on Ottoman archival sources, it scrutinises the conceptualisations of the Eastern Question, a defining source of international crisis and armed conflict in the Ottoman Empire, Russia, England and France in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and looks at how Ottoman intellectuals and statesmen responded to Western imperialism in their writings. It argues that the sources of today’s socio-political crises in the Middle East, the Black Sea region, and Eastern Europe can be better understood by grasping the Question's emergence and evolution. 

Key Publications


The Formation of Turkish Republicanism, Princeton University Press, 2017.


Journal Articles

“Positivist Universalism and Republicanism of the Young Turks,” Modern Intellectual History, 14 (2017), 1-29.

 “A Battle of Ideologies in the Formative Years of the Turkish Republic,” Middle Eastern Studies, 42, (2016), 677-93.

 “Neo-Roma ve Neo-Atina Cumhuriyetçiliği: Türkiye, Cumhuriyetçilik ve Demokratikleşme” [Neo-Roman and Neo-Athenian Republicanism: Turkey, Republicanism and Democratisation], co-authored with Professor Fuat Keyman, Doğu-Batı, 47, (2009), 37-65.


Forthcoming Book Chapters

 “The Origins of Turkish Radical Republicanism,” in Reclaiming Republicanism: Recovering the Tradition’s Radical Heritage, Oxford University Press.

“The New Ottoman Conception of War, State, and Society in the Prelude of the First World War,” in War and Revolution: A Balkan Perspective, I.B. Tauris.