Andrea Cortellari wins the best MA thesis prize in Turkish Studies
Andrea Cortellari, a 2020 graduate of the MA program in Middle Eastern Studies at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies, wins the best MA thesis prize by the Society for Turkic, Ottoman, and Turkish Studies.
Andrea Cortellari, a 2020 graduate of the MA program in Middle Eastern Studies at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies, wins the best MA thesis prize by the Society for Turkic, Ottoman, and Turkish Studies (Gesellschaft für Turkologie, Osmanistik und Türkeiforschung, GTOT). The thesis was supervised by Dr. Alp Yenen.
In his MA thesis, titled “Bringing Palestine Home: A Transnational History of Turkey’s Radical Left and Palestine (1967-1972)”, Cortellari has written a transnational history of Turkish leftists who publicly championed the Palestinian struggle and even joined Palestinian guerrilla camps around the time of the 1971 military intervention. By crafting a transnational framework, Cortellari’s thesis addresses a very relevant but understudied episode in understanding Turkey’s contemporary political culture, where support for Palestine comes with great symbolic capital. The thesis also achieves to embed the history of Turkey’s leftist movements within global and regional developments of the long 1960s. Moreover, the thesis is a contribution to the global history of the Palestinian struggle during the Cold War and transnational approaches to South-South relations between social movements in the Third World.
Informed by global and transnational approaches to the history of social movements, Cortellari built his analysis on a rich body of Turkish-language sources, including radical leftist journals and mainstream newspapers from that time as well as oral histories and memoirs of leading leftist revolutionaries who joined the Palestinian cause. In finding some of these rare sources, Cortellari conducted research in the archives and collections of the Turkish Foundation for Social History Research (Türkiye Sosyal Tarih Araştırma Vakfı, TÜSTAV) in Istanbul and International Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam.