Ottoman Empire: Fourteenth to Twentieth Centuries – La Trobe University

26 Nov – 19 Dec 2018

  • Region:
    • Turkey
  • Status: open
  • Code: CC21806

Course Overview

Institution: La Trobe University, Mediterranean Studies Program, School of European & Historical Studies
Course Code: MDS30TT
Course Lecturer: Dr Adrian Jones
Credit Points: 30 credit points
Prerequisites: Completion of a first-year in History, Archaeology, European Languages and Cultures, International Relations, Politics or Mediterranean Studies or permission from the Head of School.
Enrolments: available for participants enrolled in an undergraduate course at La Trobe University or at another university; for participants not currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree wishing to take the subject for credit; or for those wishing to travel and attend classes but not wishing to submit essays and give talks (ie as a ‘non-assessed’ audit student). For further details see ‘How to Book’.
Assessment: For assessment details, please contact the on-line La Trobe University undergraduate handbook, searching under MDS3OTT.

Every two years, La Trobe’s programs in History and Mediterranean Studies offer a 30-credit-point, summer-semester 2018-19 subject combining travel to Turkey and History study: MDS3OTT “The Ottoman Empire”. This is a third-year undergraduate Mediterranean Studies summer-semester subject offered by La Trobe University, run in conjunction with Australian Studying Abroad. In this travel and study subject, students assess the cultural, social, architectural and political history of the Ottoman Empire to the era of the First World War and the inauguration of the Turkish Republic. On location at historic sites in Turkey in Bursa, Edirne and Istanbul, the three Ottoman capitals, on the Gallipoli peninsula and at Sakarya, students examine key periods of Ottoman history: the early Ottomans, the conquest of Constantinople, the ‘classical’ era of Süleyman the Magnificent and his successors, the eighteenth-century ‘Tulip Age’, nineteenth-century Europeanisation and reform, and the Gallipoli campaign and its Turkish republican aftermath.

About the Course

The subject begins in Melbourne (Australia) in October (dates TBA) with a pre-departure briefing and a preliminary lecture discussing travel arrangements and providing an overview of the cultural world of the Ottoman Empire. The subject combines travel and study to consider how the Ottoman dynasty transformed an Islamic warrior (gazi) frontier state in Anatolia into a 650-year-old Empire bridging Europe and Asia. We examine the ways the Ottomans distilled Greek and Persian views on statecraft with Islamic legal precepts to create one of the most powerful empires in history. The briefing and lecture will be given at La Trobe University in Melbourne (date TBA) and video-linked to Wodonga. Most lectures in Turkey will be given at the hotels in which we stay, before we visit sites. Further commentaries and tutorials as such will be given either en-route to sites or at the sites themselves.

Be aware that your formal studies, apart from Adrian’s lectures, mostly happen before you depart and after you return. This work of prior preparation and post-tour response maximises your opportunities in Turkey to explore the amazing Turkish cities we visit. You will also make new friends and develop new interests. Adrian’s itinerary enables you to master quickly the options for public transport. You will explore the city not just as a whole group, but also in small groups of three.

In this amazing 30-credit-point subject, students examine these key periods of Ottoman history: the early Ottomans (C14th & C15th), the conquest of Constantinople (1453), the C16th ‘classical’ era of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, the 18th-century and 19th-century eras of “Tulip” refinement, Europeanisation and reform, and of course the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 and Turkey’s world war (1914-18) and the onset (1918-22) of the Kemalist secular Republic (1922-). Students can expect to study two different topics (from scores of options) well before they depart in November 2017, preparing both topics each as a 7-minute talk to be delivered on location at the relevant Ottoman site, and also preparing one of these two talks as an essay to be handed in at the Departure Gate at Melbourne Airport. A short exam, a drawing, and then another essay follow on at the end of the subject, the former two completed on the last days of tour and the last to be submitted on a date after the tour determined by mutual agreement during the last days of the tour.

The cost of the subject in 2018-19 excludes travel insurance and the usual HELP fee for a 30-credit-point subject.  This price includes all return airfares, accommodation, all breakfasts, local transport, and many other meals in “special” places. No participant may travel without travel insurance.

Course Lecturer/Academic Enquiries

Dr Adrian Jones OAM
LaTrobe University, History Program, School of European and Historical Studies
T: 03-94792461
E: [email protected]
History Program Office: 03-9479 1352
Dr Adrian Jones OAM is Associate Professor in the School of Historical and European Studies at La Trobe University. Adrian first acquired an interest in Ottoman history while undertaking his PhD at Harvard University where he specialised in Russian history. His Ottoman interests have moved to the forefront in recent years with particular focus on the Battles of Çanakkale/Gallipoli, and he is currently researching Russian-Ottoman relations in the early-eighteenth-century era of Ahmet III and Peter the Great. Adrian has travelled to Turkey on a number of occasions for research and to study Turkish in Istanbul. Adrian has previously led this study tour in January 2008 and December 2009, 2011, 2013 & 2015.

Pre-tour Reading List

Preliminary text

  • Philip Mansel, Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire, John Murray, 1995.

Pre-tour Study Texts – Brief Overview

  • Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition, Chicago, Phoenix, 1980.
  • Suraiya Faroqhi, The Ottoman Empire: A Short History, trans. Shelley Frisch, Princeton, NJ: Marcus Wiener Publishers, 2009.

The detailed itinerary provides an outline of the proposed daily program. Participants should note that the daily activities described in this itinerary may be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate changes in museum opening hours, flight schedules & road conditions. Meals will be taken in hotels and in restaurants, many with a historical or local flavour. At times picnic lunches may be provided. Meals included in the tour price and are indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=evening meal.

Istanbul - 8 nights

Sunday 25 November 2018, Depart Melbourne on SQ228 at 1640hrs (4.40pm)

Participants are requested to commence check-in procedures at the international terminal, Tullamarine airport, two and half hours prior to departure of the allocated flight. (In Flight)

Day 1: Monday 26 November 2018, Arrive İstanbul
  • Arrival Transfer to the Hotel Erboy
  • Orientation Walk
  • Blue Mosque
  • Welcome Evening Meal

On arrival in Istanbul we transfer to Otel Erboy in Sirkeci. The hotel is situated in the old part of the city and within walking distance of many of the historic sites we visit.

After settling in, we will meet in the hotel lobby at 11am. Adjacent to our Hotel is the tram stop at Gülhane Parkı, the road that follows the 1,000-year route (Alemdar Caddesi ‘Street of the Standard Bearers’ and Divan Yolu ‘Highway of Government’) of the Byzantine and Ottoman imperial armies. We lodge close by to the garden walls of the Topkapı Sarayı Palace and their Imperial Kiosk for Processions (Alay Köskü)); and to The Sublime Porte (Bab’i Ali), gateway to the centre of Ottoman government in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

We will take an orientation walk to the Divan Yolu past the Mosque of Besir Aga (1745), the Black Eunuch (Darüsaade or Kızlar Agası) serving Mahmud I (reigning 1730-54) and visit the Blue Mosque (1616) of Sultan Ahmet I (1603-17), and then take the tram to Taksim and walk or ride back down to the Galata bridge.

In the late afternoon we make our way to Eminönü on the Golden Horn where we will dine near the Galata Bridge and Eminönü or Beyoglu shores. (Overnight Istanbul) BD

Day 2: Tuesday 27 November 2018, İstanbul
  • Morning Lecture: The Classical City (Polis)
  • Museum of the Ancient Orient
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Çinili Köskü

Today we visit museums close by our hotel. With two millennia of history in mind, we ground our study of Ottoman history by exploring some of Istanbul’s rich collection of artefacts from the ancient Near East and ancient Greece and Rome at the Archaeological Museum. This museum, founded by Osman Hamdi Bey in the 1890s and located in the former grounds of the Topkapı Sarayı Palace, is considered one of the world’s great archaeological museums.

We also visit two other museums located in the same complex: the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Tiled Kiosk (Çinili Köskü) built in 1459 in the Selçuk style by Fatih II Mehmed. (Overnight Istanbul) B

Day 3: Wednesday 28 November 2018, İstanbul
  • Morning Lecture: The Divan Yolu
  • Stoa Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıçı)
  • Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya)
  • Hippodrome (At Meydanı)
  • Mosaic Museum and ruins of the Byzantine Palace of the Bucoleon

We widen our historical frames of reference by undertaking a Byzantine orientation walk first visiting the Yerebatan Sarnıçı (Stoa Basilica Cistern, C6th CE), then crossing the road to visit the greatest church in Christendom – Justinian’s Hagia Sophia (532-537), thence to the Hippodrome (C4th CE) and the Byzantine ruins of the Mosaic Museum / Palace of Bucoleon (C4th to C13th CE). There may be some free time to explore the adjacent Arasta Bazaar, and/or the winding streets of Cankurtaran as we head down to the Sea Walls. (Overnight Istanbul) B

Day 4: Thursday 29 November 2018, İstanbul
  • Topkapı Sarayı
  • Topkapı Sarayı Harem

Today we visit the Topkapı Sarayı Palace, the seat of Ottoman power for 500 years. Passing through the first gate, the original so-called ‘Sublime Porte (Bab-i Ali)’ we will tour the four courts of Topkapı Sarayı, and the harem, to experience the restrained splendour of the sultans. We examine the unique layout and architecture of this Turkish palace complex. We aim to re-construct how Ottoman institutions, customs, protocols and social structures reflected an Ottoman concept of sovereignty. (Overnight Istanbul) BL

Day 5: Friday 30 November 2018, İstanbul
  • Morning Lecture: The Classical Age: Power & Patronage during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-66)
  • Süleymaniye
  • Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarsısı)

During the forty-year reign of Süleyman the Magnificent (known as Lawgiver – Kanuni – by Turks), the Empire underwent its greatest expansion. Using the wealth from his conquests, Süleyman endowed Istanbul with some of its finest Ottoman monuments. We visit the Süleymaniye Mosque complex (1557) built by the famous Ottoman architect, Sinan; we bear in mind the Hagia Sophia (537) that inspired it. Our tour includes the Süleymaniye arasta (bazaar), the darülhadis (school for clerics), the hamam (bath) and türbes (tombs) of Sinan and of Sultan II Süleyman Kanuni (1520-66) and his beloved wife Haseki Hürrem (Roxelana).

We lunch in style at the former soup kitchen (imaret): the Darüzziyafe Lokantası in the Süleymaniye complex. During the afternoon, there is free time to explore the Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarsısı). (Overnight Istanbul) BL

Day 6: Saturday 1 December 2018, İstanbul
  • Morning Lecture: The Ottoman Conquest of Constantinople in 1453
  • “Conquest of the City” bus tour including:
    • Castle of the Seven Towers & Blachernae & Tekfur Palaces
    • Kariye Cami
    • Eyüp
    • Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate, Fener or the Church at Blachernae

We consider the political and military strategies used by Fatih Sultan II Mehmet in conquering Istanbul. We will use our bus to follow the sea walls and visit the famous Castle of the Seven Towers (Yediküle Kalesi, late 1450s), the main Ottoman fort and prison. We then recreate the siege of the city by visiting (by coach, thence by foot) the ruins of Blachernae Palace complex and the remnant of the Tekfur Palace, close by the Theodosian walls (C5th CE) breached by the Ottomans on the 29 May 1453. Near the Edirne Gate, where Mehmet the Conqueror made his triumphal entrance, we travel to Kariye Cami, a former Byzantine church (Chora) to view the best Christian frescoes and mosaics in the city.

From there we head for the suburb of Eyüp near the Pierre Loti restaurant, named after the 19th-century French writer who used this spot to pen his novels. We then visit the mausoleum of Eyüp, built by Fatih Sultan II Mehmet in 1458. Eyüp is the fourth most sacred place of pilgrimage in Sunni Islam after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock. On their accession, Ottoman sultans visited Eyüp to be ceremonially girded with the sword of Osman, founder of the Ottoman dynasty.

We return by bus, stopping at the Greek Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate at Fener. (Overnight Istanbul) B

Day 7: Sunday 2 December 2018, İstanbul
  • Free Day at Leisure
  • Optional day excursion to the Princes’ Islands, Sea of Mamara

A free day for resting; or for an excursion by ferry to the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara. The four inhabited islands are a time-capsule of a bygone era. On the heights of Büyükada, there is an important Orthodox Monastery. The wooded islands, used as summer retreats by Istanbul-ians, are home to some of the best examples of nineteenth-century Ottoman wooden houses. The main mode of transport is by horse-drawn carriages as there are no cars on the islands other than emergency vehicles. (Overnight Istanbul) B

 Day 8: Monday 3 December 2018, İstanbul
  • Morning Lecture: Ottoman Harem
  • Rüstem Pasa Cami
  • Egyptian or Spice Bazaar (Misir Çarsı)
  • Galata Tower
  • Galata Monastery (time permitting & if open)

We walk a lot today. An Ottoman shopping day is planned. First, a stroll down to the Egyptian or Spice Bazaar (Misir Çarsı), where we explore the sights and smells of tantalizing foodstuffs. This morning we will also explore the hidden gem of the Rüstem Pasa Cami (1561), with its magnificent Iznik tiles, the work of a great vizier of the era of Süleyman the Magnificent.

After lunch – some might choose Pandeli’s famous old restaurant in the roof of the spice bazaar – we head across the Golden Horn and walk the steps up to the Galata Tower (built by the Genoese in 1348). If it is open, and if we still have enough energy, we may go on to the Galata Monastery (tekke) of the Mevlevi Order of Dervishes, founded in 1491, suppressed (as a living religious order) in 1924. (Overnight Istanbul) B

Edirne - 3 nights

Day 9: Tuesday 4 December 2018, İstanbul – Edirne
  • Orientation walk of Edirne
  • Dinner & dancing at Villa Lokantası on the Tunca River

After a leisurely checkout of our hotel at 11 am, we travel by private coach to Edirne, the second capital of the Ottoman Empire (1368-1453) c.200 km northwest of Istanbul.

In the late afternoon we will lose ourselves shopping in old and new Edirne, especially the streets in and around the Semiz Ali Pasa Arasta Bazaar (1568-69), just to the west of the old city.

Tonight we dine at the Villa Lokantası, a restaurant on the Tunca River. Wear your dancing shoes. (Overnight Edirne) BD

Day 10: Wednesday 5 December 2018, Edirne
  • Morning Lecture: Early Ottomans and the Balkans
  • Eski Cami & Bedesten of Sultans Süleyman and Mehmet I Çelebi
  • Üç Serefeli, Cami of Sultan Murad II
  • Sinan’s Selimiye Cami of Sultan Selim II (the Sot)
  • Museums near the Selimiye Türk-Islam Eserleri Müzesi in the Selimiye medrese and Arkeoloji ve Etnologi Müzesi

Today we visit three monuments of the architecture of faith: the Eski, Üç Serefeli and Selimiye Mosques. With a dome that surpasses in size that of Hagia Sophia, the Selimye Mosque built between 1570 and 1574 by Sinan is considered his greatest architectural achievement.

We first make a tour of Eski (Old) Mosque and Bedesten, inaugurated by Çelebi I Mehmet at the close of the Ottoman civil war in 1414; a multi-domed mosque with niches in the Bursa tradition. We then pass on to the Üç Serefeli (the name refers to 3 balconies on the SE minaret) Mosque, built between 1437-47; it is the first Ottoman mosque with a big central dome. Our walk shows the transition between the Bursa (more humble Emirate?) style and the classical (more arrogant Imperial?) style of the Selimiye.

We also have time to visit two small museums near the Selimiye: the Türk-Islam Eserleri Müzesi housed in the former medrese just to the right of the courtyard after the steps leaving the bazaar and the regional Arkeoloji ve Etnologi Müzesi over the road.

There are also many barbers and hairdressers and a fine Ottoman bathhouse (men’s and women’s separate) in this city: Saray Hamamı, behind the Selimiye. Adrian will call for volunteers, and then book for one or both. Men could consider having a shave and haircut, and women a hairdo. They are within walking distance to the restored Ottoman caravansaray where we are staying. Spruce and super-clean, we can then enjoy a cheap meal in this wonderful provincial city. (Overnight Edirne) B

Day 11: Thursday 6 December 2018, Edirne
  • Morning Lecture: Coming Clean: An illustrated visit to the Turkish bath
  • II Bayezit Küllesi
  • Site of the old Ottoman Palace & Hunting Lodge

We explore some secular sites in Edirne. Our tour begins with a walk through Edirne and across a very old Ottoman bridge to the beautiful mosque complex (külliye) built by Sultan Beyazit II Veli (the Saint) between 1484 and 1488 to the design of Hayrettin Pasa. This unique complex includes the public soup kitchen (imaret) and medical complex that had facilities for the insane (timarhane) and a medical college (tıp medresi) attached to the hospital.

We then go on to explore the evocative ruins of the old Ottoman palace and hunting lodge (Iç Sarayı) on an island on the Tunca River. First developed by Murad II in the 1430s, this favoured home of many Sultans was sacked by Russian armies in 1829 and 1878. In the late afternoon there will be more free time in Edirne. (Overnight Edirne) B

Eceabat - 2 nights

Day 12: Friday 7 December 2018, Edirne – Gallipoli (Gelibolu) – Eceabat
  • Muradiye Mosque, Edirne
  • Quay & Castle, Gelibolu
  • Evening Lecture: The Battle of Çanakkale / Gallipoli Campaign

In the morning, as we leave Edirne, we will stop by at the Muradiye Mosque on the heights of Edirne, overlooking the Thracian plain below. A former Byzantine church, this mosque was re-consecrated as an imperial mosque by Murad I ‘the Sovereign (Hüdavenigar)’ in 1362, then re-built in 1435 as a lodge (zaviye) for the Mevlevi Dervish order, then re-converted into a mosque.

We leave Edirne to travel by bus through the Thracian plain and then Dardanelles forests to the little Dardanelles seaport of Gallipoli. We will walk around the Gelibolu quay and castle (seized from the Byzantines by Catalans, 1303-10, then Ottoman from the time of Sultan Süleyman I Çelebi, 1354).

We then journey along the Dardanelles shore to Eceabat, an even smaller town on the shore; our departure point for the Gallipoli battlefields. We dine at the Liman Balık Lokantası, a fish restaurant tonight. (Overnight Eceabat) BD

Day 13: Saturday 8 December 2018, Gallipoli Peninsula
  • Gallipoli Battlefields
  • Dardanelles

Gallipoli was the site of two significant Ottoman victories. The first was in 1354 when the Ottomans captured Gallipoli from the Byzantines. It was their first foothold in Europe, and later the home of the Ottoman navy. Their second victory came five and a half centuries later defending the peninsula from the Anzacs and Allied forces in 1915.

Like many Australians before us, we make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli to tour the Anzac sites and Ottoman monuments to assess the significance of this campaign in forming a potent nationalistic symbol for both Turks and Australians. We will take a picnic lunch to the battlefields. Rug up! (Overnight Eceabat) BL

Bursa - 3 nights

Day 14: Sunday 9 December 2018, Eceabat – Çanakkale – Troy – Assos – Bursa
  • Çanakkale
  • Troy
  • Thermal bath, Çekirge, Bursa (optional)

We leave the Gallipoli Peninsula and catch the first ferry across the Dardanelles to Çanakkale on the Asian shore, glimpsing the mighty Ottoman castles of Seddülbahır and Kılıtbahır in Europe and Kale-i Sultaniye in Asia (1452). Before heading for our next destination of Bursa we detour to Troy to conjure up Homer’s Iliad.

After our bus journey to Çekirge, a suburb in Bursa, the intrepid among us may wish to visit the hot springs in the basement of the hotel. There are other options of taking a hot-spring bath in the Old Thermal Baths (or Eski Kaplıca, a Byzantine bath re-built by Hüdavenigar I Murad, 1380s, now in Kervansaray Termal Oteli; better facilities for women) or in the New Thermal Baths (Yeni Kaplica, C16th: better for men) in Bursa’s thermal district of Çekirge. (Overnight Bursa) BD

Day 15: Monday 10 December 2018, Bursa
  • Morning Lecture: Ottoman Social Order
  • Holy Mosque (Ulu Cami) of Yıldırım Sultan I Bayezit
  • Green Mosque and Tomb (Yesil Cami & Türbe) of Sultan Mehmet I Çelebi
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art
  • Emir and Koza Hans & adjacent markets

Set in a lush valley at the foot of a snow-capped mountain, Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman Turks (1326-68) and home to important early Ottoman monuments. We visit the Holy Mosque (Ulu Cami 1395) of Yıldırım Sultan I Bayezit, the Selçuk-inspired Green (Yesil) Mosque and Green Mausoleum of Mehmet I Çelebi (1413-24) and the nearby Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.

We lunch at the Iskender family restaurant where the Bursa Alexander the Great (Iskender) Kebab (grilled lamb with fresh pide, yoghurt and tomato purée) was invented. An indispensable part of every Islamic city is the marketplace; we head for the old Emir Han (C14th) and the renowned Silk Market (Koza Hanı, 1489) and the associated Bazaar, once engines of wealth for the Empire. (Overnight Bursa) BLD

Day 16: Tuesday 11 December 2018, Bursa – Cumalıkızık – Bursa
  • Cumalıkızık Village
  • Muradiye tomb complex
  • Ottoman homes and museum in Çekirge

This morning we visit by bus the village of Cumalıkızık located 10 kilometres west of Bursa at the foot of Mt. Uludag. Its history goes back to the founding of the Ottoman Empire and many of its architectural structures have been preserved. While life for many in the village continues as it has done for generations, in recent years the village has acquired a new industry: it has been featured in many Turkish movies and historical television series. This exposure has renewed local Turkish interest and now many of its historical houses are under restoration.

This afternoon we return by bus to Bursa and pass the restored walls of the Byzantine castle (1326) and the restored tombs of the first Sultans, Osman and Orhan, and make our way to the Muradiye complex (1420s) and tomb of Sultan Murad II, stern father of Fatih Mehmed II the Conqueror. Many tombs at the Muradiye here are decorated with the finest C16th Iznik tiles, but the tomb of Murad II, stern father of Fatih II Mehmed the Conqueror, honours him by its modesty. Some of those later in line for the sultanate, who never made it, including crown princes (Sehzadeler) Cem (1499: rival of Veli II Beyazit) and Mustafa [1552: murdered son of Kanuni II Süleyman (the Magnificent)] are also buried in these tombs in the gardens of Bursa’s Muradiye.

Close by, we will then shift our focus from the monumental to the domestic and explore two 17th-century Ottoman home museums, including the Hüsnü Züber Evi. We then cross to Esat Uluumay’s private collection of Balkan and Turkish folk costumes and jewellery now housed in a 16th-century Koran school run by a Süleyman-era court poet, Sair Ahmet Pasa. (Overnight Bursa) BD

Sakarya - 2 nights

Day 17: Wednesday 12 December 2018, Bursa – İznik – Sakarya
  • Morning at leisure in Bursa
  • Iznik Museum

We have a free morning in Bursa, before departing at noon for Iznik and Bilecik. Iznik, formerly known as Nicaea, was an important Roman and Byzantine city. We will pass by its beautiful lake and walls. Iznik is famous for the Nicene Creed of 325, a product of an Imperial Ecumenical Council (others took place here in 381 & 787) that attempted to codify Christian beliefs. Iznik is also famous for producing the Ottoman tiles adorning many of the buildings we have seen on our travels. Iznik’s 11th-century Byzantine Hagia Sophia Church became a mosque in 1331 soon after Iznik was conquered by Orhan Gazi. The regional museum is a gem located in Nilüfer Hatun Soup Kitchen built in 1388 by Hüdavenigar I Murad in memory of his mother and attached to a Green mosque (1378-81) built in the Selçuk style with Selçuk tiles by Çandarlı Halil Hayrettin Pasa, one of a family dynasty (till 1453) of Ottoman grand viziers. After a couple of centuries out of the ceramic-making business, this industry is re-emerging in Iznik to again produce fine ceramics. (Overnight Sakarya) B

Day 18: Thursday 13 December 2018, Sakarya
  • Visit to the University in Sakarya for a seminar and tour
  • Tour of Sakarya

Today we will meet history teachers and students from Sakarya University, and we will hear a lecture and discussion on the era of the First World War, the Armenian Question and the inauguration of the Republic. In the afternoon, we will take a one-hour bus excursion, with some Sakarya students, to Taraklı village, a lovely old Ottoman hill town.

This evening we dine with some Sakarya students (as our guests) in a local restaurant and some may then decide to sample a local live-music venue. (Overnight Sakarya) BD

Istanbul - 5 nights

Day 19: Friday 14 December 2018, Sakarya – İstanbul
  • Florence Nightingale Museum at Selimiye Barracks
  • Evening Lecture: Fatih Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror

We return to Istanbul by bus after breakfast. En route to our hotel we visit the Florence Nightingale Museum in the barracks (1800s -1820s) built for the New Model Army by Selim III. (Overnight Istanbul) B

Day 20: Saturday 15 December 2018, İstanbul
  • Morning Lecture: Ottoman Tanzimat and the 19th-century emergence of Beyoglu
  • Dolmabahçe Sarayı
  • Rumeli Hisarı, (Rumeli Fortress), the “throat-cutter (bogazkesen)” castle

This morning we take a local bus along the shore to the Dolmabahçe Sarayı (completed in 1856), a European-style palace built on the site of a cabbage-patch on the shores of the Bosphorus. It was constructed by the Armenian architects Karabet and Nikogos Balyan for Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-61) who, preferring a more modern residence, decided to move out of the Topkapi Palace.

Nearby, we also visit the Rumeli Hisarı, built in 1452 by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (1451-81) as part of his efforts to conquer the city of Constantinople. Located at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus on the European side, it is strategically placed for the control of ship traffic on the Bosphorus and directly faces the Anadolu Fortress on the Asian side of the Bosphorus.

In the late afternoon there are options to take local buses to spend time in the nearby student district of Besiktas, go shopping in the malls at Levent, or stroll the shore beside the old synagogue at Ortaköy. (Overnight Istanbul) B

Day 21: Sunday 16 December 2018, İstanbul
  • Istanbul viewed from the Bosphorus ferry
  • Sadberk Hanım Museum
  • Evening Walk: Istiklal Caddesi, Taksim to Galatasaray

We take a 9.15 am tram and then a relaxing cruise from Kabatas Iskelesi, departing Kabatas at 10 am sharp. We will steam north and zig-zag all along the breathtaking Bosphorus, the waterway that splits the city of Istanbul: half in Europe, half in Asia. Along its shores we see a profusion of nineteenth century palaces, royal pavilions and stately yalılar (waterside houses) and mansions (konaklar), many built in lavish European-influenced Rococo and Baroque architectural styles: Dolmabahçe (Filled-in Garden) Sarayı at Besiktas (built by Karabet & Nikogos Balyan in 1853, conceived by Mahmud II, lived in by Abdülmecid), Çıragan (Grasshopper) Sarayı (built by Sarkis & Agop Balyan in 1874 for Abdülaziz, 1861-76), Ihlamur (Linden) and Yıldız (Star) Sarayları around Besiktas (built by II Abdülhamid, 1876-1909), Beylerbeyi (built by Sarkis Balyan in 1865, now close by the Asian foot of the first Bosphorus bridge) and the exquisite little palace of Küçüksü (built by Nikogos Balyan in 1857).

Our visit today also passes Ottoman-built forts: Anadolu Hisarı (built by Yıldırım I Bayezit in 1391-94) on the Asian shore, and Rumeli Hisarı on the European shore (built by Fatih II Mehmed the Conqueror in 1452). These forts helped secure the conquest of Constantinople.

Our ultimate destination is Sariyer, one of the last suburbs on the European shore of the Bosphorus before reaching the Black Sea. We are aiming to visit the old yalı of a wealthy Turkish family, now an ethnographic and historical museum named for Sadberk Hanım, a collector of classical antiquities and Turkish arts and crafts. Our focus turns to the metamorphosis of the Ottoman city in the nineteenth century. A reform charter known as the Tanzimat was issued in 1839 at nearby Gülhane Parkı at the beginning of Abdülmecid I’s rule. The Tanzimat stimulated a Westernizing transformation of the urban landscape of Istanbul.

In the afternoon we take the local bus back to Karaköy, whence we can take a modern underground cable car (fünicular, 2005) to visit the heart of modern Istanbul, Taksim, and the district of Pera or Beyoglu, home of the first Ottoman secular high school, Galatasary Lise (1868), the site of most Western embassies, and the centre of a new nineteenth- and twentieth-century culture of shopping and of cosmopolitan cafes, like the Çiçek Pasajı (1876), built mostly in the French and Italian style by Istanbul’s many Greeks, Armenians and Jews. (Overnight Istanbul) B

Day 22: Monday 17 December 2018, İstanbul
  • Day at leisure in Istanbul
  • Farewell Evening Meal at Yakub II Restaurant, Beyoglu

Free day in Istanbul till we all meet at Yakub II restaurant in Beyoglu, Galatasaray at 6 pm where we dine tonight. After dinner you can either catch a taxi back or take the old underground cable car (tünel, 1875) at Galatasaray and then walk home across the Galata Bridge (1845, 1912, 2002) back to the Erboy Hotel. (Overnight Istanbul) BD

Day 23: Tuesday 18 December 2018, İstanbul
  • Examination at 0900hrs
  • Explore the quayside area in Asia

It’s another free day in Istanbul – after you finish the examination you started at 9 am and finished at 11 am. By now, you’ll know exactly where you like to make one last visit. Some of us may decide to board a mid-morning ferry from Eminönü to Üsküdar to explore the quayside area in Asia and we may club together at the market to shop (at your expense) for a picnic lunch. Then we will take a public bus up to the top of the hills of Camlıca and find a suitable picnic spot in the park, or else we might scour the antique bazaar. No one will discuss Ottoman history. Hope that the weather is good. (Overnight Istanbul) B

Day 24: Wednesday 19 December 2018, Depart İstanbul – Course ends
  • Airport transfer for participants departing on the ASA ‘designated’ group flight

This morning participants returning to Australia at the conclusion of the course will be transferred to Istanbul Airport for their return flight home with Singapore Airlines. B

Note: Participants returning to Australia at the conclusion of the course are scheduled to arrive in Melbourne on flight SQ207 at 6.15pm on Thursday 20 December 2018.


24 days in Turkey

All hotels are rated 3-star (4-star in Bursa) or special category locally and are comfortable and conveniently situated. Further information on hotels will be provided in the ‘Tour Hotel List’ given to tour members prior to their departure.

  • Istanbul (8 nights) 3-star Hotel Erboy – located in the old town of Istanbul.
  • Edirne (3 nights) Hotel Rüstempasa Kervansaray – an Ottoman caravansaray converted into a hotel located in the city centre, within walking distance to many of the key sites to be visited. Note: depending on the group size, a limited number of participants may be accommodated in the nearby 3-star Edirne Palace Hotel – a modern hotel tucked into the backstreets below the old mosque.
  • Eceabat (2 nights) 3-star Hotel Crowded House – a family-run hotel situated opposite the Eceabat ferry terminal on the Dardenelles.
  • Bursa (3 nights) 3-star Kirci Termal Hotel – located in the city centre, a 2-minute walk from the Muradiye Mosque.
  • Sakarya (2 nights) 3-star Grand Hotel – a modern hotel located in the city centre.
  • Istanbul (5 nights) 3-star Hotel Erboy – located in the old town of Istanbul.

Note: Hotels are subject to change, in which case a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

How to book

Applications & Enrolments

ASA will not accept any reservation, even if a $500.00 deposit has been paid, unless a completed and signed ASA Course Reservation Application Form has been received.

  • You will be notified shortly afterwards whether you have been selected to participate in the subject.
  • You must also pre-register your interest with Adrian Jones email [email protected]
  • A maximum of 40 students can enroll in the subject; first-come, first-served.

In addition to fulfilling ASA’s requirements, all participants must enrol under one of the following options:

  • Option 1 is for Participants currently enrolled in an undergraduate course at La Trobe University. If you want the subject to count as 30-credit-points towards your current La Trobe degree, you enrol in the subject before departure according to the requirements of your Faculty. Normal HELP fees apply as with any other university subject, but with the addition of the travel provider’s (Australians Studying Abroad’s) price for airfares, bus-&-local-transport, bed-&-breakfast accommodation and some meals. In the past, the La Trobe Abroad Office has offered a subsidy of at least A$500 to enrolling La Trobe University students. La Trobe students can also use OS-HELP loan to cover all costs if this 30-credit-point subject is combined with other accredited Study Abroad subjects worth another 30 credit points, making 60 credit points in total. OS-HELP loan students must also must have at least 15 credit points (the equivalent of one La Trobe subject, or 0.125 EFTSL to use the cross-institutional measure) to complete in their current course after return from exchange. To be eligible to apply for an OS-Help loan, students need to be enrolled in a secondary program at an overseas institution crediting a full time load back to your La Trobe University course. Visit: – this offers a La Trobe-students’ information portal for study abroad options in general and offers information about La Trobe-students’ $500 mobility-grant subsidy and OS-HELP loan options.
  • Option 2 is for Participants currently enrolled in an undergraduate course at another University. If you want this La Trobe subject to count as credit towards your current degree in your University, you enrol in the subject as a cross-institutional Complementary Subject and obtain the approval of the relevant Faculty officers in both universities. The relevant faculty for La Trobe is Humanities and Social Sciences (ph 9479 2023, third level, Humanities III Building). Standard (home institutional) HELP fees apply as with any of their subjects, but with the addition of the travel provider’s (Australians Studying Abroad’s) price for airfares, bus-&-local-transport, bed-&-breakfast accommodation and some meals. Students may also be able to use an OS-HELP loan to cover all costs, but it will depend on the view of their ‘home’ institution.
  • Option 3 is for Participants not currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree, wishing to take the subject for credit. With this option, you enrol as an ‘Assessed’ student taking the course as a ‘single-subject’ if you wish to complete assessment and receive a result for the subject. As an ‘Assessed’ student you will receive an official academic result, which is available for credit should you subsequently gain admission into an award course at La Trobe University. The ‘Single Subject’ fee in 2015 was A$4,437 for this subject (2018 fee to be confirmed), in addition to the travel provider’s (Australians Studying Abroad’s) price for airfares, bus-&-local-transport, bed-&-breakfast accommodation and some meals. Note that to apply for admission into a course offered by La Trobe’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences you will be required to have completed two subjects at an undergraduate level.
  • Option 4 is for Participants who wish to travel and attend classes, but who do not wish to submit essays and give talks. These Participants do not wish take the subject for credit. You enrol in the subject as a ‘non-assessed’ Audit student if you do not wish to gain an official academic result. Participants undertaking this course as a non-assessed student will be required to pay a ‘Non-Assessed Audit Fee Supplement’ of A$400, in addition to the travel provider’s (Australians’ Studying Abroad’s) price for airfares, bus-&-local-transport, bed-&-breakfast accommodation and some meals. You will be required to pay this fee supplement at the time of paying your balance for the subject. This will be included in the final invoice you receive from Australians Studying Abroad.
Single Supplement

Payment of the single supplement will ensure accommodation in a single room throughout the tour. The number of single rooms available is extremely limited. People wishing to take the Single Supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

Gallery Tour Map
Physical Endurance & Practical Information
Physical Rating

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, six to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 24-day course involves:
  • 3-star hotels with 5 changes; lifts not available in some hotels
  • an extensive amount of walking to site visits, often up and down hills and/or flights of stairs, along cobbled streets and uneven terrain. You therefore need to be a good walker and be prepared to stand for some time on site and in front of buildings
  • minimal coach travel – all on good roads; extensive use of public transport in Istanbul
  • some early-morning lectures (between 8.00-9.00 am)
  • porterage is not included; participants MUST be able to carry their own luggage.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers see:

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $6650.00 Course Price including airfare 20+ students
AUD $6920.00 Course Price including airfare 15-19 students
AUD $740.00   Single Supplement
AUD $400.00   Audit Fee Supplement (applicable to participants who are not taking this subject as part of their university degree)

The above prices were valid for this course in 2015. For 2018 please anticipate an increase of 5 – 7%.

Course Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Return airfare economy class with Singapore Airlines including taxes to the value of $957.00 AUD (25 Nov 2018: Melbourne-Singapore-Istanbul; 19 Dec 2018: Istanbul-Singapore-Melbourne)
  • Accommodation in twin-share (2 per room) rooms.
  • Breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals as outlined in the itinerary, where B = breakfast, L = lunch and D = evening meal
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals
  • Return airport transfers if travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach in the provinces and public transport costs within Istanbul
  • Academic program as outlined in the itinerary
  • Entrances to museums, galleries outlined in the itinerary
  • Local guide in Turkey
  • Tips for the coach driver, Turkish guide and restaurants for included meals.
Course Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Evening meals & lunches not indicated in the course itinerary
  • Personal spending money
  • Airport-hotel transfers if not travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Luggage in excess of 20 kg (44 lbs)
  • Travel insurance
  • Turkish Visa
Terms & Conditions

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Confirmation of Your Booking

When we have received your ASA Course Reservation Application Form together with the deposit or full payment for the tour, and assuming there is a place available on the tour, we will send you confirmation of your booking and relevant travel details. It is from this moment that a firm contract exists between you and Australians Studying Abroad Pty Ltd (hereafter called ASA) on the basis of this itinerary, together with ASA’s general brochure, and any brochure or itinerary amendments communicated to you, these booking conditions and the travel details sent to you. If a place is not available we will return your payment. ASA does however reserve the right to refuse to accept a booking without necessarily giving a reason.

Cancellation Fees

Refund of deposit, less $385.00 service fee ($350.00 + $35.00 GST) per person, will be given when cancellation is made before Friday 24 July 2015. Your deposit is non-refundable after this date.

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • 24 July 2015-76 days prior $500.00 deposit – non refundable
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Course Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates or airfare taxes ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

If La Trobe University Cancels the Course

In the event the academic program be cancelled as a result of La Trobe University, in response to Federal Government travel advice, designating the locations of the program to be unsafe: participants will be charged the cancellation fees as indicated in these booking conditions (refer to the paragraph ‘Cancellation Fees’).

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Passport Details

All participants must provide no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the program a photocopy of the front page of their current passport.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA. ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies. ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider. ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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