Tanzimat Era incorporates reforms, which left significant traces in the modernization process of Turkey. Intellectual bases of many juridical, political, and administrative improvements were formed during the Tanzimat Era. Existence of a secular judicial and education system, progress in municipalism perception, balancing the endless political power were among the improvements of the Tanzimat Era. However, today, some criticisms are observed concerning the reforms of the Tanzimat Era in the conceptual studies, which sociologically analyze the history of Turkish Modernization. These criticisms can be classified under two titles. Firstly, it was criticized since Tanzimat Era was evaluated as the outset of Turkey's civilization change attempt. Second, the reforms of the Tanzimat Era were criticized since they digressed the sharia and the tradition, which had a function up until then in solving the social problems of the time. The common trait of the abovementioned two theoretic approaches is that they differentiate culture and civilization, and afterwards they disregard economical and class-based determinants of the higher structure institutions during social change processes. The objective of this article is to touch upon methodological problems of the sociological evaluations that are attempting to analyze the Turkish modernization in general and the Tanzimat Era reforms in particular.
Keywords: Social change, Turkish modernization, Historical Materialism