Back

Ilber Ortayli

İSTANBUL, TURKEY

  • Professor of History, Galatasarary University and Bilkent University

Ilber Ortayli is a leading Turkish historian, professor of history at the University of Galatasaray in Istanbul and at Bilkent University in Ankara. Since 2005 he has been the head of the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul.

Born in  1947, he  attended elementary school and Saint Georg High School in Istanbul and then Ankara Atatürk High School. He graduated from Ankara University and completed his postgraduate studies at the Chicago University and at the University of Vienna. He obtained his doctorate at Ankara University in the Faculty of Political Sciences.  His doctoral thesis was  "Local Administration in the Tanzimai Period" (1978).  After his doctorate, he attended to the faculty at the School of Political Sciences of Ankara University.

In 1979, he was appointed an associate professor. In 1981, his book on the German influence on the late Ottoman Empire was published. In 1982, he resigned from his position, protesting the academic policy of the government after the military coup of September 12, 1980. After teaching at several universities in Turkey, Europe, and Russia he returned in 1989  to the Ankara University and became professor of history and the head of the section of administrative history.

He has published articles on Ottoman and Russian history, with particular emphasis on cities and the history of public administration, diplomatic, cultural and intellectual history. In 2001, he received the Aydın Doğan Foundation Award. He is a member of the Foundation for International Studies, the European-Iran Examining Foundation, and the Austrian-Turkish Academy of Sciences. A biographical book on Mr. Ortayli was published by Nilgün Uysal, Zaman Kabolmaz: Ilber Ortayli Kitabi (Istanbul) in 2006.