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Ilber Ortayli

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Ilber Ortayli

İlber Ortaylı
İlber Ortaylı
Born (1947-05-21) May 21, 1947 (age 67)
Bregenz, Austria
Residence İstanbul
Citizenship Turkish
Nationality Turkish
Fields History
Alma mater Ankara University
Doctoral advisor Halil İnalcık
Known for History of the Ottoman Empire

İlber Ortaylı (born 21 May 1947), is a leading Turkish historian, professor of history at the Galatasaray University in Istanbul and at Bilkent University in Ankara. Since 2005 he has been the head of the Topkapı Museum in Istanbul.[1]


As the son of a Crimean Tatar family who fled Joseph Stalin's persecution and deportation, he was born in a refugee camp in Bregenz, Austria on 21 May 1947 and came to Turkey when he was 2 years old.[1][2] Ortaylı attended elementary school and St. George's Austrian High School in İstanbul and then Ankara Atatürk High School. He graduated from Ankara University Mekteb-i Mülkiye (Faculty of Political Science) and completed his postgraduate studies at the University of Chicago under Professor Halil İnalcık 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 Tanzimat Period (1978). After his doctorate, he attended to the faculty at the School of Political Sciences of Ankara University. In 1979, he was appointed as associate professor. In 1982, he resigned from his position, protesting the academic policy of the government established after the 1980 Turkish coup d'état. After teaching at several universities in Turkey, Europe and Russia, in 1989 he returned to the Ankara University and became professor of history and the head of the section of administrative history.

İlber Ortaylı is widely known as a polyglot and with his racist commentary. Apart from Turkish, he also speaks German, Russian, English and French.[2]


He has published articles on Ottoman and Russian history, particular emphasis on cities and the history of public administration, diplomatic, cultural and intellectual history. In 2001, he collected the Aydın Doğan Foundation Award. He is a member of the Foundation for International Studies, the European-Iran Examining Foundation[2] and the Austrian-Turkish Academy of Sciences.[3] A biographical book on İlber Ortaylı, "Zaman Kaybolmaz: İlber Ortaylı Kitabı," was published by Nilgün Uysal in 2006.


  • Tanzimat'tan Sonra Mahalli İdareler (Provincial administration after Tanzimat) (1974)
  • Türkiye'de Belediyeciliğin Evrimi (Evolution of municipality in Turkey; with Ilhan Tekeli, 1978)
  • Türkiye İdare Tarihi (Administrative history of Turkey) (1979)
  • Osmanlı İmparatorluğunda Alman Nüfuzu (German influence in the Ottoman Empire) (1980)
  • Gelenekten Geleceğe (From tradition to the future) (1982)
  • İmparatorluğun En Uzun Yüzyılı (The longest century of the Empire) (1983)
  • Tanzimat'tan Cumhuriyet'e Yerel Yönetim Geleneği (Local administration tradition from Tanzimat to the Republic) (1985)
  • İstanbul'dan Sayfalar (Pages from Istanbul) (1986)
  • Studies on Ottoman Transformation (1994)
  • Hukuk ve İdare Adamı Olarak Osmanlı Devletinde Kadı (Kadıs as a legal and administrative figures in the Ottoman State) (1994)
  • Türkiye İdare Tarihine Giriş (Introduction to the history of Turkish administration) (1996)
  • Osmanlı Aile Yapısı (Family structure in the Ottoman Empire) (2000)
  • Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda İktisadi ve Sosyal Değişim (Economic and social change in the Ottoman Empire) (2001)
  • Osmanlı Barışı (Ottoman peace) (2004)
  • Osmanlı’yı Yeniden Keşfetmek 1 and 2 (Rediscovering the Ottoman Empire) (2006)
  • Kırk Ambar Sohbetleri (Kırk ambar conversations) (2006)
  • Eski Dünya Seyahatnamesi (Travelogue of the old world) (2007)


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