Referred to as Master of Historians Professor Halil İnalcık is a prominent figure who wrote significant historical sources in his century-long lifetime.
Contributor: MERVE AY
Halil İnalcık was born in fall 1916, as the son of Crimean migrant Seyit Osman Nuri Bey and Ayşe Bahriye Hanım. He made studies on Crimean history from the early years of his academical career presumably due to his Crimean ancestry. Such that as professor of professors Halil İnalcık received associate professorship with the thesis titled Ottoman Empire and Crimean Khanate to Grand Retreat and professor title with the thesis Ottoman-Crimean Collaboration During the Years of Vienna Defeat. He served in Ankara University Faculty of Language, History and Geography he is an alumni of, for more than 30 years. Also the founder of Bilkent University Department of History, İnalcık gave lectures in reputable universities as Columbia, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Harvard as visiting professor and established Ottoman Chair in University of Chicago.
Author of tens of books and hundreds of articles, İnalcık made major contributions in historical literature with his studies. He did research on almost all periods of the Ottoman State and wrote reference books. He provided insight on numerous historical subjects not known correctly or well. His analyses and studies shed light on history. He gave numerous conferences, symposiums and congresses home and abroad. American social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein says “His books, countless essay and encyclopedia topics, are treasures for social scientists,” for Halil İnalcık who contributed also in introduction of Turkish history and culture. He was deemed worthy of Order and Diploma of Merit by Turkish Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his efforts. In addition, he received various awards and honours from reputable Turkish and foreign institutions. He was an editor for publications and on editorial boards of numerous scientific journals. Known also as the Pole of Historians, İnalcık was elected as one of the top 2000 scientists in the world in social sciences by Cambridge International Biographical Centre.
His publications on political, social, economical, cultural and military aspects of Ottomans in the history, are reference books in reputable universities in the world. For example, The Ottoman Empire: the Classical Age, 1300-1600, (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1973) is one of these books included in the curricula of world’s leading universities. This book with four editions only in English, has also been translated into six Balkan languages and Arabic.
A member of various science institutions, İnalcık also played a role in establishment of major science centres. He founded Halil İnalcık Centre for Ottoman Studies in Bilkent University at service of researchers and the International Association for Social and Economic History of Turkey, and organised congresses in various European cities with this association.
Passed away on July 25th in Ankara, world famous historian was buried in the fenced cemetery section of Fatih Mosque in Istanbul.
Some Awards Inalcık Received
TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly) Award
Turkish Daily News Presidency Award
Royal Asiatic Society
Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
Hungary Medal of Competence
American Friends Turkey 1987
Prof. Dr. İlber Ortaylı
A Scholar that Makes Turkey Proud
Halil İnalcık is an organisation. He is a scholar raised in this country who makes and will make us proud. His students have invariably been proud of having him as a professor. Even the students of his students will be proud in the future. As a history professor, it is a privilege to have been Halil İnalcık’s student for a long time. Because we had the chance to learn from Halil İnalcık, and received an education that could not have been provided by many professors in Europe and USA. Now all we can do is to say, May God rest his soul. But most importantly, we must pray to God for the coming generation to follow in his footsteps.