Past Event

Ottomans and their "Others": Uses of Soft Power

June 16, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Columbia Global Centers Istanbul invites you to a series of webinar workshops to highlight the research of emerging scholars in the late Ottoman and early Turkish Republican history. Organized by Professor Zeynep Çelik, our sixth workshop, "Ottomans and their "Others": Uses of Soft Power," looks at how different control and manipulation mechanisms functioned in the early and late modern Ottoman Empire.

The Sunni Caliph Defends the Shi‘ite Shah: The Ottoman Universal Caliphate in the Persian Turmoil of the 1720s  
Muhammet Saçmalı is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of California in Davis. He will defend his dissertation, “Early Modern Ottoman Universal Caliphate and Sunni-Shi'ite Political Relations in the First Half of the 18th Century," in the coming months. Muhammet graduated from Boğaziçi University with a double major in Sociology and Political Science and International Relations in 2010. He holds an MA in Political Science and International Relations from the same university with a thesis titled “Compliance and Negotiation: The Role of the Turkish Diyanet in the Production of Friday Khutbas.” Between 2010 and 2014, he worked as a personal assistant for the late Şerif Mardin in his book project on the Enlightenment Era. 
Development of the Beylerbeyi Neighborhood, Settlement Policies
Nazlı Songülen studied urban planning at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, specializing in urban design. She then shifted to history and completed her doctoral dissertation in the History and Civilization Department of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, in October 2020. Her dissertation, titled “Distant Land of the Byzantine Holy Golden Cross in Early Modern Ottoman Istanbul: From the Istavros Waqf-Village and Royal Garden to the Beylerbeyi Neighbourhood on the Shores of the Bosphorus,” investigates the transformation of the Istavros-Beylerbeyi shores in early modern Ottoman Istanbul by focusing on the changing land distribution policies and endowment practices on royal gardens. She currently works as a cataloguer in Hill Museum & Manuscript Library in Minnesota, USA.

Philanthropy and Self-Identification in Late Ottoman Egypt
Doğa Öztürk received his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University’s Department of History in August 2020. His dissertation, “‘Remembering’ Egypt’s Ottoman Past: Ottoman Consciousness in Egypt, 1841-1914,” analyzes the prevalence of Ottoman consciousness in Egypt at a time when Egypt was gaining more political and economic autonomy from the Ottoman Empire, and when a more distinct sense of Egyptian national identity was developing. His research focuses broadly on the relationship between memory and nation, as well as the interplay between imperial cultures and national identities. Currently, he is working on an article on Kadriye Hüseyin, a largely forgotten female intellectual and a member of the Egyptian ruling family, who played an active role in the wider Ottoman cultural world in the early 20th century.

Merve Ispahani is Academic Programs Coordinator at Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul.  Merve received her doctoral degree from Columbia University, Department of History. Her dissertation “Building Sovereignty in the Late Ottoman World: Imperial Subjects, Consular Networks and Documentation of Individual Identities” examines the formation of Ottoman sovereignty in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries at the disciplinary intersection of international law and history. Merve holds Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Boğaziçi University.   

Organized by:
Zeynep Çelik, Adjunct Professor, History Department, Columbia University and Distinguished Professor Emerita, New Jersey Institute of Technology 
Merve İspahani, Ph.D., Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul