BY ALP RODOPLU (HIST/MA)
Two new publications, one a compilation of interviews, essays and talks and the other a treatise on Ottoman and modern Turkey, have recently been added to the already monumental corpus of scholarly and intellectual works produced by Prof. Halil İnalcık, the renowned Ottoman historian and founder of Bilkent’s Department of History.
The compilation, entitled “Söyleşiler ve Konuşmalar” (Interviews and Talks), was prepared for publication under Prof. İnalcık’s guidance by his student Emir Doğan, personal assistant Birsen Çınar and HICOS (Halil İnalcık Center for Ottoman Studies) coordinator Ali Işık. This collection will prove significant for those interested not only in the history of the Ottomans and Turkey, but also in the intellectual development of their foremost historian.
Prof. İnalcık’s “Osmanlı ve Modern Türkiye” (Ottoman and Modern Turkey) is premised by his conviction that “a nation lacking knowledge of its history and culture is nothing more than a person deprived of his personality.” Considering the author’s career, spanning over seventy years and counting, we are obliged to hear further what he has to say.
Prof. İnalcık’s contribution to the modern historiography of the Ottomans, the Ottoman Empire and Turkey is without parallel. He has not only been showing the way for historians, but also guiding them as to the appropriate manner to traverse that path. These two new books help us see further how Prof. İnalcık envisaged his scholarly works and, in that light, how they are to aid us in our everlasting endeavor to know who we are.