September 03, 2018 - September 08, 2018

Call for Application

Vehbi Koç Ankara Studies Research Center of Koç University (VEKAM), Social Sciences University of Ankara (ASBÜ) The French Institute of the Near East (Ifpo), and the Center for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian Studies (CETOBaC) at EHESS, are organising a summer school devoted to reading and analysing Ottoman manuscript sources. This is the third edition, following the summer school of 2016 in Amman, Jordan and 2017 in Beirut, Lebanon. 
During the five-day programme we will introduce young researchers (mostly MA and PhD candidates, but postdocs may also apply) to reading, combining and analysing manuscript sources from various archives of the Ottoman era, produced at local, provincial and imperial levels. We concentrate mainly on materials from the 16th and 20th centuries, but welcome also explorations into earlier archives. Since this edition of the summer school will be held in Ankara we will incorporate a limited number of studies from the early period of modern Turkey.  Our summer school offers future researchers introductory presentations of the archival situation, various types of sources and basic research tools and workshops with a focus on the actual work with texts. The aim is to overcome the initial difficulties researchers often face when working with archival material from the Ottoman period, one of which is an administrative terminology no longer in use today. 
Our programme emerged from several observations. First, young historians often feel helpless when faced with difficult Ottoman archival material in Ottoman Turkish or other languages used in the Empire if they have not had proper training in palaeography and philology. Moreover, there is not enough dialogue and exchange between the different schools of Ottoman history, particularly between those focusing on the analysis of imperial dynamics (who are generally specialists in the Ottoman language) and those who concentrate on the provinces of the Empire and who therefore work on sources produced in local languages. Our summer school will focus on the study of archives in Ottoman Turkish and Arabic, in case also in Anatolian and Balkan languages, so as to provide future historians with the skills necessary to use such sources within the framework of their research projects. 
The objective of including these languages of the empire in one summer school is two-fold: firstly, to foster an exchange around theory and methodology among specialists of different regions of the empire. Secondly, these languages are important for a comprehensive analysis of local dynamics in various provinces, either for administrative, economic and social dynamics or more specifically in religious studies and belles-lettres. An additional aim is to encourage the use of source materials in different languages by facilitating the identification and understanding of diverse archival holdings. Bringing together specialists of different regions and subjects will encourage the exchange of information on archival holdings, their history, catalogues and finding aids. 


This summer school is an initiative of the ASBÜ, VEKAM, CETOBaC, and Ifpo and supported by Directorate General of Foundations (VGM) and Bilkent University. 
The focus of the summer school are practical workshops in small groups allowing trainees to read and discuss archival documents with specialists familiar with different types of documents. These workshops will make up more than half of the training, the other half will include visits of archives in Ankara, presentations of Ottoman archives and research aids in palaeography as well as discussions about methodology. 
In one of the workshops, the students will be asked to read and analyse a document of their choice. 
The summer school will accept up to 15 students with full funding. About ten researchers and professors from Arab, Turkish, German and French universities will participate in the summer school as instructors. 
The working language of the summer school is English. 


Students enrolled in a Master or Ph.D. programme as well as researchers in an early post-doctoral stage, regardless of nationality, can apply for this summer school, provided that his or her research project necessitates the use of Ottoman source materials in Ottoman Turkish, Arabic or other relevant languages. 
The students selected for the summer school will be offered the following free of charge: 
- summer school fees
- lunch and dormitory accommodation during the summer school
- round-trip transportation from their country of residence
- excursions and visits. 
In order to be considered, the applications must include: 
- a proposal outlining the candidate’s research project (maximum 600 words)
- archival sources (maximum one pages) and, if available, transcription of the document 
- a curriculum vitae, mentioning language skills  (two pages maximum)
- name and contact of two referees that may be contacted for a recommendation 
The applications must be submitted in English. 
The applications should be sent to this address:


The applications must be submitted before 5 May 2018 (midnight Ankara time). 
You will receive a reply by 15 May 2018. 
The summer school will take place from 3 to 8 September 2018. Arrival day in Ankara is 2 September, departure is foreseen for 9 September at the earliest. 


The summer school will take place in Ankara. 

List of potential instructors

Metin Atmaca (ASBÜ), Marc Aymes (CETOBaC), Fuat Dündar (TOBB-ETÜ), Yonca Köksal ( Koç University), Astrid Meier (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), Serife Memis Eroğlu (VGM), Norig Neveu (IREMAM), Oktay Özel (Bilkent University), Evgeni Radushev (Bilkent Univesity)