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Halil Inalcık (1916-2016)

Halil İnalcik photoHalil Inalcik is one of the leading historians on the Ottoman Empire. He was born on September 7, 1916 in Istanbul. After graduating from Balıkesir Teacher Training School, he entered Ankara University’s School of Language and History/Geography (AUSLHG) and graduated in 1940. In 1942, he defended his dissertation, which was one of the first research works in the field of socio-economic history in Turkey, and he earned the academic title of Doctor of Philosophy. He was named an assistant to the New Era Chair of AUSLHG on April 28, 1942, and he became an Associate Professor with his research on The “Great Request” of the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Khanate on December 15, 1943 in Vienna.

Since his doctorate work, he has focused on researching the social and economic issues of the Ottoman Empire. He has carried out extensive research works in Istanbul Ottoman Archives and the Bursa Sharia Registers. In 1947, he was chosen as a member of the Turkish History Board.

He worked hard in his field and AUSLHG sent him to the UK for continued education. He worked with Turkish manuscripts in the British Museum and compiled notes on Ottoman history from the “Calendars of State Papers” exhibit. After returning to Turkey, he earned the title of Professor on June 2, 1952 with his research on “Ottoman-Crimean Unified Khanate during the years of Vienna’s Defeat.” He taught in various universities in America as a guest professor. In 1972-1993, he taught Ottoman history classes at Chicago University. In 1994 he returned to Turkey and founded the history department at Bilkent University, where he still teaches. H.Inalcik became a member and president of various international foundations.

He is a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Department of Historical Sciences.


Islamic History, Art and Cultural Research Center Award (1986) 
Turkish Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs Medal and Certificate for Great Service (1991)
Sedat Simavi Foundation Award (1993)
Istanbul University Turkish Studies Institute Award (1998)
Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture High Award for Culture and the Arts (2002)
“2002 Soranos Friendship Award” (2002)
Republic of Hungary Medal of Honor (2006)
Honorable Award of Grand National Assembly of Turkey (2008)

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