Seyh Hamdullah, the Founder of the Ottoman School of Calligraphy
27 January 2021
From December 10 to March 31, Sakıp Sabancı Museum will be hosting the exhibition Şeyh Hamdullah on the 500th Anniversary of His Death, with invaluable contributions from two experts in the field, Prof. Zeren Tanındı and Prof. Muhittin Serin.
Prof. Cemal Kafadar of Harvard University Vehbi Koç Chair of Turkish Studies, will deliver a speech on “Consent, Construction, Conquest: The Options and The Choices of Bayezid II,” an online event organized by Sakıp Sabancı Museum in collaboration with Columbia University’s Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies.
Prof. Kafadar’s talk will be live-streamed by the Sakıp Sabancı Museum and Columbia University’s Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies. In his talk, Professor Kafadar will take a fresh approach to Bayezid II’s reign (r. 1481-1512) and focus on Sultan Bayezid II, patron of Şeyh Hamdullah, who was the founder of the “Ottoman school of calligraphy” which exists to this day.
Prof. Kafadar will aim to reinterpret Sultan Bayezid II, independent of the shadow of his father and his son. He will also revisit the role of Amasya, outside the “Bursa-Edirne-Istanbul” triad, and reflect on the late 15th / early 16th century, independent of the Battle of Çaldıran as the typical focus. Bayezid II’s cultural patronage and palace library will also be scrutinized to better understand the ruler and his vision.
The talk will be held on Friday, 29 January 2021, at 6.30 p.m. in Turkey, and at 10.30 a.m. in New York (local time).
The conference will be in English and live-streamed with simultaneous interpretation into Turkish.
For registration, please click
About Prof. Cemal Kafadar Kafadar, Cemal (b. 1954, Istanbul), historian. He has been the Vehbi Koç Chair of Turkish Studies at Harvard University since the position was established in 1997.
After completing his secondary education at Istanbul High School for Boys (1965-69) and Robert College (1969-73), he studied at Hamilton College in the USA. He received an MA in Ottoman History at the Islamic Research Institute at McGill University in Canada, staying on to study for a doctorate. Prof. Kafadar was a member of the academic staff at Princeton University Department of Near Eastern Studies, transferring to Harvard University Department of History in 1990. In 1997, he was made Vehbi Koç Chair of Turkish Studies. He served as director of the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies (1999-2004 and 2009-10) and still lectures in the university’s Department of History, teaching archival research, popular culture and Ottoman historiography. Prof. Kadafar was a guest lecturer at EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) in Paris from 1997 to 1998 and at Boğaziçi University in 2005 and 2009. His areas of interest are the social and cultural history of the Middle East and Southeast Europe at the beginning of the modern era.
Professor Kafadar has published numerous books, including Suleiman the Second and His Time (with Halil İnalcık, 1993), Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State (1995), Kim Var İmiş Biz Burada Yoğ İken – Dört Osmanlı: Yeniçeri, Tüccar, Derviş ve Hatun (Who Was Here While We Were Not – Four Ottomans: a Janissary, a Merchant, a Dervish and a Lady; 2009) and Kendine Ait Bir Roma: Diyar-ı Rum’da Kültürel Coğrafya ve Kimlik (A Rome of One's Own: Reflections on Cultural Geography and Identity in the Lands of Rum; 2017). He received the Presidential Office Grand Culture and Arts Prize in 2010.