Many important names met at Birthday Party of Prof.Dr. Halil İnalcık who changed overview on the Turkish-Ottoman history and is “the most prominent historian of historiography” took place in Bilkent Hotel with a cocktail party in the last days…
Beginning at the age of 98, a surprise was done to the greatest living authority of Ottoman history Professor Dr. Halil İnalcık in his birthday party. Timaş Publications which made new book of Halil İnalcık who has sign on more than 40 books up today “the Ottoman and Modern Turkish History” ready on the birthday with great efforts made a gesture to the legendary historian by bringing him together with his readers.
Together with many invited guests in that very special night, the names like, Dr. Mustafa Kurt President of the capital Platform and Honorary Consul of Kyrgyzstan, Associate Dr. Bülent Arı; Manager of Dolmabahce Palace, Associate Dr. Teyfur Erdoğdu, Emre Yardımedici, Fuat Ülger Member of the Board of Directors of Capital Platform were there.
We members of press were able to watch the life story of teacher Halil İnalcık from his birth up today at that night with the guests through a slideshow.
Halil İnalcık was born 26 May 1916 in Istanbul. İnalcık whose all childhood passes in the war years moved to Ankara with his family in 1924 and he graduated from Gazi Primary School here. His mother raised him since his father left the family and settled in Egypt. İnalcık who was sent as a boarder to Sivas School of teacher in secondary school was transferred to Balikesir Necatibey School of Teacher in 1932. Here, He took lessons from the renowned professors such as Nusret Kürkçüoğlu in physics, the literary historian Abdülbaki in literature.
After graduating from the Teacher School in 1935 He started in the Faculty of Languages History and Geography which is established by Ataturk to base the thesis of History on science. İnalcık took classes from the famous names of that time during his university education. Among these we can count the names like Fuad Köprülü, Şemsettin Günaltay, Muzaffer Göker, Yusuf Hikmet Bayur
Köprülü whom he took the classes on medieval history had a great effect on İnalcık and taken by him as an example throughout his life. İnalcık after his graduation in 1940 stayed in the Faculty of of Languages History and Geography and became assistant in the department of contemporary History. Meanwhile he married to Misses Şevkiye and has a child whose name is Günhan.
He completed his doctoral thesis entitled “Tanzimat and Bulgarian Matter” in two years and took rank as a doctor. This study of İnalcık prepared by compiling Istanbul archival documents was published by the Turkish Historical Society. This thesis that was prepared on the basis of the documentation aroused great interest. So much so that a delegation from the Bulgarian embassy visited that time dean Enver Ziya Karal and congratulated for the contribution to this thesis to Bulgarian history. This has created an example for İnalcık’s sensitivity of unbiased and accurate writing of history that will be accepted in the future by many.
İnalcık for Turkish historians has the following advices:
“To make a suggestion to the Turkish historians, I can say that you should always stick to the documentation. If you reveal the truth it is always in our favor, because most of written about our history so far is lie or disinformation. If you exaggerate you cannot make acceptance of yourself they do not take you serious. ”
It is undoubted that one of the major reasons of Halil İnalcık being a good historian are the Languages he speaks. İnalcık who is a very good reader of English, German and French can use Arabic and Persian and able to add Italian as one of the languages who can read with the help of a dictionary. This allows him to use resources for research and publish in foreign languages. İnalcık has an outstanding place in the world historical scholarship with his articles and books more than hundreds in number. His success indicators are well above the awards. These include the Rockefeller Foundation, the Foundation for the Promotion of Turkish, METU Mustafa Parlar Foundation, Sedat Simavi Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs High Service, Ministry of Culture, Arts and Culture big awards.
Another success indicator of İnalcık are the honorary doctorate degrees he got. The doctoral degrees he got from Bogazici, Uludag, Selcuk, Athens, Jerusalem Hebrew and Bucharest universities shows that his success has been recognized on an international platform. İnalcık was elected as member of the American Academy in 1986 British Academy in 1993 thus was the first historian who got a prominent place in the international arena. İnalcık, as well as being a good researcher has valuable contributions to the Turkish historiography with his well trained students.
İnalcık, after his retirement from the Faculty of Language, History and Geography where he taught thirty years in 1972, was invited by University of Chicago, department of history. After teaching fifteen students here he has been retired for the second time in 1986.
Halil İnalcık continues his professional life at Bilkent University since 1993 after working a wide variety of universities and he is trying to open master degree programs of history department in this university. His work which he prepared with four specialized “An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire” has become a handbook in the world universities today. İnalcık is boasting introducing with this work civilized face of the Ottoman Turkish history to the world.
We, as Journal of Civil Initiative, honor and pride with Halil teacher, the teacher of teachers, a living history. Wish him nice and healthy ages.