Dr. H. (Hasan) Çolak

  • Post-doctoral fellow
  • Early modern Ottoman Empire
  • Byzantine Constantinople/Ottoman Istanbul
  • Ottoman Christians
  • Inter-communal relations in Ottoman contexts

Fields of interest

My general interests include church-state relations in the early Modern Ottoman Empire, representation of imperial authority in Byzantine and Ottoman contexts, communal relations between Muslims and Christians in Byzantine Constantinople and Ottoman Istanbul, image of Christians and Christianity in Ottoman literary sources, Catholic missions vis-à-vis Ottoman Christians and Muslims in the Levant, and local, religious, and political identities of Greek-speaking and Arabic-speaking Ottoman Christians. The unifying body for these themes is my venture to understand the “Empire”. Although the bulk of my research has focused on official Ottoman, ecclesiastic Greek and missionary and diplomatic French sources, I have also looked into literary Ottoman, Greek and Arabic sources.


In the Institute for History at Leiden University, I work as a post-doctoral fellow for the ERC Research Project 'Fighting Monopolies' led by Cátia Antunes. In this project, I analyse the economic networks in the Ottoman Empire among the Ottoman (both Muslim and non-Muslim), and Western free agents through sources produced in different milieux of power.

Curriculum vitae

I took my B.A. degree from the History department of Boğaziçi University, Istanbul (2006) and finished an M.A. in Ottoman History at Bilkent University, Ankara (2008). I continued my doctoral studies in the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham. In January 2013, I completed my PhD dissertation on “Relations between the Ottoman central administration and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria: 16th-18th centuries” under the joint supervision of Rhoads Murphey (lead supervisor) and Ruth Macrides. During my doctoral studies, I was awarded two fellowships by Turkish Cultural Foundation and Alexander Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. Prior to joining Leiden, I taught ‘Turkish for postgraduates’ at the University of Birmingham (Autumn 2010, financed by Roberts Funding) and ‘History of Turkey’ at Bilkent University (Autumn 2 012 and Spring 2013).


University of Birmingham, UK, Ph.D. in Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and
Modern Greek Studies (degree awarded on 10 January 2013)
Supervisor: Rhoads Murphey
Co-supervisor: Ruth Macrides
Dissertation Title: Relations between the Ottoman Administration and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria: 16th-18th centuries
Examiners: Christine Woodhead; David Thomas
Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, M.A. in Department of History
Advisor: Eugenia Kermeli
Thesis Title: Co-existence and Conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims in 16th century Ottoman Istanbul

Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, B. A. in Department of History
Advisor: Nevra Necipoğlu
Thesis: Laonikos Chalkokondyles on the Ottomans and Byzantines: Books I-III

Teaching experience

History of Turkey, Department of History, Bilkent University

Autumn 2010
Turkish for postgraduates, College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham (financed by Roberts Funding)

Autumn 2007
History of Civilization (Teaching Assistant), Department of History, Bilkent University

Professional experience

Abstractor and Turkish translator for Muslim Civilisations Abstracts Project, Aga Khan University, (International) in London.


Participation in the foundation of Bilkent Historical Society and experience
in its administration as a member of administrative board.

Secretary and vice-president for Boğaziçi University History Club
Voluntary work for TAY Project (The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey), aimed at building a chronological inventory of findings on the cultural heritage of Turkey.

Research languages

Ottoman/Modern Turkish, English, French, Medieval/Modern Greek, Arabic.

Fellowships and awards

Alexander Onassis Foundation Residential Doctoral Fellowship

Turkish Cultural Foundation Non-residential Doctoral Fellowship

University of Birmingham, Overseas Research Students Award Scheme (partial fees)

University of Birmingham, College of Arts & Law, Archaeology & Antiquity Awards (top-up fees)

January 2010
University of Birmingham, College of Arts and Law, grant to conduct research in Ottoman archives in Istanbul

April 2009
Grant by COST European Cooperation in Science and Technology to present a paper on comparative history in Rome.

June 2008
Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Scholarship for attendance in Byzantine Greek Summer School.

Bilkent University, History Department M.A. Scholarship.

Key publications

Çolak, H. “Worlds apart and interwoven: Orthodox, Syrian and Ottoman cultures in Paul of Aleppo’s memoirs”, Studies in Travel Writing, 16/4 (2012): 375-385.

Çolak, H. “Sulhen mi Anveten mi? İstanbul'un Fethi'yle ilgili Bir Hikayenin Gelişimi (16.-19. Yüzyıllar)” [By surrender or by Force: Development of a story about the conquest of Constantinople (16th-19th centuries)] in Feridun M. Emecen (ed.) İmparatorluk Başkentinden Kültür Başkentine: Istanbul. (Istanbul: Kitabevi, 2010): 205-213.

Çolak, H. “Bizans Tarihyazıcılığında “Dönüşüm”: Laonikos Chalkokondyles’te Bizanslı ve Osmanlı İmajı (1299-1402)” [“Transformation” in Byzantine Historiography: Image of Byzantines and Ottomans in Laonikos Chalkokondyles (1299-1402)] The Social Sciences Review of the Faculty of Sciences and Letters University of Uludağ, 15 (2008): 333-353.

Çolak, H. “17. Yüzyıl Osmanlı Tarihinin Arap-Hıristiyan Müelliflerine İki Mühim Örnek: Antakya Ortodoks Patriği III. Makarios ibn el-Za’îm ve oğlu Halep Başdiakonosu Paulos” [review of Ioana Feodorov (ed.), Relations entre les peoples de l’Europe Orientale et les chrétiens arabes au XVIIe siècle: Macaire III Ibn al-Za‘îm et Paul d’Alep, Actes du Ier Colloque international, le 16 septembre 2011, Bucarest, (Bucarest: Editura Academiei Române, 2012)] Toplumsal Tarih 234 (2013): 90-94.

Last Modified: 10-12-2015