About the Program


Current Director: Professor Ehud R. Toledano

The Program in Ottoman and Turkish Studies was established in 2013, replacing the Chair that had carried the same title. The Chair was originally created by the Senate of Tel Aviv University (TAU) in 2007 in recognition of the importance of Ottoman and Turkish studies in Israel and at the University. Then-President Itamar Rabinovich acknowledged the excellent work done here and the path-breaking research carried out by our Ottomanists.

The Program now serves as a platform for promoting and supporting projects in the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Ottoman Empire throughout the centuries of its existence. It also covers various aspects of the history of modern and contemporary Turkey. Through the forums it sponsors, the Program also offers opportunities for scholars to present their research to the academic community and the public at large.

The Program in Ottoman & Turkish Studies is part of the Department of Middle East and African History. With its leading programs in Ottoman history and the modern Middle East , the Department is at the forefront Middle East studies in Israel and worldwide. Over 500 undergraduates, some 30 MA, and 35 PhD students make this the largest department of its kind in Israel. A flourishing Executive MA program in Contemporary Middle East Studies provides a sound financial basis for current and future development, supporting fellowships on all levels and adjunct lectureships that enrich the course list offered to TAU students. The Department also boasts a popular and highly competitive MA program in Modern Middle East Studies, conducted in English, for overseas students, mainly from the US, Europe, and the Far East. The current Chair of the Department (since 2014), is Dr Miri Shefer-Mossensohn. Her predecessor and current Director of the Moshe Dayan Center, Professor Uzi Rabi, was instrumental in supporting the Chair and later the Program.

Among the events that already took place under the auspices of the Program in Ottoman and Turkish Studies are the open Annual Chair Lectures, several colloquia, conferences, and workshops, and the activities of Club Turkey, which brings together academics and government experts working on present-day Turkey. All these events feature prominent international and Israeli guests, who present their work and offer their views to a vibrant community of scholars (for a full lists of past and future events, go to the Activities sections). The Program acknowledges with gratitude the financial support provided by the Department of Middle East and African History, the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, the School of Historical Studies, and the President/Rector Fund; without their generosity and commitment, we would not be able to sponsor such a wide range of activities.

The Program in Ottoman & Turkish Studies seeks to bring under its umbrella scholars and graduate students working on the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey at TAU and other universities and colleges in Israel. Faculty members and their advanced students are at the core of our network, but we also highly value the affiliated members who join our circle. Thus, under the Scholars section, you will find webpages for each of our TAU Faculty, TAU Graduate Students, and the Affiliates linked to our activities from other universities. The Research section aims to provide links to major resources in Ottoman studies in Israel and abroad, such as main archival and library collections, academic programs, and research centers.

The current Director of the Program is Professor Ehud R. Toledano, who had held the Chair for Ottoman and Turkish Studies from its creation in 2007 to 2013, and has served as Director from 2013 to the present (for his CV click here, for his publications click here).