Universiteit Leiden

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Hasan Çolak


Dr. H. Çolak
+31 71 527 5636

Having received my PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2013, I have been Researcher in the Institute for History at Leiden University since 2013. 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 2012 and Spring 2013). My first monograph entitled ‘The Orthodox Church in the Early Modern Middle East’ was published by the Turkish Historical Society in 2015. In collaboration with Zeynep Kocabıyıkoğlu Çeçen and N. Işık Demirakın, I edited ‘Ayşegül Keskin Çolak’a Armağan Tarih ve Edebiyat Yazıları’ in 2016. In addition to the history of the Orthodox Church in the Ottoman Empire, I have published extensively on the formation and representation of Ottoman imperial ideology by Ottoman Muslim and Christian intellectuals, practices of inter-communal co-existence and conflict, and local, religious, and political identities among Greek- and Arabic-speaking Ottoman Christians. I have a forthcoming book (co-edited with Dr Elif Bayraktar Tellan of Istanbul Medeniyet University, to be published by the Isis Press in Istanbul) is a critical edition of early modern Ottoman appointment documents (berats) for Orthodox patriarchs as instruments of institutionalisation within Ottoman bureaucratic and Orthodox ecclesiastical contexts.

In the Institute for History at Leiden University, I work as Researcher for the ERC Research Project ‘Fighting Monopolies, Defying Empires’ led by Prof. Cátia Antunes. Since my arrival at Leiden in 2013, I have expanded my research interests towards the history of merchants in diaspora settings, and their role as agents of change between Europe and the Ottoman Empire. My current research focuses on the history of the Greek merchants who moved from the Ottoman domains into Amsterdam, and seeks to understand the complex set of relations that they established with various polities. This research has been granted a book contract by the MIP University Press at Kalamazoo.


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

Autumn 2016-2017
Religion, Trade and Bureaucracy in Ottoman Non-Muslim Diasporas, Institute for History, Leiden University.

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.

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. (2015), The Orthodox Church in the Early Modern Middle East: Relations between the Ottoman Central Administration and the Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu/Turkish Historical Society.

Çolak H. (2015), Fasiliyus, tekfur and kayser: Disdain, negligence and appropriation of Byzantine imperial titulature in the Ottoman world. In: Hadjianastasis M. (Ed.) Frontiers of the Ottoman Imagination: Studies in Honour of Rhoads Murphey.. Leiden & Boston: BRILL. 5-29.

Çolak H. (2013), Catholic Infiltration in the Ottoman Levant and Responses of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchates during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, ARAM periodical 25(1&2): 87-97.

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


  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Institute for History
  • Economische en Sociale geschiedenis

Work address

Johan Huizinga Building
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 0.09b



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