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The Ottoman Empire was a centre of great pluralism and cultural interchange between Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Join internationally renowned Professor Dr. Ilber Ortaylı as he discusses the history of this period of pluralism, and the evidence of these connected cultures that remains in modern-day Turkey — as well as in collections like that of the Aga Khan Museum.
İlber Ortaylıattended elementary school and Saint Georg High School in İstanbul, and then Ankara Atatürk High School. He graduated from Ankara University and completed his postgraduate studies at the Chicago University under Professor Halil Inalcik, as well as at the University of Vienna. He obtained his Ph.D. at Ankara University in the Faculty of Political Sciences. His doctoral thesis was Local Administration in the Tanzimat Period (1978). After his Ph.D., he attended to the faculty at the School of Political Sciences of Ankara University. In 1979, he was appointed as associate professor. In 1981, his book on the German influence on the late Ottoman Empire (İkinci Abdülhamit döneminde Osmanlı İmparatorluğunda Alman Nüfuzu) was published. In 1982, he resigned from his position, protesting the academic policy of the government established after the Military Coup of September 12, 1980. In 1989, after teaching at several universities in Turkey, Europe, and Russia, he returned to the Ankara University and became professor of history and the head of the section of administrative history. He has published articles on Ottoman and Russian history, with particular emphasis on cities and the history of public administration and diplomatic, cultural, and intellectual history. He is a member of the Foundation for International Studies, the European-Iran Research Foundation, the Academy of Sciences of Turkey (TUBA), and the Turkish Historical Foundation (Türk Tarih Kurumu).