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Programme of Turkish Studies


The Programme of Turkish Studies is a research unit dedicated to the study of Turkish history with emphasis on the Ottoman period. The Programme aims at:

  • Training young scholars in Ottoman and Turkish history, and
  • Carrying out research in the Ottoman history, with emphasis on: i. Ottoman archives, ii. Ottoman monuments and artefacts, iii. synthesis and analysis.

The Programme was established in 1987 by Professors Vassilis Demetriades and Elizabeth Zachariadou. The current coordinator of the Programme is Dr Marinos Sariyannis, Assistant Researcher at the IMS/FORTH. The research unit also includes Antonis Anastasopoulos and Elias Kolovos, Assistant Professors of Ottoman History, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete.

Research in the Ottoman Archives


The Programme runs several research projects in the Ottoman archives of Greece (in Chania, Heraklion, Veroia, Mount Athos, Leukada and Andros). The researchers of the Programme also work on archival material from the Başbakanlık Ottoman Archive in Istanbul. Furthermore, the Programme conducts research in the Ottoman monuments in Greece. More specifically, it runs projects concerning the Muslim gravestones of Rethymno and the Muslim public buildings of Crete (see Digital Crete), while its members have co-authored the historical introduction in The Ottoman Architecture in Greece (Athens 2008), edited and published by the Directorate of Byzantine and Post-byzantine Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. The Programme currently collaborates with the 28th Ephorate of Byzantine and Post-byzantine Antiquities for the installation of a digital information centre about the Ottoman monuments in Crete in the former mosque of Kara Musa Pasha in the old town of Rethymno.



Library of Islamic and Turkish Studies

The Library of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies holds an important collection of books and journals concerning Islamic and Turkish Studies (including a part of Prof. Victor Ménage's private book collection). Moreover, the Programme of Turkish Studies owns a collection of microfilms and digital records of Ottoman archival material from various Greek archives. Undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of Crete and other universities, as well as any researcher, have free access to the collections of the library of the IMS.

The Islamic and Turkish Library of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies kindly acknowledges donations of books by the Institute of Oriental Studies of Naples University, the Genoa Society of Historical Studies, Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, the Bank of Greece, the Prefecture of Rethymno, the Turkish Historical Society and the Embassy of Turkey in Athens.

Halcyon Days in Crete: Symposia of Ottoman History

The Programme of Turkish Studies has gained international reputation through its 'Halcyon Days in Crete' series of international symposia of Ottoman history, held in Rethymno once every three years since 1991.