Canbakal received her Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, in 1999, and worked as full time faculty at Sabanci University until 2017. She continues her research career as network faculty at the same institution.
Canbakal is specialized in the socioeconomic history and legal culture of the Ottoman Empire in the early modern period. Her recent work focuses on long-term economic change, property relations, and inequality. One of the major outputs of her research in the past decade is a database of Ottoman probate records which comprises about 18,000 inventories from different parts of the Ottoman Empire. Her current project, supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, probes into gender relations and their interaction with economic change, law and custom.
Other data projects:
- “Sex ratios in the late Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey”
- “House prices in Anatolia and Macedonia”
- “Land and livestock prices in Anatolia”
Recent Publications and papers:
- “Slaveholding in the Ottoman Central Lands (1460–1880).” With Alpay Filiztekin. Turkish Historical Review 2022, Vol. 13 (3), pp. 1–36. DOI: 10.1163/18775462-bja10008.
- “Book Ownership Across Centuries: The Case of Military Men in Bursa, 1620-1840.” With M. Moss Quinn and D. Terzioglu. In Crafting History: Essays on the Ottoman World and Beyond in Honor of Cemal Kafadar, eds. R. Goshgarian, I. Khuri-Makdisi, ve A. Yaycioğlu. Brighton: Academic Studies Press, 2022.
- “Child Sex Ratios in the late Ottoman Empire and Turkey, 1897-1965,” Conference on Sex Ratios and Missing Girls in History, University of Trondheim, May 5-6 2022, with Alpay Filiztekin, Yavuz S. Kaçmaz, Meltem Özkan, Lara Yılmaz.
- “Intergenerational Mobility in the Ottoman Empire, 1460-1840,” XIX. World Economic History Congress, Paris, July 27, 2022, with A. Filiztekin.
- “Wealth and demography in Ottoman probate inventories: A database in very long-term perspective.” With Alpay Filiztekin. Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History 2021, Vol.54 (2), pp.94-127. DOI: 10.1080/01615440.2020.1840469. Published online 19 January 2021.
- “Erken Modern Dünya ve Osmanlı Topraklarında Servet ve Gelir Dağılımı (Distribution of Wealth and Income in the Early Modern World and Ottoman Lands).” In İktisat Tarihinin Dönüşü: Dünyada ve Türkiye’de Yeni Yaklaşımlar ve Araştırmalar (The return of economic history: New approaches and research in the world and in Turkey), eds. A. Y. Kaya and U. Karakoç. Istanbul: İletişim, 2021.