Research Profile

The Orient-Institut Istanbul offers a broad range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. Our main focus is on historical and contemporary research with a regional perspective. Special attention is paid to the territories of the Ottoman Empire, in particular today’s Turkey, but also the Balkans, including the Caucasus and Iran as well as the entire Turkic-speaking world.

The larger research projects are usually both historical and contemporary in nature and cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, while maintaining strong grounding in the core disciplines. At present, the Institute is made up of scholars from the disciplines of Ottoman Studies, linguistic Turkology, Turkish Studies, Islamic Studies, History, Musicology, and Medical Sociology. The research profile is systematically divided into thematic areas, which are generally long-term research fields and research priorities.

These research fields and research priorities structure the work and also incorporate the majority of the young researchers of the Institute. Publications and events are also largely linked to the research fields and research priorities. While researchers, visiting scholars, and stipend holders may conduct individual research projects, it is preferred for their projects to fit into the overall research program of the Institute.

Larger projects of the Institute are usually assigned to the research fields, which, in addition to the main project of the supervising associate researchers, should encompass several individual projects and annually changing fellowship projects. The research fields of the OII are linked to networks in Turkey, Germany, and worldwide. Their aim is to tackle innovative and complex topics with broad-based lines of inquiry, collaborations, and larger teams to enable competitive cutting-edge research and to have a significant impact internationally. Awareness is to be raised internationally of the scholarly findings of the research fields of the OII through the scholarly events of the Institute and through organized presentations at international academic conferences as well as a broad spectrum of publications in our own series, but also in external publications and journals. In some instances, these scholarly findings also involve the expansion of the main focuses of the library collection.

Research priorities are a further important element of the research design. Although they also combine several individual projects, they can also have explorative character. Moreover, they are generally not intended to be long-term, involve ongoing cooperation partners, or require the acquisition of third-party funds. They are rather designed to be slightly lower threshold and to initially have fewer resources. They often consist of the priority projects of their responsible directors or associates, although in some cases they also entail loosely organized (international) cooperation projects.