YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies

YILLIK: Annual of Istabul Studies is a peer reviewed, open access, international academic journal featuring cutting-edge research on Istanbul’s past and present, published by the Istanbul Research Institute in print and online (via Dergipark).

YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies is accepting submissions of original research articles, opinion pieces (Meclis), book and exhibition reviews in English or Turkish, by researchers working on any period of the city through the lens of history, history of art and architecture, archaeology, sociology, anthropology, geography, urban planning, urban studies, and other related disciplines in humanities or social sciences.

Click here for our calls for papers.

Click here for our Publication and Peer Review Ethics Statement.


YILLIK is currently indexed by SCOPUS, the MLA International Bibliography and Asos İndeks.

Under Review

TRDizin, Directory of Open Access Journals, Web of Science, EBSCO, Index Islamicus, ERIH PLUS, ProQuest

YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies 2 (2020)

Istanbul is a city of careless, sensitive, callous, vulnerable, and drifting souls, who touch,
hurt, love, and hate each other […] The violence it is subjected to ever increases. And one
finds it more difficult to find a harmony in this chaos, to breathe alongside the rising
skyscrapers, and to be in peace with the city as historic and symbolic places are destroyed 
or converted one by one…

The words of the co-editors of one of the two thematic dossiers (“Imagining the City”) in YILLIK 2’s Meclis ring even more true in late 2020, as it has become literally more difficult to breathe not only alongside the city’s skyscrapers but under our masks, and breathing in close proximity to each other remains a public as well as individual health risk. Only a few months after Çiğdem Kafescioğlu opened our inaugural volume by writing—and recounting from Mustafa Âli—“this city is a realm of rain; [of ] frustration, fear, and death; a realm of venom and blood in the days of the plague; a realm of grief and sorrow for the expelled and the poor in tears,” Istanbul found itself at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey. The number of people it has affected are unclear, but the stories of frustration, fear, poverty, death, grief, and sorrow abound. The pandemic has only deepened and crystallized the spatial and environmental inequalities embedded in the making of the present-day city.

Crystallized further is the coexistence of humans and nonhumans alike and the impact of nonhuman (f)actors on urban life. The unending encroachment upon wildlife by humans is the primary reason behind the rise of global pandemics, and the loss of urban green spaces in metropolises such as Istanbul is a major factor that worsens the impact. In a year when many of us—who can afford to—work from home, our dependence on the networks established through physical infrastructures of broadband, wireless, and satellite systems, to sustain our virtual proximities, has reached hitherto unseen levels. In Istanbul, living, working, loving, and dying are now assembled at the intersection of all of these networks—human and nonhuman, virus and wireless—as is the case with producing YILLIK’s 2020 volume, made possible by the work of authors, editors, copyeditors, designers, typesetters, assistants, and printers, all physically distant from one another.

It might be too early to provide full-blown analyses of the current pandemic’s impact on Istanbul, but YILLIK’s second volume does provide perspectives from the history of medicine with Fezanur Karaağaçlıoğlu’s and Akif Ercihan Yerlioğlu’s articles. The former is a study of the plague in nineteenth-century Galata-Pera, and the latter, “‘May Those Who Understand What I Wrote Remember This Humble One’: Paratextual Elements in Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Medical Manuscripts” is the winner of our Early Career Article Prize.

Further historical perspectives help YILLIK to record Istanbul’s present-day transformation, as in the case of Hasan Sercan Sağlam’s article on the Galata Tower, which was subjected to a contested takeover by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and a controversial restoration in recent months. Serra Akboy-İlk offers a historiographical discussion in her article on early republican architectural discourse, while Gábor Fodor delves into the history of one of the first foreign research institutions established in Istanbul.

In Cabinet, Brigitte Pitarakis provides a close reading of Byzantine iconography on a nineteenth-century paper icon from the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Collection portraying the Second Coming and Last Judgment.

In Meclis, the first thematic dossier, co-edited by Olcay Akyıldız and Zeynep Uysal, is an outcome of the Pera Museum’s 2014 symposium “Imagining the City,” with pieces by Selim Sırrı Kuru, Hatice Aynur, Handan İnci, and a photo essay by Murat Germen that offers a vivid display of Istanbul’s brutal transformation in recent years and the spatial inequalities this has fostered. The second thematic dossier in Meclis marks Hagia Sophia’s recent reconversion to a mosque, probably the most consequential event in 2020 concerning Istanbul’s historical heritage. Edited by Brigitte Pitarakis, with pieces by Pitarakis, Arietta Papaconstantinou, and Koray Durak, it deals with experiencing Hagia Sophia in the past, and the diverse encounters with it, for as Papaconstantinou puts it, “like the stones that composed its decoration, so its visitors came from all over the empire and beyond.” These are accompanied by Marios Philippides’ piece on the “dating” of one of the most important dates in the city’s history: May 29, 1453.

YILLIK’s 2020 volume also features an expansive range of both book and exhibition reviews on a variety of topics, from the reception and appropriation of Byzantium into modernism to Islamic art in North American museum collections. Lastly, the Istanbul Bibliography, compiled by our student assistants, once again brings together current research on Istanbul.

Now onto the next one, with hopes for a better year ahead as we continue to keep record of Istanbul’s past, present, and possible futures.

The Editorial Board

Click here to access YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies 2 (2020).

Peer-reviewed articles

Fezanur Karaağaçlıoğlu – Exotic and Toxic? Plague in Early Nineteenth-Century Galata-Pera

Akif Ercihan Yerlioğlu – “May Those Who Understand What I Wrote Remember This Humble One”: Paratextual Elements in Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Medical Manuscripts

Hasan Sercan Sağlam – Galata Kulesi’nin Ceneviz Dönemine Yönelik Bir Yeniden Değerlendirme

Serra Akboy-İlk – Building the Architectural Narrative of the Topkapı Kara Ahmed Pasha Mosque Complex in Early Republican Turkey

Gábor Fodor – Harp İstanbul’unda Macar Arkeolojisi: Konstantinopolis Macar Bilim Enstitüsü (1916-1918)


Brigitte Pitarakis – The Naked Soul at the Scales: A Paper Icon in the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Collection


Olcay Akyıldız, Zeynep Uysal – Şehri Hayal Etmek: İstanbul Tahayyülleri

Selim Sırrı Kuru – İki Şehrin Şiiri: Gazelde İstanbul ve Galata İkilisi

Hatice Aynur – Tatavlalı Mahremî’nin Şehnâme’sinde Suriçi İstanbul’u

Handan İnci – Hangi İstanbul? Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar ve Orhan Kemal’in Gözünden Şehre Bakmak

Murat Germen –  Şimdilerde Şehir: Hayal Kırıklığı

Brigitte Pitarakis – Hagia Sophia, God’s Chosen Ruler, and St. Nicholas: New Perspectives on the Macedonian Dynasty

Arietta Papaconstantinou – The Sound of a Thousand Tongues: Visitors to Constantinople from the Eastern Provinces in the Sixth Century

Koray Durak – Hapishanede Ayasofya’yı Düşünmek: El-Ömerî ile Balaban’ın Kostantiniyye’deki Ulu Kilise Üzerine Sohbeti

Marios Philippides – The Date of the Conquest of Constantinople: May 29, 1453?

Reviews and Istanbul Bibliography 2020

Florin Leonte, Imperial Visions of Late Byzantium: Manuel II Palaiologos and Rhetoric in Purple. Reviewed by Paul Magdalino

Gülsün Tanyeli, “Hiçbir Üstâd Böyle Kâr Etmemişdir”: Osmanlı İnşaat Teknolojisi Tarihi. Reviewed by Damla Gürkan-Anar

Zeren Tanındı, Yazıda Âhenk ve Renk: Sadberk Hanım Müzesi Koleksiyonundan Sanatlı Kitaplar, Belgeler ve Hüsn-i Hatlar. Reviewed by Aslıhan Erkmen

Christopher Houston, Istanbul, City of the Fearless: Urban Activism, Coup d’État and Memory in Turkey. Reviewed by Sinan Erensü

Priscus, Fragmenta et Excerpta: Attila ve Bizans Tarihi. Trans. and ed. Turhan Kaçar. Reviewed by Aslıhan Akışık-Karakullukçu

Ayten Alkan, ed., Şehir ve Hayvan. Reviewed by Onur İnal

Roland Betancourt and Maria Taroutina, ed., Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity. Reviewed by: Przemysław Marciniak

Inspired by the East: How the Islamic World Influenced Western Art. Reviewed by Leyla Kayhan Elbirlik

Connectivités (Connectivities). Reviewed by Ekin Can Göksoy

Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights from New York University’s Abby Weed Grey Collection. Reviewed by Lydia Harrington

Istanbul Bibliography 2020. Compiled by Osman Kocabal and Deniz Özcan

To order the print issue and to subscribe, please write to our sales contact.

YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies 1 (2019)

Click here for the Call for Papers of the second issue.

A direct successor of İstanbul Araştırmaları Yıllığı / Annual of İstanbul Studies—the academic journal of Istanbul Research Institute published annually between 2012 and 2018—YILLIK is a peer-reviewed and open-access journal published simultaneously in print and online (via DergiPark).

Peer-reviewed articles of YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies 1 (2019) cover a wide range of topics from the changing spatial and visual practices in the early modern Istanbul to the 10th Congress of Byzantine Studies held in Istanbul in 1955, dealt with a variety of novel approaches coming from different disciplines such as urban and architectural history, history of science, music, and historiography.

From this year onward, an article written by a student or a researcher who has defended their doctoral theses within the last five years will be awarded the Early Career Article Prize. We wholeheartedly congratulate Nilay Özlü, the winner of the inaugural prize, with her article “Silent Guardians of the Regime: The ‘Lost’ Police Stations of the Topkapı Palace.”

One of the new sections of the journal, the Cabinet is devoted to short essays by renowned experts on historical documents from the collections of the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation (SVIKV). In the first issue, Selim S. Kuru writes on Küsnâme of Tacîzâde Cafer Çelebi, found within the Baldırzâde Mecmuası of the SVIKV Manuscript Collection.

Another new section, Meclis, is designed to serve as a space where proceedings from the events organized by SVIKV can appear, and for critical interventions to current debates on Istanbul. In the first Meclis, we present the proceedings of “Istanbul and Music” Studies Program’s (İMAP) Inaugural Panel, held at the Pera Museum in November 2018.

Reviews and Istanbul Bibliography section features five book reviews and one exhibition review, as well as the newest version of the Istanbul Bibliography, which we have published since 2012.

The call for papers for this issue, which also announced our new format, declared that it would be the eighth issue. However, the name change necessitated a new ISSN, which required us to relaunch our journal with the issue no. 1. Perhaps it was only appropriate for a journal, after a complete transformation of its content, design, and advisory board, to begin afresh with a new title, and from the first issue.

To our old and new readers and potential authors, greetings!

YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies 1 (2019)



Çiğdem Kafescioğlu – Sokağın, Meydanın, Şehirlilerin Resmi: On Altıncı Yüzyıl Sonu İstanbul’unda Mekân Pratikleri ve Görselliğin Dönüşümü

Hatice Gökçen Özkaya – İstanbul’da On Yedinci Yüzyıl Evlerinde Yaşama Mekânları

Nilay Özlü – Silent Guardians of the Regime: The ‘Lost’ Police Stations of the Topkapı Palace 

Ayhan Han – Osmanlı Döneminde Yerebatan Sarnıcı ve Mahallesi 

Bilge Ar – İşgal İstanbul’unun Kentsel Dönüşümünü Beyaz Ruslar Üzerinden Okumak 

Buket Kitapçı Bayrı – The 10th International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Istanbul, September 15–21, 1955 

Hasan Baran Fırat – Dönemlendirme Çalışmaları ve Osmanlı-Türk Müziği Tarihyazımı: Bir Bilanço Denemesi 


Selim Sırrı Kuru – A Radical Discourse of Desire: Küsnâme 


Walter Feldman – The Emergence of Ottoman Music and Local Modernity

Panagiotis C. Poulos – Spaces of Intercommunal Musical Relations in Ottoman Istanbul

Cem Behar – Inventors of Notation Systems in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Istanbul: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

Reviews and Istanbul Bibliography

Mehmet Ekinci – Begüm Adalet, Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018. xi+286 pages. ISBN: 9781503605541

Önder Eren Akgül – Onur İnal and Yavuz Köse, eds., Seeds of Power: Exploration in Ottoman Environmental History. Winwick: The White Horse Press, 2019. xvii+292 pages, 26 figures and tables. ISBN: 9781874267997

Emily Neumeier – Ivana Jevtić and Suzan Yalman, eds., Spolia Reincarnated: Afterlives of Objects, Materials, and Spaces in Anatolia from Antiquity to the Ottoman Era. Istanbul: Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, 2018. xiv+373 pages, 205 figures. ISBN: 9786052116142

Nurçin İleri – Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Osmanlı İstanbul’unda Asayiş 1879-1909. İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2017. 431 sayfa, 18 şekil, 3 tablo. ISBN: 9789750521270

Firuzan Melike Sümertaş – Skarlatos Byzantios, Constantinople: A Topographical, Archaeological & Historical Description... Vol. 1: Constantinople intra and circa Muros. Translation and Commentary by Haris Theodorelis-Rigas with a Foreword by Stephanos Pesmazoglou. Istanbul: İstos, 2019 [1851]. xviii+ 856 pages. ISBN: 9786054640652

Nilay Özlü – Aralıktan Bakmak: Meşrutiyet Caddesi’nden Bir Kesit. İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü, 21 Mart – 21 Eylül 2019. Küratörlük ve tasarım: Dilara Tekin Gezginti ve Eda Özgener

Muhammed Zinciroğlu – Istanbul Bibliography 2019