International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium, a series of conferences organized every three years with the aim of sharing Turkish and international research on the Byzantine era on a global platform. It is held in memory of Sevgi Gönül, who was a life-long supporter of efforts to promote research on the Byzantine era in Turkey and encourage society to embrace their cultural heritage. The first two symposiums were held by the Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKV) at the Istanbul Archeology Museums in 2007 and 2010. The third was organized by ANAMED in its own auditorium with support from the VKV, and fourth and fifth symposiums were arranged by GABAM and held at ANAMED, again with support from the VKV.
The theme of the first symposium, held from June 25-28, 2007, was “Change in the Byzantine World in the 12th-13th Centuries”; the theme of the second symposium, held from June 21-23, 2010, was “The Byzantine Court: Source of Power and Culture”. An exhibition was held in parallel with the first symposium, and titled, “The Remnants – 12th and 13th Centuries Byzantine Objects in Turkey”. An exhibition held together with the second symposium was titled “Byzantine Palaces in Istanbul”.
The theme of the third symposium, held from June 24-27, 2013, was “Trade in Byzantium” and it was accompanied by an exhibition of the Istanbul Yenikapı Excavations; the exhibition was held in collaboration with the Istanbul Archeology Museums and titled “Stories from the Hidden Harbor: Shipwrecks of Yenikapı”.
The fourth symposium was given the theme “Byzantine Identity and the Other in Geographical and Ethnic Imagination” and was held from June 23-25, 2016. It was accompanied by an exhibition titled “Byzantium’s Other Empire: Trebizond” and was held at ANAMED.
The fifth symposium was given the theme “Byzantine Anatolia: Space and Communities” and was held on June 24-26, 2019. The exhibition entitled “Archival Memories: Marcell Restle’s Research in Anatolia and Beyond” was organized within the scope of the symposium and was held at ANAMED.
In addition to the exhibition catalogs, the following books, consisting of the symposium proceedings, were also published: 1. Uluslararası Sevgi Gönül Bizans Araştırmaları Sempozyumu: Bildiriler/First International Sevgi Gönül Symposium: Proceedings (Ödekan, Ayla et al. [ed.], 2010) and The Byzantine Court: Source of Power and Culture, Papers from the Second International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium (Ödekan, Ayla et al. [ed.], 2013) and Trade in Byzantium: Papers from the Third International Seville Gödel Byzantine Studies Symposium (Paul Magdalino and Nevra Necipoğlu [ed.], 2016).