Vehbi Koç Foundation Encyclopedia use cookies to give you the best experience. If you confirm, you will accept the use of cookies. Click for detailed information on the use of cookies.

Istanbul Research Institute

Istanbul Research Institute, research body that, “aims to unearth Istanbul’s history, cultural structure and human profile through the Byzantine, Ottoman and Republican periods by following the traces of civilization which spread from the city’s center to its surroundings. The Institute develops and supports projects that feed this purpose and works to share the results of these efforts through national and international events with related institutions and the public, and through a rich publication series.” It began its activities on March 1, 2007, as part of the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, and was the second major phase of a wide-ranging arts and cultural project that began with the opening of the Pera Museum in 2005.

The institute is located in Tepebaşı in the old Rosolimo Apartment built by the Italian architect Guglielmo Semprini towards the end of the nineteenth century. The ground floor is used as a gallery for exhibitions highlighting the institute’s projects. The Atatürk and the Republican Studies section includes the institute’s main library, containing relevant academic publications, as well as the Istanbul Library and a reference section for the general reader. The Ottoman Studies Section contains a library of modern Ottoman research, as well as the Şevket Rado Manuscript Library, which is made up of almost 1,000 manuscripts from the Şevket Rado collection. The manuscripts have been transferred to a digital format to prevent deterioration and facilitate access for researchers. The Byzantine Studies Section holds a library of contemporary Byzantine research, as well as the Semavi Eyice Library, where researchers have access to rare editions and over 30,000 periodicals, offprints, numerous archive materials belonging to Professor Semavi Eyice. In addition to books on Byzantine art and history, the Semavi Eyice Library also holds travelogues and archaeological/art publications relating to various periods of Islamic, Turkish and Ottoman history, art, architecture and literature.

The Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Photograph Collection, collated by Suna Kıraç and İnan Kıraç over many years, contains over 120,000 old photographs of Istanbul from before and after the establishment of the Republic. One of most valuable parts of the institute’s archive, this collection also includes engravings, maps, musical scores and numerous newspaper clippings relating to Istanbul’s cultural heritage.

Since 2012, the institute has published the Annual of Istanbul Studies, which features unique studies on different aspects of the city’s historical, archaeological and cultural identity. Other books are also published as part of the Symposium Series, Classical Works Series, Special Series and Istanbul Studies Series, which focuses on doctoral theses about Istanbul.

Ağır, Aygül, İstanbul'un Eski Venedik Yerleşimi ve Dönüşümü (The Old Venetian Settlement of Istanbul and its Transformation), 2009

Arslan, Murat and Kaçar, Turhan (ed.) Byzantion’dan Constantinopolis’e Istanbul Kuşatmaları (Sieges of Istanbul from Byzantium to Constantinople), 2017

Cheynet, Jean-Claude, Gökyıldırım, Turan and Bulgurlu, Vera (ed.), Les sceaux byzantins du Musée archéologique d'Istanbul (The Byzantine Seals of the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul), 2012

Çokuğraş, Işıl, Bekâr Odaları ve Meyhaneler. Osmanlı İstanbulu’nda Marjinalite ve Mekân (1789-1839) (Bachelor Rooms and Taverns: Marginality and Space in Ottoman Istanbul), 2016

Genim, Sinan (ed.), Konstantiniyye'den İstanbul’a. XIX. Yüzyıl Ortalarından XX. Yüzyıla Boğaziçi'nin Anadolu Yakası Fotoğrafları (From Konstantiniyye to Istanbul. Photographs of the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus from the mid 19th to the 20th Century), 2012

Istanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Yazmalar Kataloğu, 3 vol. (Istanbul Research Institute Catalog of Manuscripts), 2014

Kaynar, Hakan, Projesiz Modernleşme. Cumhuriyet İstanbulu'ndan Gündelik Fragmanlar (Modernization without Blueprints: Daily Fragments from Republican Istanbul), 2012

Kılıç, Filiz (ed.), Âşık Çelebi, Meşâ'irü'ş-Şu'arâ (Âşık Çelebi, Senses of Poets), 2010

Mabeyinci Pavlos, Ayasofya'nın Betimi (The Depiction of Hagia Sophia), 2010

Mazlum, Deniz, 1766 Istanbul Depremi. Belgeler Işığında Yapı Onarımları (Istanbul Earthquake of 1766: Structure Repairs in the Light of Documents), 2011

Ousterhout, Robert, Klein, Holger and Pitarakis, Brigitte (ed.), Kariye Camii Yeniden/The Kariye Camii Reconsidered, 2011

Özkaya, Gökçen, 18. Yüzyılda Istanbul Evleri. Mimarlık, Rant, Konfor, Mahremiyet (18th Century Istanbul Houses: Architecture, Property Income, Comfort, Privacy), 2016

Pitarakis, Brigitte and Tanman, Gülru (ed.), Life Is Short, Art Long: Healing in Byzantium-New Perspectives, 2018
Yavuz, Mehmet Fatih, Byzantion. Byzas’tan Constantinus’a Antik İstanbul, Antik Edebi Kaynaklar (Byzantion: Ancient Istanbul, Ancient Literary Sources from Byzas to Constantine), 2014

Since its opening, the institute has hosted conferences, international symposiums and a series of talks known as “Chamber Talks”. Among symposiums organized by the institute are: Theodoros Metokhites, the Chora Monastery and Constantinopolis in the Palaiologos Era (2007), 12th International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology (2009), Cultural Life of Caves, From Paleolithic Shamans to the Seven Sleepers (2012), Views from Byzantium (2012), “Meclis” as a Cultural Circle (2013), 11th International Symposium of Byzantine Sigillography (2014), Imagining the City: Representations of Istanbul from Art to Life (2014) and Discovering Byzantium in Istanbul: Scholars, Institutions and Challenges, 1800–1955 (2017).

Suna and İnan Kıraç received the Istanbul Tourism Honorary Award for the contribution they made to Istanbul by opening the Pera Museum and Istanbul Research Institute.

Exhibitions organized by Istanbul Research Institute
“Ottoman Architect” D’Aronco (September 18–December 15, 2006)

Ali Emîrî Efendi and His World: Fermans, Berats, Calligraphies, Books (January 24–July 1, 2007)

The Dervishes of Sovereignty, The Sovereignty of Dervishes: The Mevlevi Order in Istanbul (November 15, 2007–March 30, 2008)

Long Stories: Istanbul in the Panoramas of Melling and Dunn (May 29–July 23, 2008)

Cities of the Three Books: Jerusalem and the Holy Land in 19th Century Photographs (September 9–October 19, 2008)

Wooden Istanbul: Examples from Housing Architecture (October 30, 2008–April 26, 2009)

The Logbook of the Ottoman Navy: Ships, Legends, Sailors (May 15–October 04, 2009)

Ankara: City of the Black Calpac, 1923-1938 (October 29, 2009–March 28, 2010)

From the Capital of the Empire to the Modern City of the Republic: Henri Prost's Istanbul Plans 1936-1951 (May 3–July 18, 2010)

The Crescent and the Sun, Three Japanese in İstanbul: Yamada Torajiro, Ito Chuta, Otani Kozui (October 16, 2010–February 13, 2011)

Impressions from Afar: 18th-Century Istanbul in the Paintings of Clara and Luigi Mayer (March 23–September 15, 2011)

1283: Atatürk in Photographs from the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Collection (November 10–November 24, 2011)

From the Shores of the Nile to the Bosphorus: Traces of the Kavalalı Mehmed Ali Pasha Dynasty in Istanbul (December 7, 2011–March 31, 2012)

Mindful Seed Speaking Soil: Village Institutes of the Republic 1940-1954 (April 18–October 27, 2012)

Atatürk: More than Just a Man... Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Atatürk Photograph Collection (November 10–November 30, 2012)

The Architect of Changing Times: Edoardo De Nari 1874-1954 (December 18, 2012–April 20, 2013)

The Anatomy of a Tradition: 150 Years of Robert College 1863-2013 (June 15–August 31, 2013)

Republic: New Individual, New Life (December 11, 2013–May 17, 2014)

Taksim: The Heart of Istanbul (June 5–October 07, 2014)

Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi (1899–1984): Architectural Historian, Restorer, Collector (November 5, 2014–April 11, 2015)

Journey to the Center of the East 1850-1950: 100 Years of Travelers in Istanbul from Pierre de Gigord Collection (June 4–October 17, 2015)

The Republic in Istanbul: Scenes from a Celebration (October 27, 2015–January 30, 2016)

The Şişli Mosque: An Ottoman Building in the Early Republican Era (February 16–September 18, 2016)

The Four-Legged Municipality: Street Dogs of Istanbul (October 27, 2016–September 16, 2017)

Imaginary World of a Paper Architect: Nazimî Yaver Yenal (October 4, 2017–March 3, 2018)

A Window to the West: 150 Years of the Galatasaray Lycée, 1868-2018 (September 14, 2018–February 23, 2019)
Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.