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ANAMED, full name KOÇ UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CENTER FOR ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS, an international cultural organization which was founded in 2005 with the aim of supporting academic research into the history, art, architecture and archeology of civilizations in Turkey and developing and increasing public awareness of cultural heritage management and museum studies. It carries out its work in the renovated historical building, Merkez Han, situated on İstiklal Caddesi in Istanbul. One of its three blocks belongs to ANAMED, the other two belong to the Netherlands Institute of Turkey (NIT) and the Turkish Institute of Prehistory (TIP) including three separate libraries; there are also the offices of the Turkish Foundation for Underwater Archeology (TINA) and the American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT), guest rooms for research fellows, an auditorium for public conferences, seminar rooms and a gallery. ANAMED’s main activities include securing fellowships for researchers specializing in the cultural heritage of Anatolia, providing library services, arranging symposiums, conferences, workshops and exhibitions on Anatolian civilizations and publishing scientific manuscripts.

ANAMED provides fellowships for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers, some of which include accommodation, travel expenses and a monthly allowance, with the aim of supporting the academic work of an average of 30 researchers from Turkey and other countries every year. As well as the annual symposiums, ANAMED has held the International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium every three years since 2007 (2013 and 2016) with the support of the Vehbi Koç Foundation. The center also prepares publications as lasting records of symposiums and exhibition works and in order to be able to share its work with a wider public audience.

The Foundation of ANAMED, as told by Erdal Yıldırım*
In the early 2000s, Beyoğlu was a permanent marketplace from Taksim Square as far as Galatasaray High School, stretching all the way to Tünel; it was as if every day was market day. For this reason, when the idea of founding ANAMED arose, none of us thought of Merkez Han as a possible location. We looked at various places, like Cihangir, then an old villa used in a TV series and a building in Galata (which, I think, used to belong to the Kamondo family), thinking they might be more suitable. We had no idea of the precious jewel that lay right in front of our noses.
I can't remember who first suggested Merkez Han. But we embraced it at once. We had a bit of difficulty evicting the previous tenants. While we were busy deciding, Asmalımescit was getting lively and every stretch of Cadde-i Kebir had become very popular. We subsidized the Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center to move out and were able to see off the branch of Şekerbank thanks to a bilateral friendship—the president is an old friend of mine from university.
Fahrettin Ayanlar+ had long since started work on the project. It was at this time that it was agreed upon that the top floor would be an alumni club. At the time, I was head of the Koç School Alumni Association and I realized how beneficial it would be to have a space like this, which could be shared by high school and university alumni associations.
Fahrettin Ayanlar developed a wonderful project, as ever. The project was presented at a meeting of the Koç University Board of Trustees at Koç Holding. We managed to successfully dismiss the suggestion not to build a conference room and have a car park instead. And thank goodness we did.
The construction process was a difficult one, as is to be expected. It wasn’t easy to build an earthquake-proof building, keep its functions as broad as possible, and satisfy aesthetic concerns. Thanks to Fahrettin Ayanlar and his team, we were able to achieve an outcome that we could all be proud of.
Merkez Han was the first building our founder, Vehbi Koç, bought when he decided to move his company to Istanbul, a building with special significance for the Koç family, Koç Holding and the Vehbi Koç Foundation, and is now a vibrant culture and research center every day of the week and every hour of every day thanks to its on-site academic accommodation.

Lucky us!
ANAMED, Special, June 2015, p. 4

Affiliated with the Koç University Suna Kıraç Library, the ANAMED Library offers a variety of materials such as CD-ROMs, DVDs, cassettes, maps and reprints, as well as books and magazines. At the library, it is also possible to access electronic resources such as online databases, e-books and e-magazines. In cooperation with the Suna Kıraç Library, the ANAMED Library runs digitization projects to protect, keep safe and record Turkey’s cultural heritage and to pass these precious collections on to future generations. The internationally-renowned photographer, ethnographer and connoisseur of Turkish textiles, Josephine Powell, features among the ANAMED Library’s special collections with a collection showcasing thousands of books, travel notes, slides, negatives and photographs detailing Anatolian cities, lives, cultures and nomadic lifestyles (see Josephine Powell Collection).

ANAMED, in the words of Dr. Alessandra Ricci*

[ANAMED] is the first Turkish research center focusing on the Classical, Byzantine and Ottoman periods in Anatolia... This is the first Turkish research centre of its kind. Until now these kinds of activities were exclusively in the hands of foreign research centres like the German Archaeological Institute, the French Institute and so on.  Research institutes like us are not moneymaking establishments, but they produce something that is much more valuable than money: they  produce cultural messages and cultural growth, which are extremely important not only for this country but for its reputation abroad. So, looking at these establishments as simply philanthropic establishments is somewhat reductive... they produce the cultural level and cultural interest that can only be positive for this country.

This research centre functions as a bridge between the international community we are bringing here, the larger community of scholars here in Turkey and everyone who is genuinely interested in pursuing these research themes. We are also helping to build a connection between past and present, helping to create a harmonious dialogue between the past and the directions this country will be taking in the future.

This research centre represents for many of us a dream turned into reality. It is a very important cultural message. Instead of only sending Turkish scholars abroad, we are inviting foreign scholars to come here to research. It is totally unique for this country and I hope other universities will follow this example.
* Associate Director at ANAMED (2008)
Suna Dokur (ed.), Forty Year Book, Vehbi Koç foundation Publications, İstanbul, 2009, p. 214
What Josephine Saw (June 11–October 21, 2012)
Curator: Kimberly Hart
Imagining History: Sagalassos (March 9–June 10, 2013)
Curators: Bruno Vandermeulen, Danny Veys
Stories from the Hidden Harbor: Shipwrecks of Yenikapı (June 25, 2013–January 25, 2014)
A Capital’s Waterways (November 9, 2012–February 18, 2013)
Curators: James Crow, Derya Maktav
Artamonoff: Images of Byzantine Istanbul, 1930-1947 (June 26–November 10, 2013)
Curator: Günder Varinlioğlu
Robertson, Photography and Carving in the Ottoman Capital (November 27, 2013–February 20, 2014)
Curator: Bahattin Öztuncay
Antioch on the Orontes, Early Explorations in the City of Mozaics (February 28–April 20, 2014) Curator: Murat Akar
Nazlı’s Guestbook, Osman Hamdi Bey’s Circle (April 30–July 10, 2014)
Curator: Edhem Eldem
An Innocent City (July18–September 3, 2014)
Curator: Ian Alden Russell
The Forgotten Kingdom (September 13–December 7, 2014)
Curators: Murat Akar, Hélène Maloigne
War and Propaganda on the Allied Front in World War One (December 24, 2014– April 2, 2015)
Curator: Bahattin Öztuncay
Camera Ottomana: Photography and Modernity in the Ottoman Empire, 1840-1914 (April 21–August 19, 2015)
Curators: Zeynep Çelik, Edhem Eldem, Bahattin Öztuncay
John Garstang's Footsteps Across Anatolia (September 17–December 20, 2015)
Curator: Alan M. Greaves
Everyday Sounds: Exploring Sound Through Daily Life (January 9–March 20, 2016)
Editing and design: PATTU
Scent and the City (April 14–June 8, 2016)
Curator: Lauren Nicole Davis
Byzantium’s Other Empire: Trebizond (June 24–September 30, 2016)
Curator: Antony Eastmond
On the Fringe (October 19, 2016–January 2, 2017)
Curator: Figen Kıvılcım Çorakbaş
The Characters of Yusuf Franko: An Ottoman Bureaucrat’s Caricatures (January 26–June 1, 2017)
Curator: Bahattin Öztuncay
The Curious Case of Çatalhöyük (June 21–February 18, 2018)
Curator: Duygu Tarkan
Ottoman Arcadia: The Hamidian Expedition to the Land of Tribal Roots (1886) (May 10–September 30, 2018)
Curators: Bahattin Öztuncay, Ahmet Ersoy, Deniz Türker

Picturing a Lost Empire: An Italian Lens on Byzantine Art in Anatolia, 1960-2000 (June 1-September 30, 2018)
Curator: Livia Bevilacqua, Giovanni Gasbarri
*All exhibition catalogs have been published.

ANAMED offers summer programs on Byzantium and Post-Byzantine Cappadocia, Istanbul through the Ages, The Ancient Languages of Anatolia and Ottoman Turkish.

ANAMED annual symposia

Looking at the Past in the Republican Era, December 2006
Bathing Culture in Anatolian Civilizations: Architecture, History and Imagination, December 2007
The Challenges of Conservation in Archeology, Architecture and Museums: Turkey and Beyond, November 2008
Cities and Citadels, December 2009
Istanbul and Water, December 2010
Of Vines and Wines: The Production and Consumption of Wine in Anatolian Civilizations Through the Ages, December 2011
Ephesos: From Late Antiquity to the Later Middle Ages, November-December 2012
The Palimpsest of the House: Re-Assessing Roman, Late Antique, Byzantine, Early Islamic Living Patterns, November-December 2013
Crossroads: Konya Plain from Prehistory to the Byzantine Period, December 2014
Spolia Reincarnated: Second Life of Spaces, Materials and Objects in Anatolia from Antiquity to the Ottoman Period, December 2015
Sacred Spaces+Urban Networks, December 2016
Spatial Webs, 29-30 November 2017
ANAMED publications

Çelik, Zeynep and Eldem, Edhem (ed.), Camera Ottomana: Photography and Modernity in the Ottoman Empire, 1840-1914, 2015
Eastmond, Anthony (ed.), Byzantium’s Other Empire: Trebizond, 2016
Greaves, Alan M. (ed.), Anadolu’da John Garstang’ın Ayak İzleri/ John Garstang’s Footsteps Across Anatolia, 2015
Hart, Kimberly (ed.), What Josephine Saw, 2012
Kızıltan, Zeynep and Çelik, Gülbahar Baran (ed.), Stories from the Hidden Harbor: Shipwrecks of Yenikapı, 2013
Moloigne, Hélène and Akar, Murat (ed.), Unutulmuş Krallık/The Forgotten Kingdom, 2014
Ödekan, Ayla et al. (ed.), The Byzantine Court: Source of Power and Culture, 2013
Redford, Scott (ed.), Asi'deki Antakya/Antioch on the Orontes, 2014
Varinlioğlu, Günder, Artamonoff: Images of Byzantine Istanbul, 1930-1947, 2013
Abadan Unat, Nermin

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