Çelik, Zeynep (b. 1951?), historian of Ottoman cities and culture. In 2014, she received the Vehbi Koç Award for culture.
After completing her secondary education at the Istanbul Arnavutköy American College for Girls (see Robert College) in 1970, Çelik studied at the Faculty of Architecture at Istanbul Technical University, graduating in 1975. She received a master’s degree from Rice University, completing her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. She continues to teach at the New Jersey Technology Institute Faculty of Architecture and Design, which she joined in 1991.
Çelik received an honorary doctorate from Boğaziçi University in 2013 and received the thirteenth Vehbi Koç Award in 2014 for “unique and pioneering work in the fields of Ottoman urban, cultural and intellectual history”. In her award ceremony acceptance speech, Çelik summarized her contribution to the field by saying: “My generation has played an important role in expanding the breadth of architectural history, in stretching and pulling it toward unexpected directions, and approaching from a critical point of view. A special contribution that my works have provided is to underline intercultural relationships. I believe I have established that the late period Ottoman Empire is an important part of modernity, which is always attributed to the West.”
In 1987, Çelik received the Turkish Research Book Award for the first serious and systematic work on the urban history of the Ottoman era, titled, The Remaking of Istanbul, Portrait of an Ottoman City in the Nineteenth Century (1986). In 2010, she won the Spiro Kostof Book Award, given by the Society of Architectural Historians (USA), for Empire, Architecture, and the City: French-Ottoman Encounters, 1830-1914 (2008).
Çelik’s other works include Displaying the Orient: Architecture of Islam at Nineteenth Century World's Fairs (1992); Urban Forms and Colonial Confrontations: Algiers under French Rule (1997). From May 2009 to October 2009, she also co-curated an exhibition at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, “Walls of Algiers: Narratives of the City through Text and Image” and from November 2011 to March 2012, she again co-curated an exhibition at Istanbul SALT in Galata, “Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archeology in the Ottoman Empire, 1753-1914”, also acting as one of the editors of the books published in parallel to the exhibition. Her book, About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire, was published concurrently with the Turkish edition in 2016. From 2000 to 2003, Çelik edited the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and co-curated the exhibition “Camera Ottomana: Photography and Modernity in the Ottoman Empire, 1840-1914” held at ANAMED, Istanbul, on April-August 2015, also co-editing the exhibition catalog.