I am an intellectual historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey with a focus on transformation of political concepts over the long duree. More broadly I am interested in the genealogy of modern Islamic politics.

I have received my PhD degree in Political Science from Bilkent University in June 2017. My dissertation titled “From Decline to Progress: Ottoman Concepts of Reform 1600-1876” analyzes the changing conceptualizations of reform and tradition in Ottoman political writing from the late 16th century century to 1876.

Currently I am a visiting scholar at Binhamton University working on my publications. I have been awarded the Gerda Henkel Stiftung post-doctoral research grant to work on my book manuscript.

Between September 2014 and August 2015 I was a visiting researcher at University of Basel, Middle East Studies Seminar. I have also worked as a post-doctoral research assistant for the Horizon 2020 project “FEUTURE: Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Mapping Dynamics, Testing Scenarios” at Koç University between September 2016 and August 2017.


2017 – PhD Bilkent University, Political Science and Public Administration
2009 – BA Bilkent University, American Culture and Literature


In English

“Against Influence: Ziya Gökalp in Context and Tradition,” Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies 28:3 (2017): 283-310. (doi: 10.1093/jis/etw059)

With Bahar Rumelili et al. “Turkish and European Identity Constructions in the 1815-1945 Period” FEUTURE Online Paper No. 4 (http://www.feuture.uni-koeln.de/sites/feuture/pdf/D7.3_Online_Paper.pdf)

In Turkish
“Türk Tipi Başkanlığın Arkeolojisi [Archeology of Turkish Style Presidency],” Birikim 325 (May 2016)

“Osmanlı Tarihine Yeni Bir Çatı İnşa Etmek: Baki Tezcan ve İkinci Osmanlı İmparatorluğu [Building a New Frame for Ottoman History: Baki Tezcan and the Second Ottoman Empire],” TYB Akademi 8 (May 2013)

Hürriyet (Istanbul: Dergah, 2018) [a critical edition of the first Ottoman Islamist political journal published in London (1868-69) by the Young Ottoman opposition]


Currently I am involved in several projects:

– Revising my dissertation and producing a book manuscript tentatively titled “Empire and Order: Ottoman Reform and Islamic Tradition 1600-1876”
– Translating into English a selection of nineteenth century Ottoman political writing (with Einar Wigen and Madeleine Elfenbein)
– Ottoman Sourcebook: Led by Prof. Linda Darling this project aims to prepare a cache of English translations of all kinds of documents from Ottoman history from the Empire’s inception to its collapse. Intended as a teaching supplement, the book will include context information and study questions regarding the sources. I am one of the editors for the 1699-1839 period.

Alp Eren Topal

Profile picture of Alp Eren Topal


Active 3 years, 11 months ago