Panel at IRCICA: “A Distinguished Scholar in Oriental Studies: Prof. Ahmed Ateş”


IRCICA, with the cooperation of Istanbul University and Hafez-e Shirazi Iranian Research Centre of Istanbul Medeniyet University, organized the panel entitled “A Distinguished Scholar in Oriental Studies: Prof. Ahmed Ateş” at IRCICA headquarters on 9 June 2023.

The panel was opened with the addresses of IRCICA Director General Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol Kılıç, the Rector of Istanbul University Prof. Dr. Mahmut Ak, and the Rector of Istanbul Medeniyet University Prof. Dr. Gülfettin Çelik, in the presence of Mr. Hasan Didban, Cultural Attaché of the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Istanbul, Prof. Dr. Murteza Bedir, President of Türkiye Diyanet Foundation’s Centre for Islamic Studies (ISAM), scholars from various universities, students, and the cultural press. Following a video presentation entitled “Prof. Ahmed Ateş in the Memory of His Students”, the opening session continued with the speeches of Prof. Dr. Ahmet Emre Ateş (Istanbul University) on “A Scholar in Suriçi [historical part of Istanbul]: My Grand-Father Professor Ahmed Ateş”, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Güler Doğan Averbek (Marmara University) on “Prof. Ahmed Ateş Collection in IRCICA Library”, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Turgay Şafak (Istanbul Medeniyet University) on “Prof. Ahmed Ateş’s Academic Polemics with Iranian Scholars”. The following session heard papers on the contributions of Prof. Ateş to studies on Arabic, Persian and Turkish language and literature and Oriental Studies in general: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kadir Turgut (Istanbul University) spoke on Prof. Ahmed Ateş’s Contributions to the Development of the Critical Text Edition Method”; Instructor Dr. M. Bilâl Yamak (Kırklareli University) on “Prof. Ahmed Ateş’s Unpublished Arabic-Turkish Dictionary for the Quran and Students’ Use”; Dr. İsa Akpınar (Turkish Ministry of National Education) on “The Role of Prof. Ahmed Ateş in the Preparation of Türkiye’s First Encyclopedia of Islam”; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emek Üşenmez (Istanbul University) on “Ahmed Ateş’s Turkis Studies and His Notes on Ali Shir Navai’s Work Titled Majolis un-Nafois”. The event was accompanied by an exhibition of the photographs and publications of Ahmed Ateş.

IRCICA Director General Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol Kılıç said, in his opening address, that IRCICA organizes series of meetings to commemorate eminent experts having had connections with its activities, that the present panel had occasioned comprehensive studies on the works of Prof. Ahmed Ateş in addition to the cataloging and study of his book collection preserved in IRCICA Library and also led to suggestions for future studies and publishing projects to valorize the scholarly legacy of Ahmed Ateş. The Rector of Istanbul University Prof. Dr. Mahmut Ak, in his speech, underlined the importance of the contributions of Prof. Ahmet Ateş in the context of the activities of the Faculty of Letters of Istanbul University in that period and affirmed their readiness to participate in research projects to be undertaken on the subject. Prof. Dr. Gülfettin Çelik, Rector of Istanbul Medeniyet University, emphasized the significance of Prof. Ahmed Ateş’s works in the context of the academic and cultural advances of his period

Born in 1917, Ahmed Ateş studied in the Department of Turkish Language and Literature of Istanbul University from 1936-39 and started to work in the Chair of Arabic-Persian Language and Literature as the assistant of Hellmut Ritter in 1939. He became Associate Professor in 1943 and Professor in 1953. He contributed to raising Oriental Studies in Türkiye to international standards; the activities of the units he directed soon came to be known in the West and the East. He died on 20 October 1966.

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