Historian (b. 15th February 1926 in the village of Babadağ
/ Dobruja /Romania - d. 21 February 2019, Wisconsin / USA).
His full name is Kemal Haşim Karpat. He comes from a family of Tatar origin who
migrated from Crimea to Dobruja, and to Anatolia
from there. He grew up in North Dobruja. He
was impressed from the multi-cultural and multi-faith structure of this region
that was a typical Ottoman country. This multi-cultural environment helped him
to understand many problems afterwards. He says that he read many books in the
village library in his childhood but that he also needed someone who would instruct
him. However, he also says that the books gave him an advantage that cannot be
ignored. He indicates that another factor in his growing up is the event that
the Turks in Romania
migrated to Turkey.
After finishing the Law Faculty of the İstanbul University, he studied for the master
degree and doctorate degree on the subject of political and social sciences in
the universities of Washington and Rewington. He is also the founder of the
Department of Ottoman History in the University
of Rewington. After
specializing in the field history in Romania,
he participated in various courses on the topic of American history, Russian
history, Middle East history and Ottoman
history. He owns one hundred and thirty articles published in twenty countries
and sixteen published books. He has the opinion that the foundations of the Turkish Republic were laid by Abdülhamit II.
Kemal Karpat started his academic studies in 1950 in New York and Washington (USA) universities. After
his duty in the Social Researches Department of the United Unions (1952-53), he
worked as an academician and manager in science institutions such as the State
University of Montana (1957-62), the Faculty of Economics and Administrative
Sciences of METU (1958-59), the Harvard University (1960-61), the Robert
College (1962), the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University (1962),
the Colombia University (1963), the New York University (1966), again the New
York University (1962-67), the John Hopkins University (1967), the Department
of History of the Wisconsin University (1967), the Department of Social
Sciences of METU (1968-71), the Princeton University (1972), the Ecole des
Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales (Paris, 1984) and in Bilkent University
(1992-93). He carried on the tasks of Chief of Department of the Middle East
Studies of the Wisconsin
University in the years
of 1970-88 and the Chief of Department of the Central Asia Studies Program of
the same university in the years of 1989-95.
Prof. Karpat also took charge in the
editorial commissions of the journals International Journal of Turkish
Studies, Central Asian Survey and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. He wrote paragraphs on topics such as Balkans, Romania
and immigrants in the TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi. The work named “Ottoman Population” published by the Wisconsin University is his work which attracted
the highest attention in the world.
As an immigrant, Kemal Karpat
focused on the impacts of the migration on humans in his studies and he also
prepared a book in this period.
Prof. Karpat witnessed the first half of the
history of the Turkish Republic and he watched the development process of Turkey
both from the inside and from the outside with the sensibility of a historian.
In addition to his historian identity, he is also known in the world with the
studies he conducted on the fields of political and social sciences. He has
gone to every corner of the globe, given lessons in various universities and he
participated in scientific meetings and seminars in reputable international
institutions. He left lasting impressions on the world of thought and he is
considered as a scientific authority with his works.
Kemal Karpat is the founding member
and the president of the Türk Araştırmaları Community (T.N. Turkish
Researches) in America and also
the founder of the Orta Asya Community (ACAS - T.N. Middle Asia Community). He also presided the Türk Araştırmaları Association
and the Türk Araştırmaları Institution. He was the founding member and the
president of the MESA- Ortadoğu Çalışmaları (T.N. Middle East Works) Association.
He was awarded the Romanian Independence Medal and the Dimiti Cantemir Medal of
the Bucharest University
because of his studies concerning Romania. He was given the doctorates
of honor by the Romania Ovidius University
and Russia Chuvash State
University. He received
the awards of the honorary membership of the Kazan
in Russia, Hilldale Award from
the Wisconsin University and Turkish Sciences Academy
Award . He was deemed worthy of the Outstanding Service Award of TYB in 2005.
He took on the task of the presidency of the Türk Araştırmaları Association (1971-74)
and the founding membership of the Orta Asya Çalışmaları Association (1985-95).
He is the owner of the Honor Award 2009 of TBMM and he is the honor member of
the Turkish History Institution.
TURKISH: Türk Demokrasi Tarihi (1967),
Gecekondu Üzerine (1973), Türkiye’de Toplumsal Dönüşüm (1976),
Osmanlı ve Dünya (2000), Osmanlı’da Hoşgörü (Editing, 2000), Ortadoğu’da
Osmanlı Mirası ve Ulusçuluk (2001), Osmanlı Modernleşmesi (2002), Türkiye
ve Orta Asya (2003), Osmanlı Nüfusu 1830-1914 (2003), Balkanlar’da
Osmanlı Mirası ve Ulusçuluk (2004), İslâm’ın Siyasallaşması (2004),
Osmanlı Geçmişi ve Bugünün Türkiye’si, Çağdaş Türk Edebiyatında Sosyal Konular,
Osmanlı’da Değişim Modernleşme ve Ulusçuluk (2005), Türkiye’de Siyasal
Sistemin Evrimi [1876-1980] (2005).
ENGLISH: Turkey’s Politics: The Transition to a Multi-Parti System (1959), Political Modernization in Japan and Turkey
(1964), Political and Social Thought in
the Contemporary Middle East (1968), The
Middle East and North Africa (1969), An
Inquiry into the Social Foundations of Nationalism in the Ottoman State
(1973), Social Change and Politics in
Turkey (1973), The Ottoman State and
Its Place in World History (Ed. 1974), Turkey’s
Foreign Policy in Transition (1975), Ottoman
Population 1830-1914 Demographic and Social Characteristics (1985), Central Asian Survey (Ed. 1987), The Turks of Bulgaria: The Social-Political
History of a Minority (1990), Central
Asian Survey (Ed. 1994), Foreign
Policy of Turkey Recent Development (Ed., 1994), Ottoman Past and Today’s Turkey (2000), The Politicization of Islam: Reconstruction and Identity State Faith
and Community in the Late Ottoman State (2001).
REFERENCE: Osmanlı ve Dünya (Virgül, sayı: 33, Eylül 2000), Arif Gülderen / Osmanlı Nüfusu 1830-1914 (Virgül, sayı: 64, Temmuz-Ağustos 2003), İhsan Işık / Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006), TBMM Onur Ödülü Karpat’a (Sabah, 26 Haziran 2009), TBMM Onur Ödülü Karpat’a verildi (Hürriyet, 26 Haziran 2009), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Bilim Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 2, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Tarihçi Kemal Karpat vefat etti (milliyet.com.tr, 21.02.2019).