Balkans and Islam

04 Juil





Founded  in the region where the Ottomans crossed over to Europe for the first time in their history, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, the Faculty of Theology plans to host a symposium called “Balkans and Islam: Encounter-Transformation-Discontinuity-Continuity” in 03- 05 November, 2010.

After the first military expedition to the region in the year 1354, the Ottoman presence in the Balkans lasted for over five hundred years. The encounter with the Ottoman culture brought about significant changes in the socio-cultural and political structure of the region; thus, the foundations that transformed Southeast Europe into the “Balkans” had been collaterally laid. Various ethnic and cultural groups of the Balkans were re-formed from the beginning of the 19th century. The intermittent wars between the Ottomans and Russians, and the Balkan Wars in the 20th century played a substantial role in this re-formation process. These changes in the Balkans had an irreversible effect upon all the communities lived in the region. It is a matter of debate among scholars whether this transformation caused a “discontinuity” in the Ottoman/Islam tradition of the region, or ensured the “continuity” of the Ottoman/ Islamic culture in the Balkans through re-definition, or reconstruction of “national and religious identities.”

The cultural heritage of the Ottomans has kept its significance, especially in terms of the definition of religious identities, even in the 20th century in which people of the region started to form new independent states and systems. Especially, after the war experience in the last quarter of the 20th century, the socio-cultural structure of the region started to be questioned and eventually renegotiated with respect to Islam. At this point, the Ottoman tradition on the one hand, and Islamic entities and relations (realities) on the other hand, had been used as a source of reference.

The symposium that plans to address the Islamic phenomenon in the Balkans in terms of “encounter, transformation-discontinuity and continuity” of the cultures in the region, aspires to provide critical and integrative contribution to the academic studies in this field. The symposium encompasses a wide range of issues, such as Islamic history in the Balkans, cultural structure, and its affinities, history of religions, collective psychology, literature, art history, education, mysticism, and political structure. The following main themes are listed to guide those who want to participate in the symposium. However, the symposium is not limited to these themes; other related proposals are also welcome:

  1. Re/construction of identity and its sustainability;
  2. Culture of diversity, congruity, and its principles;
  3. Making of history, construction of culture, and civilization;
  4. Migration, and acculturation;
  5. Tradition, estrangement, alienation and oblivion.

Contributions of scholars and researchers specialized in the Balkans (and from the Balkans) are welcome. What is more, a special session that will bring together graduate students with experts in this field will be organized in the frame of the symposium program. More importantly, a platform of interdisciplinary communication is aimed to be established in this symposium. Conference languages will be both English and Turkish.

PS: Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University will host the symposium. Accommodation expenses will be paid by the symposium organization. Transportation expenses belong to participants unless otherwise indicated. For further information please contact with the Symposium Secretary.

Symposium Calendar:

Abstract (250-300 words) due date:                                            July 18, 2010

Notification of acceptance of papers:                                         July 26, 2010

Deadline for full text submission of papers:                             October 3, 2010

Opening of the symposium:                                                        November 4, 2010

Chairman (President/ Head?) of the Symposium Organization Committee:

Prof. Dr. Ibrahim HATIBOGLU, COMU, Faculty of Theology (Dean)

Member of Organization Committee:

Prof. Dr. Hamit ER, COMU, Faculty of Theology, Turkey, (Coordinator)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sevket YAVUZ, COMU, Faculty of Theology, Turkey

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet OGKE, COMU, Faculty of Theology, Turkey

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Numan ARUC, MANU, Macedonia

Assist. Prof. Dr. Hasan KAPLAN, COMU, Faculty of Theology, Turkey

Assist. Prof. Dr. A. Zisan FURAT, IU, Faculty of Theology, Turkey

Dr. Abdulvahid SEZEN, COMU, Faculty of Theology, Turkey

Secretary of the Symposium

Dr. Abdulvahid SEZEN

Contact Information:


Canakkale Onsekiz Mart Universitesi,

Ilahiyat Fakultesi, Terzioglu Kampüsü, 17020 Canakkale

Web Address:


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