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Academic and Foundation Honors for Architectural Historian

Distinguished Professor of Architecture Zeynep Celik receiving the Vehbi Koc Foundation's Award for Culture from Mustafa Koc chairman of the board of Koc Holding, who presented the award on behalf of the foundation.

Zeynep Çelik, distinguished professor of architecture who holds appointments in NJIT’s New Jersey School of Architecture and Federated Department of History, was recently honored by Turkey’s Bosphorus University and the Vehbi Koç Foundation for her work in architectural and cultural history.

Established as Turkey’s first private foundation 45 years ago, the Vehbi Koç Foundation annually recognizes individuals or institutions for outstanding contributions to the fields of culture, education and healthcare. Çelik, who received the 13th Vehbi Koç Award for Culture, was cited for her studies of Ottoman cultural history, as well as the history of cities under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

Bosphorus University awarded Çelik an honorary doctorate for “three decades of original and pioneering scholarship on Ottoman urban and cultural history and for her precious contribution to the integration of the discipline into the wider context of world history.” Founded in 1863 as Robert College, Bosphorus University, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi in Turkish, is among the country’s top-ranked institutions of higher education, attracting highly talented students to programs in applied science, engineering, education and the social sciences.

Çelik, who earned her undergraduate degree in architecture at Istanbul Technical University, is the recipient of numerous fellowships, and her research has resulted in many well-received publications. Her books include The Remaking of Istanbul: Portrait of an Ottoman City in the Nineteenth Century, which won the Institute of Turkish Studies Book Award in 1987. Empire, Architecture, and the City: French-Ottoman Encounters, 1830-1914 was the winner of the 2010 Society of Architectural Historians Spiro Kostof Book Award.  She is now working on a new book titled About Antiquities: Museums, Their Publics, and Life at the Dig.

In addition to her writing, Çelik has co-curated several exhibitions, among them Walls of Algiers, at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (May-October 2009) and Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire, 1753-1914, at the cultural institution SALT in Istanbul (November 2011- March 2012).