IOWC Research Associate: Veysel Simsek

Dr. Veysel Simsek held a postdoctoral research fellowship at IOWC in 2015-16 and is currently a Henry Chauncey Jr. '57 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of International Security Studies, Yale University. 
Veysel finished his undergraduate degree in electronics and telecommunication engineering at Istanbul Technical University in 2002. He went on to pursue studies in Ottoman history, obtaining his master’s degree from Bilkent University in Ankara in 2005, under the supervision of the late Professor Stanford J. Shaw. His thesis, “Ottoman Military Recruitment and the Recruit: 1826–1853,” focuses on the introduction of obligatory military service in the Ottoman Empire, and investigates the Ottoman political mind-set behind this new policy and the communal and individual responses to it throughout the empire. His PhD dissertation, “The Grand Strategy of the Ottoman Empire, 1826–1841,” examines how the Ottoman decision makers mobilized and used the empire’s military, fiscal, and ideological resources for their political goals. As a post-doctoral fellow at IOWC-McGill, Veysel studied the competition between the Ottoman Empire, Khedival Egypt, and the British Empire over control of communication and trade routes between Asia and Europe. Beyond the history of the later Ottoman Empire, Veysel’s broader interests include themes such as governance, war and society, transnational exchange, identity and memory. At Yale, he is completing a book-length manuscript based upon his dissertation.


2015. “‘Backstabbing Arabs’ and ‘Shirking Kurds’: History, Nationalism, and Turkish Memory of World War I.” In The Great War: From Memory to History, eds. Jonathan Vance et al. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, pp. 99-126
2014. With Aksan, Virginia H., eds., “Living Empire: Ottoman Identities in Transition, 1700–1850.” Special issue, The Journal of Ottoman Studies, no. 44: 9–501
2014. “The First “Little Mehmeds”: Conscripts for the Ottoman Army, 1826–53.” The Journal of Ottoman Studies, no. 44: 265–311
2010. Simsek, Veysel, “Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Düzenli Ordu için Asker Toplanması: 1826–1853” [Recruitment for the Regular Army in the Ottoman Empire: 1826–1853]. Toplumsal Tarih [Social History, Istanbul], no. 198: 36–42
2014. With Aksan, Virginia H., “Introduction: Living in the Ottoman House.” The Journal of Ottoman Studies, no. 44: 1–8
2010. Transcription of selected early nineteenth–century Ottoman constitutional texts. In 1815–1847, vol. 2 of Quellen zur Europäischen Verfassungsgeschichte im 19. Jahrhundert [Handbook of European Constitutional History in the Nineteenth Century]. Bonn: J. H. W Dietz Nachfolger, CD–ROM 
2005. Holbrook, Victoria, “Hüsn–ü Aşk’a Önsöz.” Trans. with Emrah Pelvanoğlu. Yasakmeyve, no. 12: 52–59
General Editor, “Indian Ocean World Centre Online Working Paper Series,” ISSN: 2371-5111
2017. “The Making of the Ottoman Conscription, c. 1820-1850.” ISS Brady-Johnson Colloquium in Grand Strategy and International History, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2016. “I. Dünya Savaşı ve Osmanlı İmparatorluğu” [The First World War and the Ottoman Empire]. Lecture given at the Turkish branch of AbbVie Pharmaceutical Corporation, Istanbul, June 13
2016. “The Sublime Porte, Egyptian Khedivate, and the Building of the Suez Canal 1850-1869.” McGill University, Indian Ocean World Center, Montreal, March 17
2016. “The Kurds in the Middle East, 1914-1947.” Within “The Lasting Impact of the Ottoman Empire” Speaker Series. Third Age Learning, Guelph, Canada, February 24
2015. “Uneasy Friends in Calm Waters: Anglo-Ottoman competition in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, 1860-1880.” McGill University, Indian Ocean World Center, Montreal, February 12
2014. “Ottoman Empire, Great Powers, and the Roads to India, 1830–1880.” McGill University, Indian Ocean World Center, Montreal, April 30
2011. “‘Blessed Re–organizations’ of Mahmud II (r. 1808–1839): The Early Origins of the Tanzimat Decree and Ottoman Reform in the 19th Century.” McMaster University, Department of History, Hamilton, Canada, November 17 
2017. “Regular Soldiers or Irregular Warriors? Mobilizing the Kurds for War in the Ottoman Empire, 1914-1918.” Paper presented at “A Century of Conflict: The Middle East and International Security, 1917 – 2017,” the annual conference of the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society and the Canadian Army Combat Training Centre, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
2016. “Kurds and the Great War.” Paper presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History. Ottawa, April 14-17
2015. “Curious Ottomans, Pious Indians and Avaricious British: Travelogue of an Ottoman Navy Cadet on his Voyage from Istanbul to Bombay, 1874-75.” Paper presented at the conference “Eurasian Empires and the South Asian Colonial Subject, 1857-1914.” McGill University, Montreal, November 14
2015. “Debasement, Taxation and Confiscation: Financing the Ottoman State in a Time of Troubles, 1826-1841.” Paper presented at the conference “Currencies of Commerce in the Greater Indian Ocean World,” McGill University, Montreal, April 22-24
2013. “Under Lice and Fire: Experiences of an Ottoman soldier in Mesopotamia against the British–Indian Army during the Great War.” Paper presented at 2nd Annual Graduate Conference on Indian Ocean World Studies, McGill University, Montreal, November 15
2012. “The Making of the First Little Mehmeds: Life and Death in the Ottoman Regular Army, 1826–53.” Paper presented at the conference “Living Empire: The Ottoman Transformation, 1700–1850,” McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, April 20–22
2011. “From ‘Backstabbing Arabs’ to ‘Deserting Kurds’: Reading Nationalism through Turkish Accounts of World War I.” Paper presented at the conference “The Great War: From Memory to History,” University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, November 10–12
2011. “Calculating Resources for War: Ottoman Population Censuses during the Rule of Mahmud II (1826–1839).” Paper presented at the workshop “Ottomans/Turks in Conflict, 1800–2010: New Approaches,” Columbia University, New York City, April 28–30
2010. “Ottoman Arms Imports: 1856–78.” Paper presented at the 7th Annual McGill–Queen’s Graduate Student Conference in History, McGill University, Montreal, March 12–13
2009. “Ottoman Perceptions of Russia during the 18th Century: Some Reflections from the Ambassadorial Travelogues.” Paper presented at the 6th Annual McGill–Queen’s Graduate Student Conference in History, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, March 13–14
2008. “Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Askere Alma ve Askere Alınanlar: 1826–1853” [Recruitment and the Recruit in the Ottoman Empire: 1826–1853]. Paper presented at the “Seminar for Ottoman Military History I,” Ankara, Turkey, March 21–23 
2016. with James Tallon. Panel “War and Remembering: The Ottoman Empire, The First World War, and Re-Imagining the Past” at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History. Ottawa, April 14-17
2015-2016. Organizer and Coordinator, Indian Ocean World Centre Speaker Series, McGill University, QC (about 60 lectures)
2012. (with Virginia H. Aksan), “Living Empire: The Ottoman Transformation 1700–1850,” conference, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, April 20–22 (27 participants)
2008. “Symposium for Ottoman Military History, I,” Ankara, Turkey, March 21–23 (18 participants) 
2008. Coordinator and assistant, IAOSEH (International Association of Ottoman Social and Economic History) Congress XI, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, June 17–22 (about 150 participants)
2006. Coordinator and assistant, “The International Congress on Musical Culture in Turkey throughout History and the Museum of Music,” Bilkent University and the Turkish Ministry of Culture, Ankara, Turkey (about 150 participants)
2016-2018. Henry Chauncey Jr. '57 Postdoctoral Fellowship, International Security Studies, Yale University.
2015–2016. Postdoctoral fellowship, Indian Ocean World Center, McGill University.
June 3–24, 2009. West Point Summer Seminar in Military History fellowship, United States Military Academy, New York.
2008–2009. Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC) residential fellowship, Istanbul, (declined to begin the PhD program at McMaster University).