Kemal Silay

Kemal Silay

Director, Turkish Flagship Program

Director, Turkish Studies Program

Ottoman and Modern Turkish Endowed Chair Professor

Professor, Turkish Language and Literature

  • (812) 855-5227
  • Global and International Studies Building 3023
  • Office Hours
    By Appointment Only


  • Ph.D., Turkish Literature, Indiana University, 1993
  • M.A., Turkish Studies, Indiana University, 1990
  • B.A., Turkish Language and Literature, Ankara University, 1987


Dr. Kemal Silay is Professor of Turkish Studies, Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Endowed Chair Professor, Director of the Turkish Studies Program, and Director of the Turkish Language Flagship Center in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author of numerous articles in Turkish and English on Turkish culture, literature, and politics. Among his books are Nedim and the Poetics of the Ottoman Court: Medieval Inheritance and the Need for Change (Indiana, 1994), An Anthology of Turkish Literature (Indiana, 1996) and Ahmedi's History of the Kings of the Ottoman Lineage and Their Holy Raids against the Infidels (Harvard, 2004). He is a scholar of international reputation and sought-after expert on many issues regarding Turkey, its language, literature, history, society, and politics. His numerous publications, cultural activities, and scholarly endeavors have sparked the field of Turkish Studies in the US and worldwide.

His leadership skills, dedication, and continuous efforts resulted in numerous volumes of scholarly books and journals on various aspects of Turkish Studies, and the successful organization of more than 100 public lectures on campus and 7 international conferences. Thanks to the vision and hard work of Professor Silay, IU's Turkish Studies Program has become a leading institution in the United States.

Kemal Silay earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees, all in Turkish Studies from two institutions that are well-known for the strength of their Turkology programs. Indeed, there is no other scholar in Turkish Language and Literature in the United States with such a consistent educational preparation. He has complete mastery of the languages pertinent to his field, in addition to several other research languages that he comfortably reads and uses in his publications. He has successfully demonstrated the ability to disseminate his knowledge and scholarly productions in both the primary language of his field (Turkish) and in English, writing and publishing in both languages with effectiveness.

In addition to the enormous energies that he devotes to his own research, publications, and teaching, he has made great efforts in service to his department, the university community, the field of Turkish Studies, and to the public, as well. He has made a great impact upon his field and its current and future directions, and has made Turkish Studies at Indiana University a prominent program which is perceived as vitally expanding in its activities and student participation. He has been invited to serve at some of the most significant and prestigious scholarly organizations of his field, and has done, and continue to do, an excellent job in fulfilling those duties. The dissemination of his knowledge, expertise and research not only serves the classrooms of Indiana University but outside of it, as well-as far as the People's Republic of China.