Professor Zeynep Çelik is the recipient of the 13th Vehbi Koç Award for culture in 2014. Zeynek Çelik, a distinguished professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture and Design, is among the first female historians who studied the Ottoman urban, cultural and intellectual history.
Among the three candidates nominated by the Selection Committee headed by Professor Şevket Pamuk, Vehbi Koç Foundation Board of Directors chose Prof. Zeynep Çelik as the recipient of the 13th Vehbi Koç Award for her exemplary work in the field of culture and history. After graduating from Istanbul Technical University, Department of Architecture with B. Arch. in 1975, she received her M. Arch. degree from Rice University, and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. In 1991 she started teaching at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture and Design, where she continues as distinguished professor, while she carries on her studies and research, educating students and sharing her findings.
She published her first book "The Remaking of Istanbul: Portrait of an Ottoman City in the Nineteenth Century" in 1986 for which she won the Institute of Turkish Studies Book Award. The book is considered the first significant and systematic work on the urban architecture in the Ottoman period. Her book "Empire, Architecture, and the City" brought her the 2010 Spiro Kostof Award established by the Society of Architectural Historians. A prolific researcher, Prof. Zeynep Çelik was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa degree by the Bosporus University in 2013 for her unique and pioneering work in the fields of Ottoman urban, cultural and intellectual history.
At the awards ceremony on February 25, 2014 attended by members of the Koç family and distinguished guests, Professor Çelik took the stage after Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman of Koç Holding. A short film including sections from Prof. Çelik's life was shown during the award ceremony. Professor Zeynep Çelik stated that she was very honored to receive the 13th Vehbi Koç Award, and said, "My generation has played an important role in expanding the breadth of architectural history, in stretching and pulling it toward unexpected directions, and approaching from critical points of view."
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