We lost an important historian, a valuable academician, a very good person and lastly our Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism last day. My words will not be enough to tell his life because he fit many good jobs into his life, but I will try to tell his story.


Haluk Dursun was born in 1957 in Hereke, Kocaeli. His high school was one of the great of Turkey, Galatasaray High School. After high school, he graduated from Istanbul University History Chair of the Final Age and the Republic of Turkey. He started to work as an assistant at Marmara University Atatürk Education Faculty. He completed his master’s and doctorate studies at the Department of History of the Modern Age at Marmara University. He became an associate professor in the field of History of Ottoman Institutions and Civilization. He became a professor in Marmara University Faculty of Arts and Sciences.


His academic career was so long, he loved teaching and his students loved him. All of the students’ comments were positive about him; they loved his narrations, his kindness, his faith to the Turkish youth, his cultural background and intellectuality. He gave lectures on Atatürk’s Principles and History of Turkish Revolution, Turkish Political History, Educational and Cultural Policies in the Republican Era, History of Turkish Culture and Civilization, Ottoman Geography Cultural and Political History, Byzantine and Western European History, Ottoman Institutions and Civilization History, New and Modern Europe History, historical places of Istanbul and The Role of Museums in History Teaching; also, he worked in these fields.


He worked as a lecturer at the Diplomacy Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “Our Political and Cultural Presence in the Balkans” seminar. He wrote and lectured on the history, architecture, culture and art of Istanbul. Istanbul was his one of the love, he wrote many of the books about Istanbul like İstanbul’da Yaşama Sanatı.


During his academic career, he also took part in various public services. He took part in the preparation of the Miniatürk Project as the Consultant to the General Director of Culture of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In 2007, he served as Istanbul Culture and Tourism Manager. He served as the President of the Hagia Sophia Museum from 2006 to 2012, and as the Director of the Hagia Sophia Museum in 2009-2011. His contributions to Hagia Sophia are countless. Comprehensive restoration activities in Hagia Sophia, conservation / restoration of Ottoman works, opening of the Ottoman sultan tombs as a “Museum of Death Culture” with his saying, trip conferences, explaining the Hagia Sophia Museum to the children in the Sibian School were some of his works in Hagia Sophia.


After his great works in Hagia Sophia, he was appointed as the director of Topkapı Palace Museum from 2012 to 2014. His contributions to Topkapı Palace were great as Hagia Sophia’s.  He organized “Palace Lessons” at Topkapı Palace and performed traditional Ramadan activities in the Department of Sacred Relics and ashura programs. Because of his great contributions, between 2012 and 2014, he was elected as the President of Istanbul Topkapı Palace Lovers Association. In July 2014, he was appointed as the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In this period, Çanakkale Wars and Gallipoli History Presidency was established, “The City-Human Civilization Bridge: Sample Personality Project” was prepared, carried out by him personally, and he was the editor of the book “The Five Cities of Civilization Bridge”.

On May 2017, he was appointed as a member of the Ethics Committee of the Public Officials of the Prime Ministry. At the same time, he served as a member of The Board of Directors of the Prime Ministry Atatürk Institute for Culture, Language and History. As of July 2018, he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism.


He took very important awards during his life. In 2002, he took Travel Writers Award with his book “Nil’den Tuna’ya”. In 2010, he won the Rotondi Art Savior Award (Premio Rotondi 2010 ai Salvatori Dell), which was awarded annually in Italy, for his work in Hagia Sophia. He received the Event Award with the scope of Istanbul Tourism Awards for his activities on Hagia Sophia, presentations of Hagia Sophia, Golden Horn and Bosphorus, and his various works in the field of cultural historiography based on Istanbul.


He wrote culture and art articles in various newspapers and prepared and presented programs on history, culture and art on television. He was a consultant for some television documentaries.

His important books and works are: İstanbul’da Yaşama Sanatı, Nil’den Tuna’ya, Osmanlı Yazıları, Tuna Güzellemesi, Osmanlı Coğrafyası’na Yolculuk, Boğaziçi’nde Kırk Yılım, Ayasofya Müzesi Kültür Envanteri, Şehir ve Kültür: İstanbul (Editor), İncir Çekirdeği: Hereke’den Çıktım Yola, Medeniyet Köprüsü Beş Şehirli, (Editor)

When he was died, he was working again; after the 948th Anniversary of Malazgirt Victory, Dursun passed to Ahlat after his program in Malazgirt and when he moved to Van we lost him in traffic accident. Thanks for all contributions to Turkey Republic, to our history, for protecting our historical artefacts, for your courage, and most importantly your faith for Turkish Youth. I will apply your advice for us, protect our heritage during all my life and trust our youth forever as you did. Rest in peace our teacher…



-Türkan Cihanoğlu

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