With the support of Yunus Emre Institute, the Turkish Consulate General in Chicago organized a conference “Ottomans and the Conquest of Istanbul’” given by Prof. Dr. Ilber Ortayli.
About 500 people attended the conference held in the historic Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center. The event was booked with additional chairs and many people having to stand during the conference.
Ortayli began the conference honoring English-born American historian Bernard Lewis, who lost his life yesterday. Pointing out that Lewis is a very important loss for the world of history with his views and unique works, Ortayli indicated that the famous historian clashed with the Armenian community for refusing Armenian allegations regarding the events of 1915.
At the conference, Ortayli gave information about the 15th century Ottoman Empire’s political and cultural structure prevailing the Ottoman state and, in the world, as well as the talents of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. As some claim Fatih Sultan Mehmet to be a Christian, Ortayli stated that "to claim that Fatih is a Christian, is as funny as claiming Trump to be a Comintern Secretary and Stalin having control over the Pope.”
While answering the audiences’ questions in the second portion of the conference, there was a surprise birthday celebration and a cake presented to Prof. Dr. Ilber Ortayli who was born on May 21st. After blowing out the candles, Ortayli autographed books and took pictures with admirers.