Dr. Christiane Czygan

Tel: +90 212 293 60 67 / 133
Mail: czygan@oiist.org

Dr. Christiane Czygan, an Ottomanist and Tukologist, is a member of the Editorial Board of the Turkish online journal Zemin. She is active in Turkish-German cooperations through joint lectures, publications, and project applications. Her current research project comprises the critical edition of one of Germany’s most precious Ottoman manuscripts: a poetry collection by Sultan Süleyman displayed in the Hamburg manuscript from 1554.
Christiane Czygan studied at the University of Hamburg and in Istanbul, where she trained in Ottoman philology under Petra Kappert (Hamburg) and Orhan Şaik Gökyay (Istanbul). Her first research project, based on an unedited Ottoman satirical journal, appeared under the title Istanbuler Alltagsleben aus den Jahren 1876/77 im Spiegel der Satirezeitschrift Çaylaḳ. In her Ph.D. thesis at the University of Hamburg, she analyzed one of the earliest Ottoman newspapers in exile regarding its tenets surrounding good governance. Based on numerous archival research in Istanbul, Paris, and Augsburg, in 2012, she published her results under the title Zur Ordnung des Staates: Jungosmanische Intellektuelle und ihre Konzepte in der Zeitung Ḥürriyyet 1868-1870.
She taught Ottoman history and literature as well as topics related to Islam and the Middle East for many years at the University of Hamburg, the Federal Forces University of Munich, and the University of Bonn. She received a fellowship from Koç University in Istanbul. At the University of Bonn, together with Stephan Conermann and Hatice Aynur, she organized international workshops on Early Modern poetry and coordinated an international, interdisciplinary conference on Cultural Symbols of Early Modern Rule, which were funded by the German Research Association (DFG) and the University of Bonn, respectively.
Since September 2023, she has been a research fellow at the Orient Institute Istanbul. 

Poetry in Early Modern manuscripts

Poetry as an expression of power

Political conflicts in the 16th-century Ottoman Empire

Modern Ottoman intellectual history

History of the Ottoman press

27. – 29.09.2023: “The Agency of the Hamburg Divan Manuscript by Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1554) and its Readership. Understanding Written Artefacts: Challenges and Perspectives. Cluster of Manuscript Culture Studies (cmcs), University of Hamburg.
21. – 23.09.2023 (with Suraiya Faroqhi, Richard Wittmann, Zeynep Yelçe, Ela Bozok): “Political and Social Disturbances in 16th Century Ottoman Communication”. Turkologentag. University of Vienna.
3. – 08.07.2023: “
Is Disorder Needed for Change? Prince Selim’s Correspondence with Shah Tahmasp”. The Ottomans and Disorder. The Skilliter Center for Ottoman Studies, Newnham College, Cambridge.
19. – 20.06.2023 (with Sadık Yazar): “Notes on the Ottomans‘ Perception of the Other from Autobiographic Texts”. Sociohistorical and Cultural Relations in Premodern Mediterranean Societies through Literature between 11
th and 17th Centuries. Trinity College Dublin.
28. – 29.06.2022 (workshop organization with Hatice Aynur): “Introduction”. “The Agency of ʿIşḳ in the Hamburg Divan Manuscript by Sultan Süleyman (1554)”. In the Quest of ʿIşḳ (Love) in Premodern Ottoman Literature. Department of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Languages, University of Bonn (online).
21. – 25.06.2022 (with Hedda Reindl Kiel, Selim Kuru, and Sadık Yazar): “Codes of Affection and Dependency in Premodern Ottoman Material and Literary Culture”. CIÉPO 24, Conference of the International Committee for Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Studies,Thessaloniki.
19. – 21.05.2022 (Third-party fundraising, organization, leading implementation of the international conference): “Introduction”. “Love and Rule The Third Divan by Sultan Süleyman (1554)“ . Cultural Symbols of Early Modern Rule. A Comparative Global Approach. Department of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Languages University of Bonn.
07.04. – 10.04.2022: “The Perfect Man, the Perfect Ruler? Analyzing the Concept of the Perfect Man in Sultan Süleyman’s Hamburg Manuscript (1554)”. 4th International Conference on Conceptual History. FU Berlin.
04. – 06.11.2021: “Sultan Selim’s Predilection for Persian Arts and Refinement: Newly Discovered Poems and Displaced Poets from Tabriz”. Yavuz Sultan Selim ve Dönemi. International Symposium of the Turkish Historian Association. İstanbul.
01.10. – 02.10.2020: “From Slave to Queen: Hurrem Sultan’s Agenda in Her Narration of Love (1528-1548)”. Slavery and Other Forms of Strong Asymmetrical Dependencies. The Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS), University of Bonn.
09.12. – 10.12.2019 (workshop organization with Christoph Neumann): “Introduction”.  Divan Edebiyatı. Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Munich.
03.10. – 05.10.2019 (with Abdurrahim Abuhusayn, Gül Şen): “Politics and Poetry: The Ottoman-Safavid Conflict in the Sixteenth Century”. DAVO Annual Meeting. University of Hamburg.
26.04.2019: “Predilections and Disregard: Rhetorical Devices in Muhibbi’s Third Divan”. Osmanlı Edebî metinlerinde Teoriden Pratiğe Belâgat. Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar University, İstanbul.
05. – 06.04.2019: “Kanuni Sultan Süleyman’ın Üçüncü Divanı”. International symposium: Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Dönemi ve Bursa, Bursa.
11.09.-14.09.2018: “Prestigious Manuscripts, Prestigious Poetry? The Third Divan of Sultan Süleyman”. CIÉPO 18, Conference of the International Committee for Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Studies, Sofia.
08.03.2018: “The Threefold Meanings of Love in the Third Divan of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. American University Beirut (AUB), Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Beirut.
18. – 21.07.2017: “Intra-Islamic challenges as an Eurasian phenomenon?”. Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Reformation Era. University of Nürnberg.
07.- 09.2016: “Social Relations and the Image of the Ruler in the Divans of Selimi and Muhibbi”. 1516: The Year That Changed the Middle East and the World. American University Beirut (AUB), Beirut.
26.04.2016: “`Neue` Gedichte Sultan Süleymans des Prächtigen und die Bedeutung der Hamburger Handschrift”. Freie University Berlin, Institute Turkic Studies, Berlin.
21. – 23.11.2015 (with Selim Kuru, Hatice Aynur): “Revisiting Ottoman Literary Culture in the Era of Kanunȋ Sultan Süleyman”. Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Denver
25. – 26.04.2015: “Propagating Religious Coexistence? Features of Religious Diversity in the Third Divan of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1554)”. 4th International Conference. Social Thought and Theory in the MENA Region. American University Beirut (AUB), Beirut
26.03.2015: “Meine Seele habe ich dir gesandt, mein Freund. Gefühl und Politik in
den Liebesgedichten Sultan Süleymans des Prächtigen (1520-1566) ”. University of Basel, Department of Middle East Studies, Basel.
21.11.2014 (international workshop organization with Stephan Conermann): “Oh, my eye carry water hither / Oh, my eyelash be my sweeper: The imaginative world of the Third Divan of Sultan Süleyman the Lawgiver”. Ottoman Poetry in the 15th and 16th Century. Translation, Analysis and Context. Department of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Languages, BFO Forum for Ottoman Studies. University of Bonn.
18. – 19.10.2014: “Ottoman ruler poetry as a feature of ruler communication in the Classical Age”. 2nd International Conference: Turkey Transformed? Power, History and Culture. Bilgi University, İstanbul.


Zur Ordnung des Staates. Jungosmanische Intellektuelle und ihre Konzepte in der Zeitung Hürriyyet (1868-1870). Berlin: Klaus Schwarz 2012. (Studien zum Modernen Orient; 21).

Hürriyet kimindir? Yeni Osmanlılar’ın düşünceleri. Translated byUmut Döner. Istanbul:  Türk Tarih Vakfı [Forthcoming Winter 2023/2024]


Czygan, Christiane; Conermann, Stephan (eds.). An Iridescent Device: Premodern Ottoman Poetry. Göttingen: Bonn University Press 2018.

Czygan, Christane; Aynur, Hatice (eds.). Blasting the Boundaries. Love in Early Modern Ottoman Poetry. Berlin: De Greuter [Forthcoming 2024].


“From Slave to Queen: Hurrem Sultan’s Agenda in Her Narrative of Love (1526-1548)”. Marion Gymnich, Janine Bischoff, Stephan Conermann (eds.).  Slavery and other Forms of Strong Asymmetrical Dependencies. Semantics, Lexical Fields, and Narratives. Göttingen: Bonn University Press. 197 – 212.

“The Ottoman Ruler Poet Sultan Süleyman I, His Third Divan, and His Reception Beyond the Palace Walls”. Maribel Fierro; Tilman Seidensticker (eds.). Rulers as Authors. Leiden: Brill [Forthcoming 2023].

“Masters of the Pen: The Divans of Selīmī and Muḥibbī”. Abdulrahim Abuhusayn (ed.). 1516: The Year That Changed the Middle East and the World. AUB proceedings December 7-9, 2016. Beirut: AUB Univ. Press. 111 – 133.

“Tercihler ve Gözardı Edilenleri Muhibbī’nin Hamburg Nüshası’ndaki Belagat Hünerleri”. (trans. Vildan S. Coşkun). Hatice Aynur, Hanife Koncu et al. (eds.). Osmanlı Edebī Metinlerinde Teoriden Pratiğe Belāgat. İstanbul: Klasik, 2020. (Eski Türk Edebiyatı Çalışmaları XV).  426 – 444.

“Depicting Imperial Love: Love Songs and Letters between Sultan Süleyman (Muhibbī) and Hürrem”. M. Fatih Çalışır; Suraiya Faroqhi; M. Şakir Yılmaz (eds.). Suleyman the Lawgiver and His Reign. New Sources, New Approaches. İstanbul: İbn Haldun University Press 2019. 247 – 265.

“Approaches to Muḥibbī’s Lyricism: The Third Divan Through the Prism of Ḳānūnī Sultan Süleyman’s Other Divans”. Burcu Kurt (ed.). Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Dönemi ve Bursa. Bursa: Gaye Kitabevi 2019. 225 – 241.

“Songs of Power and Love: Context and Content of the Third Divan of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent”. Vivian Norton (ed.). Poetry: Interpretations and Influence on the World. New York: Nova Publ. 2019. 47- 68.

“Introduction”. Christiane Czygan; Stephan Conermann (eds.). An Iridescent Device: Premodern Ottoman Poetry. Göttingen: Bonn University Press 2018. 17 – 29.

“Was Sultan Süleymān Colour-Blind? Sensuality, Power and the Unpublished Poems in the Third Dīvān (1554) of Sultan Süleymān the Lawgiver.” Christiane Czygan; Stephan Conermann (eds.). An Iridescent Device: Premodern Ottoman Poetry. Göttingen: Bonn University Press 2018. 183 – 205.

“Power and Poetry. Kanuni Sultan Süleyman`s Third Divan”. Meltem Ersoy, Esra Ozyurek (eds.). Turkey at a Glance II. Turkey Transformed? Power, History, Culture.  Wiesbaden: Springer 2017. 101 – 112.

“A Device of Communication: the Third Divan of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566) and its Political Context”. Islamic Perspective. Centre of Sociological Studies. London. 15 (2016). 77 – 90.

“The Young Ottomans and their Journal Hürriyyet (1868-1870) Revisited”.  Ingeborg Hauenschild; Matthias Kappler; Barbara Kellner-Heinkele (eds.). Eine hundertblättrige Tulpe – Bir sadbarg lāla. Festgabe für Claus Schönig. (Studien zur Sprache Geschichte und Kultur der Türkvölker; 22). Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verl. 2016. 48 – 60.

“Zur Ghazelkultur in der Zeit Sultan Süleymans des Prächtigen. Der Herrscher als Liebender”. Elisabetta Ragagnin; Jens Wilkens (eds.). Kutadgu Nom Bitig. Festschrift für Jens Peter Laut zum 60. Geburtstag. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2014. 85 – 100.

“The Schneller Family and the Orphanage in Nazareth”. Mahmoud Yazbak; Sharif Sharif (eds.). Nazareth. History & Cultural Heritage. (Nazareth Academic Studies; 2). Nazareth: Nazareth Municipality 2013. 235 – 251.

“Reflections on Justice – a Young Ottoman View of Tanzimat”. Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 46/6. (2010). 943 – 956.

“Reformer versus Reformen: Zum Gehalt jungosmanischer Tanzimat-Kritik”. Hendrik Fenz (ed.). Strukturelle Zwänge – Persönliche Freiheiten. Osmanen, Türken, Muslime: Reflexionen zu gesellschaftlichen Umbrüchen. Gedenkband zu Ehren Petra Kapperts. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 2009. 65 – 79.

“On the wrong way: Criticism of the Tanzimat economy in the Young Ottoman Journal ürrīyet (1868/1870)”. Gisela Procházka-Eisl; Martin Strohmeier (eds.). The Economy as an Issue in the Middle Eastern Press. (Neue Beihefte zur Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes; 3) Wien: LIT Verl. 2008. 41 – 54.

“The Self-portrait of the Yeŋi ʿOsmānlılar Cemʿīyeti in the Journal ürrīyet”. Horst Unbehaun (ed.). The Middles Eastern Press as a Forum for Literature. (Heidelberger Studien zur Geschichte und Kultur des modernen Vorderen Orients; 30). Berlin: Peter Lang 2004. 39 – 50.

“From London back to İstanbul: The Channel of Communication of the Young Ottoman Journal ürrīyet (1868-1870”. Philip Sadgrove (ed.). History of Printing and Publishing in the Languages and Countries of the Middle East. (Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement; 15). Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press 2004. 59 – 68.


“Kaptein, Laban (ed.): Ahmed Bican Yazıcioğlu, Dürr-i meknûn. Kritische Edition mit Kommentar (Asch: Selbstverl., 2007)”. (Review). Der Islam. Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East. 91/1 2014, 201 – 204.

“Nohl, Arnd-Michael; Pusch, Barbara (eds.). Bildung und gesellschaftlicher Wandel in der Türkei – Historische und aktuelle Aspekte (Würzburg: Ergon
Verlag 2014). Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. 164/3 2014, 853 – 857.

The Dīvān-ı Muḥibbī: The Hamburg Manuscript by Sultan Süleyman the Lawgiver (1554). A Commented Critical Edition with Facsimile

This project explores the Hamburg manuscript, a poem collection by Sultan Süleyman from 1554. This powerful ruler used poetry abundantly to sing about his mystical love for God, to express his mundane love for a woman or a man, and to praise the Prophet Muhammed. His poems also include martial calls, giving voice to the intra-Islamic conflict between the Ottomans and the Safavids. The Sultan, moreover, heralded the cultural tradition in which he saw himself, depicting an image of himself that legitimized the dark sides of his rulership.
This project explores the distinctiveness of the Hamburg manuscript in comparison to other poem collections by Sultan Süleyman and considers for the first time the political dimension of this poetry.