The Orient-Institut Istanbul (OlI) is a research institute within the network of the Max Weber Foundation – German Humanities Institutes Abroad specialising in disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. In close co-operation with Turkish, German and international academics, it is occupied with a variety of different research areas in Turkish Studies in their entanglement with Southeast European, Mediterranean, Iranian, Central Asian and Caucasian issues. Its research ranges from Ottoman studies and Turkological linguistics and literary studies to cultural anthropology, musicology and topics from Science, Technology and Society. In addition, the Orient-Institut Istanbul is active in the area of academic exchange between Germany and Turkey.

The Institute is located in the Galata district of Istanbul, close to Taksim Square, one of the cultural and transportational hubs of the city. Surrounded by numerous archives, manuscript collections, museums, and art galleries, the Institute offers excellent research opportunities on Ottoman, Mediterranean, and Turkish culture, history, and society.

The research library of the Institute, which is continuously being amended, is open to the public. At present, the collection includes some 50,000 volumes and 1,400 periodicals (about 100 of them ongoing subscriptions) with a thematic focus on Turcology, Ottoman history and contemporary Turkey. Along with its extensive Turkish holdings, the library is a valuable resource for academic literature in German and other foreign languages often difficult to find in Istanbul. The library is member of the BiblioPera Beyoglu Research Centers Network of libraries and cooperates with the German Specialised Library and Information Service “Middle East, North Africa and Islamic Studies”.

Most frequently in cooperation with academic partners, the Orient-Institut pursues research activities concerning past and present of the region, and organises lectures, symposia and scholarly conferences.

From 1989 to 2008, the Orient-Institut Istanbul was a branch of the Orient-Institut in Beirut. In 2009, the Orient-Institut Istanbul became an independent research institution under the umbrella of the Max Weber Foundation.