Efe Murat Balıkçıoğlu

Headshot of Efe Murat Balıkçıoğlu.
(781) 283-2611
B.A., Princeton University; A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University
FND 220

Efe Murat Balıkçıoğlu

Visiting Lecturer in Religion

Scholar of classical and post-classical Islamic intellectual history with special attention to early modern Ottoman philosophical and theological corpus; political Islam in Turkey; Persian and Ottoman/Turkish poetry; religious experience in poetry.

Dr. Efe Murat Balıkçıoğlu received his B.A. in Philosophy from Princeton University with minors in Public and International Affairs, Near Eastern Studies, and Judaic Studies. He holds A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in History and Islamic Studies from Harvard University. 


Dr. Balıkçıoğlu’s research concerns philosophy, theology, and science in the early modern Ottoman Empire, focusing specifically on the fifteenth-century Ottoman synthesis of Graeco-Arabic philosophy with Sharia, as well as on the social, political and religious networks of early modern scholars in comparative perspective with Europe and the greater Islamicate world. His work is primarily transregional and places early modern Ottoman intellectual history on the intellectual and cultural map, recontextualizing it within global history. More specifically, his research centers on discussions about physics and metaphysics in previously unedited Islamic manuscripts of theology and philosophy—mostly produced in the Ottoman Constantinople and Brusa—and has extensions in Islamic religious, political and social history, history of science, early modern philosophy, and mysticism.


Dr. Balıkçıoğlu’s first book, Verifying the Truth on Their Own Terms: The Ottoman Scholarly Culture and the Court Debate Between Mollā Zeyrek (d. 903/1497-8?) and Ḫocazāde (d. 893/1488) will be published by Ca Foscari University of Venices Series in Early Modern Knowledge Hegemonies in 2022. The book deals with a previously unedited fifteeth-century court debate presented to the Ottoman Sultan Memed II by two prominent scholars of the time, and includes the first annotated edition of this debate in classical Arabic along with its translation, analysis, and contextual significance in Islamicate intellectual and cultural history.


His second book project is based on his dissertation research into a book, which has the working title In Defense of Philosophy: Verifying God, Nature, and Causes in the Early Modern Ottoman Scholarship for UC-Berkeleys Series in Postclassical Islamic Studies. This work will be one of the first book-length studies about the influence of classical Arabic philosophy and theology on the early Ottoman scholarship.


During the last three years, he also conducted research on the rise of political Islam in modern Turkey and published several co-authored articles and studies together with Professor Kristin E. Fabbe of Harvard Business School.


Dr. Balıkçıoğlu is an anthologized poet, and has published several volumes of poetry and poetry translations in Turkey, under the pseudonym Efe Murad, including the first complete translation of Ezra Pound’s Cantos in Turkish, as well as volumes by American poets Susan Howe, Lyn Hejinian, and C.K. Williams. His poems, writings, and translations in English have appeared in a wide range of journals, including GuernicaFive PointsJacket2Two LinesThe Critical Flame, Denver Quarterly, Talisman, and The American Reader, and in exhibitions including the 13th Istanbul Biennale. A recipient of “Meral Divitçi Prize for Turkish Poetry in Translation” together with poet Sidney Wade, he prepared a selection from the œuvres of the Turkish modernist poet Melih Cevdet Anday under the title Silent Stones (Talisman Press, 2017). His poetry has been translated into English, Dutch, and Persian.





Book Projects


Verifying the Truth On Their Own Terms: Ottoman Scholarly Culture and the Court

Debate Between Mollā Zeyrek (d. 903/1497-8?) and Ḫocazāde Muliuddīn 

(d. 893/1488) for Edizioni Ca Foscaris Series in Knowledge Hegemonies in

the Early Modern World (submitted for peer-review with the expected date of

publication in Spring 2022).

In Defense of Philosophy: Verifying God, Causes, and Nature in the Early Modern

Ottoman Scholarship (in progress, for UC-Berkeleys Series in Postclassical

Islamic Studies).


Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals/Edited Volumes


On “Philosophy, Theology, and Sufism in the Early Ottoman Empire”:

“Verifying Philosophy and Theology under the Rubric of Sufism: The Fifteenth-

Century Ottoman Case of a Sufi Taḥqīq (to be published at The Journal of Early

Modern History, edited by Giancarlo Casale, Stefano Pellò, and Rajeev Kinra

in a special taḥqīq issue, Winter 2022).

İrânzemînden Rûma Erken Modern Dünyada İlliyet Anlayışları: On Beşinci Yüzyıl

Osmanlı Tahkîki Bağlamında Arapça Felsefenin Yorumlanışı ve İkincil İlletler,

in Osmanlı’da İlm-i Kelâm, second edition (Istanbul: İSAR, 2022). Forthcoming.  

“Doğada Fâillik mi? Tanrı’da Seçicilik mi? 15. Yüzyıl Tehâfüt’leri Bağlamında İlliyet ve

Determinizm,” in Osmanlı’da İlm-i Kelâm, first edition (Istanbul: İSAR, 2016),






 “Select Texts on Occasionalism and Secondary Causes from Ḫocazāde’s (d. 893/1488)

and cAlā al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’s (d. 887/1482) Tahāfut adjudications,” in eds. Harun Küçük

and Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano, A Sourcebook of Ottoman Intellectual History (in progress).

 “Al-Sayyid al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī’s Treatise on Telos and Final Causality” (Arabic Edition,

Translation, and Analysis) (in progress; to be submitted to the journal Nazariyat).


On “Historiography and Poetry in the Early Ottoman Empire”:

“Poetry in the Text: The Use and Function of Poetry in Rāwandī’s Rāḥat al-ṣudūr and

Yazıcızāde cAlī’s Translation of the Same Work in Tevārīkh-i Âl-i Selçūḳ,” The Journal

of Ottoman Studies 42 (Winter 2013): 349-372.


On “Ottoman Travel Accounts of India”:

“A Travel Guide to India for Ottoman Merchants: On Meḥmed Emīn Efendi’s Taḳrīr,” 

International Review of Turkish Studies 2.1 (Spring 2012): 30-49.

 “Experiencing the Experience: Seydī cAlī Reis and the Indo-Muslim World,” Journal of

Turkish Literature 8 (Winter 2011): 26-40.


On “Political Islam in the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey”: (co-authored with

Professor Kristin E. Fabbe of Harvard Business School):

“When Fifth Columns Fall: Religious Groups as Fifth Columns in Turkey in Historical

Perspective in Enemies Within: Unpacking Fifth Column Politics, eds. Harris Mylonas

and Scott Radnitz (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022). Forthcoming.

“Islamic Capitalism in Turkey,” in Business, Ethics, and Institutions: The Evolution of

Turkish Capitalism in Global Perspective, co-authored with Kristin E. Fabbe and Ümit

Özlale (New York: Routledge, 2019), 97-122.

“Political Islam in Turkey,” in Routledge Handbook of Turkish Politics, co-authored with

Kristin E. Fabbe (New York: Routledge, 2019), 55-68.


On “Modern Persian and Turkish Poetry”:

“Khayyam, Omar: xiii. Translations, Turkish,” in Columbia Universitys Encyclopædia

Iranica, Supplement. Forthcoming in 2022.

Şicr-i Nev ile Şicr-i Sefîd Arasında: Çağdaş Farsçada Şiir, Garip ve Türkçe Şiirde Farsça

Etkisi Meselesi,” Şarkiyat Mecmuası [Journal of Oriental Studies] 25 (2014):


“The Garip Preface (1941),” co-authored with Sidney Wade, in Global Modernists on

Modernism, ed. Alys Moody and Stephen J. Ross (London: Bloomsbury, 2020):






On “Philosophy and Theology in the Early Ottoman Empire”:

“Conceptions of Nature in Perso-Islamic Early Modernity: Ḫocazāde (d. 893/1488) and

Graeco-Arabic Philosophy in the Ottoman Context,Encounters in Iran and the

Persianate World, Ca Foscari University, Venice, Italy: April 21, 2021.

A Synthesis of Graeco-Arabic Philosophy with Sharia: The Case of the Fifteenth-Century

Ottoman Adjudications on al-Ghazālī’s Tahāfut al-falāsifa,Princeton University’s

Near Eastern Studies Department Lecture Series, Princeton NJ, USA: October 21, 2019.

“The Fifteenth-Century Ottoman Culture of Verification: Ḫocazāde (d. 893/1488) and cAlā’

al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (d. 887/1482) on Occasionalism and Secondary Causes in al-Ghazālī’s

(d. 505/1111) Tahāfut al-falāsifa,Shared Practices, Common Legacies: Ottoman

Science from a Global Perspective at the University of Pennsylvanian (UPenn),

Philadephia PA, USA: April 5-6, 2019.

Tehâfütül-felâsife Odağında II. Mehmed Dönemi Osmanlı Âlimlerinde İlliyet Meselesi,” 

Osmanlı’da İlm-i Kelâm: Âlimler, Eserler ve Meseleler, 29 Mayıs University, İstanbul,

Turkey: December 25-27, 2015.  


Other Lectures on Pre-Modern and Modern Poetry, Ottoman Travel Accounts of India, and


“Poundun Çevrilemez Maskeleri: Türkçede Kantolar,Öteki Buluşmalar, Samsun

Universitys Department of Turkish Language and Literature, Samsun Turkey:

March 3, 2021.


Encirclings: Poetry Evening with Efe Murad,” Department of Religion, Wellesley

College, Wellesley MA, USA: November 18, 2020.

“Ezra Pound Amid Turkey’s Cultural Wars: Authority, Epic, and Word Choice in the

Turkish Cantos,” Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication Lecture

Series, Princeton University, Princeton NJ, USA: November 6, 2020.

“On Translating Ezra Pound’s Cantos,” The American Association of Teachers of Turkic 

Languages (AATT) Conference, Tulane University, New Orleans LA, USA:

November 13, 2019.

“Visual and Concrete Poetry in Contemporary Literature,” Boston University’s Literatures 

of the Middle East Series, Boston MA, USA: November 13, 2018. 

“Streets of Istanbul: Resistance and Poetry [Poetry Performance],” Writers Unlimited

Winternachten Literature Festival, The Hague, Holland: January 20, 2018. <https://www.writersunlimited.nl/en/programme/the-streets-of-istanbul-


“Book of My Life,” Writers Unlimited Winternachten Literature Festival, The Hague,

Holland: January 20, 2018. <https://www.writersunlimited.nl/en/programme/book-of-


“Fraternité! The Forgotten Value of Brotherhood,” together with Bas Heijne, David Van

Reybrouck, Grażyna Plebanek, Fatma Aydemir, and Sanam Sheriff, Writers

Unlimited Winternachten Literature Festival, The Hague, Holland: January 19, 2018. <https://www.writersunlimited.nl/en/programme/fraternite-the-forgotten-value-of-brotherhood>.

“Xstinks: Poetry Performance,” Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey: January 29, 2016.


“Poetry in the Text: The Use and Function of Poetry in Rāwandī’s Rāḥat al-ṣudūr and

Yazıcızāde cAlī’s Translation of the Same Work in Tevārīkh-i Âl-i Selçūḳ,” 2014 Middle

Eastern Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA:

November 22-25, 2014.

heves: Experimental Poetry in Turkey (2003-2010),” Middle Eastern Literatures in the

21st Century, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA: April 3-4, 2014.

“Poetry in the Text: The Use and Function of Poetry in Rāwandī’s Rāḥat al-ṣudūr and 

Yazıcızāde cAlī’s Translation of the Same Work in Tevārīkh-i Âl-i Selçūḳ,” Society

for Textual Studies (STS) International Interdisiplinary Conference, University of

Washington, Seattle. Seattle WA, USA: March 20-22, 2014.

 “A Travel Guide to India for Ottoman Merchants: On Meḥmed Emīn Efendi’s Taḳrīr,”

27thAnnual Middle Eastern History and Theory Conference at the University of

Chicago, Chicago IL, USA: May 4-5, 2012.

“From Reason to Faith: Habermas’ “Post-Secularism,” Liechtenstein Colloquium on

Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations, organized by Princeton University’s

Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Vienna, Austria: June 4-6, 2009.  





Books (Literary Essays)

The Pleasures of Empty Lots (Kraków: Bored Wolves Press, 2021).

Serbest Çalışmalar: Madde-Şiir Yazıları 2004-2014 (Istanbul: 160. Kilometre, 2014).


Book-Length Poetry Translations into English 

Melih Cevdet Anday, Silent Stones, co-trans. Sidney Wade (Northfield: Talisman, 2017)

(Turkish » English) [Published upon receiving The Meral Divitçi Prize Turkish Poetry

in Translation].


[Book Reviews: Delos: A Journal of Translation and World Literature 33.1 (2018) by

Derick Mattern, and The Arkansas International Review (March 2017)]

[Recommendation: New York Times Review’s Recommended Independent Books of 2017]


Book-Length Poetry Translations

Ezra Pound, Kantolar [The Cantos] (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Press, 2020) (English » Turkish)

[Turkish has been the seventh language that Pounds Cantos is translated at its entirety

after Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, German and Russian].

---, Kanto 110-116 (Istanbul: Sub Press, 2020).

Murat Nemet-Nejat, Replikantların İç Dünyası (Istanbul: 160. Kilometre, 2018) (English »


Thomas Bernhard, In Hora Mortis (Istanbul, Edebi Şeyler, 2017) (German » Turkish).

Sarah Kane, Psikoz 4.48 [Psychosis 4.48] (Istanbul: Sub Press, 2016) (English » Turkish).

Susan Howe, Batı Sınırları [Western Borders] (Istanbul: Nod Yayınları, 2015) (English »


Lyn Hejinian, Gesualdo (Istanbul: Nod Yayınları, 2015) (English » Turkish).

C.K. Williams, Akıl Pis Kokar! [Select Poems] (Istanbul: 160. Kilometre, 2013) (English »


Ferîdûn-i Muşîrî, Seçme Şiirler 1956-1999 (Istanbul: Pan, 2012) (Persian » Turkish).

M. Âzâd, Seçme Şiirler 1955-1997 (Istanbul: Pan, 2010) (Persian » Turkish).


Newspaper Op-eds (in Turkish)

Türkiyede Kültürel İktidar Sağda mı?K24 (May 2, 2019). <https://t24.com.tr/k24/yazi/

turkiye-de-kulturel-iktidar-sagda-mi,2271>. [on the politics of culture political Islam in Turkey].

“Fethin İlmi, Fethin İmarı: İstanbul’un Fethinin 565. Yıl Dönümüne Dair,K24 (May 29,

2018). <http://t24.com/tr/k24/yazi/istanbulun-fethi,1793>. [on the use of the 1453

Ottoman Conquest of Constantinople rhetorics in Turkish political discourse].

“Osmanlıcanın İdeolojisi,K24 (March 5, 2015). <http://t24.com.tr/k24/yazi/osmanlica,88>.

[on “The Ministry of Education’s Decision to Include Ottoman Turkish As a Mandatory

Course in High Schools”].


Literary Essay and Criticism (in English, German/Dutch, and Turkish)

“Notes on Godless Sufism, Eda, and Translatability: The Narratives of Subjective

Spirituality in Contemporary Turkish Poetry,Talisman: A Journal of Contemporary

Poetry and Poetics 51 (2022). Forthcoming.

“Geçişli Maskeler, Parçalı Kayıtlar: Ezra Poundun Kantoları Üzerine,” in Ezra Pound,

Kantolar, çev. Efe Murad, ikinci baskı (İstanbul: YKY, 2021), 807-911.

“Bir Meşk Kitabı: Lenore Kandelın Bâh-nâme’si ve Beat’lerde Cinsel Özgürlük,” K24

(July 29, 2021). <https://t24.com.tr/k24/yazi/bir-mesk-kitabi-lenore-kandel-in-bah-


“Rastlantısal Boşluğu Çevirmek: e.e. cummings Üzerine Şerhler,K24 (January 14, 2021).



Çevrilmeli mi Çevrilmemeli mi? Kantolar’da Yabancı Altıntılar, Çevrilebilirlik ve Kibir,

K24 (May 14, 2020). <https://t24.com.tr/k24/yazi/cevrilmeli-mi-cevrilmemeli-mi-

kantolar-da-yabanci-alintilar-cevrilebilirlik-ve-kibir,2673>. [on translating the

untranslatable in Pounds Cantos].

“Temsilin Malzemesi, Malzemenin Düzeni: İlhan Berk’ten Fatih’e Somut Bakışlar,” in Şiir

Her Yerdedir: İlhan Berk 100 Yaşinda, ed. Necmi Sönmez (Istanbul: YKY, 2018), 86-91.

“Het Plezier Van Lege Plekken,” trans. Hanneke van der Heijden, De Gids 6 (2017): 6-9

[the Dutch translation of my essay “The Pleasures of Empty Lots” about the poetry

scene in Istanbul]. <https://www.de-gids.nl/artikelen/het-plezier-van-lege-plekken>.

 “Visuality, Non-Agency and Found Footage in heves: New Trends in Contemporary Turkish 

Poetry (2003-10),” EuroLit: European Literary Network (September 2017).



German translation: “Visualität, Nicht-Handeln und Found Footage in heves: Neue

Trends in Zeitgenössischer Türkischer Poesie (2003-2010),” trans. Berk Kristal,

EuroLit: European Literary Network (September 2017).




“A Word’s Autobiography: Seyhan Erözçelik’s ‘Rosebud’ and ‘Kırağı’,” Jacket2

(April 2017). <https://jacket2.org/article/words-autobiography>.

“Çeviri Metne Muhtaç Mı?”, Kitap-lık 165 (January-February 2013): 62-69.

“[Peyami Safa’da] Hakikat ve Gerçekliğin Felsefesi,Dergâh 244 (May 22, 2010): 22.


Poetry Books, Chapbooks & Collaborations (Turkish)

Termosifon Hadisesi (Istanbul: Sub Yayın, 2021).

Fâtih ve 1953 (Istanbul: 160. Kilometre, 2018).

LesX (Istanbul: 160. Kilometre, 2016).

Kretin: Tapeler 2014-2016, w/ Cem Kurtuluş (Istanbul: Sub Yayın, 2016).

Apandisit International, w/ Cem Kurtuluş (Istanbul: Sub Yayın, 2016).

Kapital Öldürür! w/ Sinan Özdemir and İsmail Aslan (Istanbul: 160. Kilometre, 2015).

def-beyin (Istanbul: 160. Kilometre, 2012).

Sistem (Istanbul: Simurg, 2008).

H’aki Atak (Diyarbakır: Libre Entreprise, 2008).

Madde, w/ Cem Kurtuluş (Istanbul: Yasakmeyve, 2005).

F’ani Atak (Istanbul: Altıkırkbeş, 2005).


Translated Poetry in Other Languages

“Terwijl Ik Mijn Geliefde Tiran Omhels by İsmail Aslan, Efe Murad and Sinan Özdemir,” in

Nasleep, trans. Çağlar Köseoğlu (Gent: Het Balanseer, 2021): 20-23.

“Drie Gedichten uit Kapital Öldürür! by İsmail Aslan, Efe Murad, and Sinan Özdemir,” trans.

Çağlar Köseoğlu, nY: tijdschrift voor literatuur, kritiek en amusement 29 (2016).

“Strontmalloot,De Gids 6 (2017). <https://www.de-gids.nl/artikelen/strontmalloot>.


Publishing/Editing History at Imprint Press

İhsan Oktay Anar, The Book of Devices, trans. Gregory Key (Cambridge, 2018).

Ahmet Güntan, The Tribe of the Esraris, trans. Ali Alper Çakır (Cambridge, 2018).

[Award: Design Observers Best Book Covers of 2017 Award]

Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca, Defense Against the Night, trans. Talât S. Halman (Cambridge, 2015).

[Award: Design Observers Best Book Covers of 2017 Award]


Poetry Translations in English Language Journals (from Turkish » English)

Seyhan Erözçelik, Summer Sighs [Yaza Sızıla],Talisman: A Journal of Contemporary

Poetry and Poetics 51 (2022). Forthcoming.

Ülkü Tamer, “Winter: Warrior of Wine,Make It New! [The Ezra Pound Societys Journal]

6.1 (2022). Forthcoming.

Ece Eldek, “Annihilate,Journal of the Nâzım Hikmet Poetry Festival 12 (2021): 67-68.

Fanny Howe, “Scattered Light/Saçılı Işık,In Honor of Professor Erika H. Gilson

(Festschrift) (2021). <https://international.ucla.edu/gilson>.

“The Mythopoetics of Ece Eldek: Two Poems “Angels Don’t Give Guarantees,” and “In This

Place”,” FictiveMag (2021). <https://www.fictivemag.com/post/the-mythopoetics-of-


Melih Cevdet Anday, “Sparrow,” “All Over Again,” “Second World War,” and “To Whistle,”

co-trans. Sidney Wade, Turkish Poetry Today 2016 (London: Red Hand Books, 2016).

Orhan Veli, Melih Cevdet, and Oktay Rifat, “Bird and Cloud,” “Like Our Hands,” “All Over 

Again,” “Second World War,” “Photograph,” and “Transmigration I,” co-trans. Sidney

Wade, The American Reader 1.10 (November 2013).

Melih Cevdet Anday, “The Sundial,” and “First Morning of the Dead,” co-trans. Sidney Wade,

Two Lines: Landmarks World Writing In Translation, ed. Susan Bernofsky and

Christopher Merrill (San Francisco: Two Lines Press, 2013).

---, “The Unquiet Tress,” “Letter from a Dead Friend,” “The Coffin Shop,” Didn’t These

Swallows Just Leave?” “Laurel Forest,” “Changes 2, 3, 5, 8,” “The Loneliness of

Macbeth,” and “In the Sun,” co-trans. Sidney Wade, Poet Lore 108.1/2 (Spring/Summer

2013). <https://www.poetlore.com/store/backissues/volume-108-number-12/>.

---, “Cats,” “Nothing Passes By,” “Motionless Bees,” and “Birds and Clouds,” co-trans.

Sidney Wade, Turkish Poetry Today, (London: Red Hand Books, 2013);

---, “Flower of Darkness,” and “We’ve Turned into Clouds,” co-trans. Sidney Wade,

Denver Quarterly 47.4 (2013);

---, “Voice,” co-trans. Sidney Wade, Guernica: A Magazine of Global Arts and Politics

(May 2012). <https://www.guernicamag.com/voice/>.

---, “Atom” and “Voice,” co-trans. Sidney Wade, Little Star (September 2011).


---, “Poem in the Manner of Karacaoglan VI-VIII,” co-trans. Sidney Wade, Asymptote 31

(January 2011). <https://www.asymptotejournal.com/poetry/melih-cevdet-anday-a-


---, “Poem in the Manner of Karacaoglan I, IV,” co-trans. Sidney Wade, Two Lines 16

(Fall 2009). 


Literary Anthologies

“Raw Light,“Nabataean Script,” and “You’re As Much as a Desert,” in Being Philosophical

About What Matters: Survival Tips from Contemporary Turkish Poetry, eds./trans.

Buğru Giritlioğlu and Daniel P. Scher (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2022). Forthcoming.

Maddenin Sıkıntısı,” in Sıkıntı Var: Sıkıntı Üzerine Denemeler, ed. Aylin Kuryel (Istanbul:

İletişim, 2020).

“Encirclings by Efe Murad (trans. Murat Nemet-Nejat),” in Circle Surface Sun: From

Somewhere in the Mediterranean, ed. Irena Eden & Stijn Lernout (Wien: Schlebrügge, 2020).

The Power of Self-Movement” and Friday Dust” in Jacket2s Anthology of Turkish Poetry:

A Godless Sufism, ed. Murat Nemet-Nejat (2007). <http://jacketmagazine.com/34/eda-poems.shtml#emb>.


Volumes of Literary Criticism on Efe Murad's Poetry

Ulaş Bingöl, Postmodernizm ve Şiir Üzerine: Dijital Çağda Pusulası Bozulan Şiir (Istanbul:

DBY Yayınları, 2021), 267-273.

Erhan Altan, Sıfırlı Yıllarda Şiirimizde Deney/im: 2000’lerde Yeni ve Deneyin İzinde (Istanbul:

160. Kilometre, 2014).

Utku Özmakas, Şiirimizde Milenyum Kuşağı (Istanbul: Pan Kitap, 2008).

Contact: 781-283-2611