Efe Murat Balıkçıoğlu

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

Efe Balikcioglu

Visiting Lecturer in Religion

Scholar of classical and post-classical Islamic intellectual history with special attention to early modern Ottoman philosophical and theological corpus.

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 dissertation 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. He is currently turning his dissertation research into a book, which has the working title God, Nature, and Causes: The Ottoman Scholarship on Graeco-Arabic Philosophy and the Method of Verification.


During the last three years, he also conducted research on the rise of political Islam in modern Turkey and published several co-authored articles 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.




Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals/Edited Volumes



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

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

Determinizm,” in Osmanlı’da İlm-i Kelâm (Istanbul: İSAR, 2016): 349-409.




“‘If Only Necessity Were God’s Quiddity:A Fifteenth-Century Ottoman Court Debate Between

Ḫocazāde (d. 893/1488) and Mollā Zeyrek (d. 903/1497-8) on the Philosophers’ Proof of

God’s Unicity” (in progress); 

“Arbitrating Among Philosophy, Theology, and Sufism: The Fifteenth-Century Ottoman Culture 

of Verification” (in progress, to be published at the Journal of Early Modern History, edited

by Giancarlo Casale, Stefano Pellò, and Rajeev Kinra in the special taḥqīq issue);

 “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 A Sourcebook of Ottoman

Intellectual History (as a compendium to the workshop Shared Practices in Ottoman

Intellectual History at the University of Pennsylvania (in progress).




Ḫocazāde Muṣliḥiddīn Muṣṭafā, Tahāfut al-falāsifa, co-trans. Professor Hasan Hacak of Marmara 

University (Istanbul: Türkiye Yazma Eserler Kurumu Başkanlığı, 2021) [the Arabic edition

and Turkish translation of Ḫocazāde’s authographed copy] (in progress/under contract).



On “Political Islam in the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey”:

“When the Fifth Column Falls: Authoritarian Logics, The Proliferation of State Threats, and 

Erdoğan’s New Policy on Religious Groups,” in eds. Harris Mylonas and Scott Radnitz,

Enemies Within: Unpacking Fifth-Column Politics, co-authored with Kristin E. Fabbe

(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021). Forthcoming. 

 “Islamic Capitalism in Turkey,” in eds. Asli M. Colpan and Geoffrey Jones, 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 eds. Alparslan Özerdem and Matthew Whiting, Routledge Handbook

of Turkish Politics, co-authored with Kristin E. Fabbe (New York: Routledge, 2019): 55-68.



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 “Modern Persian and Turkish Poetry”:

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

on Modernism, ed. Alys Moody and Stephen J. Ross (London: Bloomsbury, 2020): 199-204.

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): 187-226. 




“Khayyam, Omar: xiii. Translations, Turkish,” in Columbia University’s Encyclopædia Iranica

(under contract).






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

“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, 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 Pennsylvania (UPenn), Philadelphia, USA: April 5-6, 2019.

Tehâfütü’l-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 and Readings on Pre-Modern and Modern Poetry, Ottoman Travel Accounts of

India, and Post-Secularism

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 16, 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,


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

of the Middle East Series, Boston MA, 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-resistance-and-poetry>.

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

January 20, 2018. <https://www.writersunlimited.nl/en/programme/book-of-me-life-efe-murad>.

“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,


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.  






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]



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

“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 Poetry in Istanbul]. 


 “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). <https://www.literaturhauseuropa.eu/de/themen/observatorium/keynote-texts/visualitaet-nicht-handeln-und-found-footage-in-heves-neue-trends-in-zeitgenoessischer-tuerkischer-poesie-2003-2010>.

“A Word’s Autobiography: Seyhan Erözçelik’s ‘Rosebud’ and ‘Kırağı’,” Jacket2 (April 2017). 


“Karışık Teknik: “Yapanı, Eyleyeni Öldür!” Kitap-lık 185 (Mayıs-Haziran 2016): 72-83.

“Garip: A Turkish Poetry Manifesto (1941),” co-trans. Sidney Wade, The Critical Flame 39

(November-December 2015). <http://criticalflame.org/garip-a-turkish-poetry-manifesto-1941/>.

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

“Ece Ayhan: Büyük Ahlaki Gösteri," Kitap-lık 160 (May 2012): 11-17.



Poetry Translations in English Journals (from Turkish » English)

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/>.

---, “Poem in the Manner of Karacaoglan I, IV,” co-trans. Sidney Wade, Two Lines 16 (Fall 2009). 

Contact: 781-283-2611