The 25th Symposium of the Comité International des Études Pré-Ottomanes et Ottomanes (International Committee for Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Studies, CIÉPO) will take place in Tirana, Albania, from June 21-25, 2024. Hosted by the Sami Frashëri Institute, this event is a significant gathering for scholars of Ottoman and pre-Ottoman studies, featuring a wide range of panels and discussions that delve into various aspects of Ottoman history, culture, and society.

Academic Themes and Panels

The symposium’s program is diverse, covering a multitude of topics related to the Ottoman Empire. Key themes include:

  1. Law and Order in the Ottoman World: This theme explores the strategies and challenges of law enforcement in the 17th and 18th centuries. Panels will discuss crime and punishment in different Ottoman territories, the impact of war on law enforcement, and the role of the Ottoman naval arsenal in maintaining public order.
  2. Religion and Society in Medieval Anatolia: Panels will investigate new approaches to understanding religion and societal structures in Medieval Anatolia, including the influence of various religious and literary traditions.
  3. Diplomacy and International Relations: Discussions will focus on the diplomacy of Ottoman tributaries during the 16th and 17th centuries, examining the political maneuvers and relationships that shaped the empire’s external affairs.
  4. Economic and Commercial Landscapes: This theme addresses the commercial activities and economic policies of the Ottoman Empire. Panels will cover topics such as the olive oil economy, the role of merchants, and the economic interactions between Venice and the Ottoman Balkans.
  5. Cultural and Intellectual Developments: The symposium will feature panels on the transmission of knowledge and cultural practices, including the adaptation of foreign knowledge in the late Ottoman Empire and the development of Ottoman literary culture.
  6. Social and Labor Issues: Various panels will discuss social dynamics and labor practices in the Ottoman Empire, including seasonal and migrant labor, the role of women in socio-economic life, and the impact of infrastructure projects on local communities.
  7. Political and Military History: Several panels will delve into the political and military aspects of the Ottoman Empire, such as the Sokollu family’s political influence, the Ottoman-Habsburg conflicts, and the role of janissaries in the late Ottoman period.
  8. Health and Environment: Discussions will also cover public health and environmental issues in the Ottoman Empire, such as epidemic diseases, urban sanitation, and the management of natural resources.

Emphasis on Albanian Studies

A notable feature of this year’s symposium is the significant focus on the history and experiences of Albanians during the Ottoman period. Various panels will specifically address the social, political, and cultural aspects of Albanian life under Ottoman rule. Topics include:

  • The role of Albanian soldiers in the Ottoman military campaigns.
  • The administrative and social structures in Ottoman Albania.
  • The influence of Ottoman governance on Albanian cultural and intellectual life.

These discussions aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complex interactions between the Ottoman state and the Albanian population, shedding light on how these historical dynamics have shaped contemporary Albanian society.

Cultural and Social Events

In addition to the academic sessions, the symposium will include social events designed to foster networking and collaboration among participants. A welcoming cocktail at the MAK Albania Hotel and a cultural tour to Berat are planned, providing attendees with opportunities to experience Albanian culture and history firsthand.

The 25th Symposium of the CIÉPO in Tirana promises to be a landmark event for scholars of Ottoman and pre-Ottoman studies. With its rich program of academic panels and cultural activities, the symposium will offer valuable insights into the complexities of Ottoman history and society. The Sami Frashëri Institute looks forward to hosting this prestigious gathering and contributing to the ongoing scholarly discourse in this field.

For a detailed program of the symposium, please consult the full program available on this page.

Sami Frasheri Institute
Rruga Pjeter Budi,
Qyteti Studenti, Tiranë

“Sami Frasheri” hosts 25th Symposium of the International Committee for Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Studies (CIÉPO)

The 25th Symposium of the International Committee for Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Studies (CIÉPO) is set to take place in Tirana, Albania, from June 21st to June 25th, 2024, hosted by Sami Frasheri Institute and Europenan University of Tirana. This marks a historic occasion as it is the first time the CIÉPO Symposium will be hosted in Albania since its inception in 1974 in Naples, Italy. Organized by the Sami Frashëri Institute in cooperation with the European University of Tirana, the event underscores the growing significance of Albania in the global academic community and highlights the country’s rich historical connection to Ottoman studies.

Academic Importance

The CIÉPO Symposium is a pivotal event in the field of Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman studies, offering a platform for scholars to present cutting-edge research, engage in scientific discussions, and enhance cultural and historical understanding of the Ottoman era. Since its establishment, the symposium has facilitated interdisciplinary collaboration and contributed significantly to the advancement of knowledge in the field. The biennial gatherings have become renowned for their role in fostering scholarly dialogue and exploring the multifaceted history of the Ottoman Empire.

Global Participation

This year’s symposium is expected to welcome more than 200 distinguished scholars from over 30 countries, including participants from prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge, and Oxford. The selection process was highly competitive, with over 370 scholars applying to participate, underscoring the event’s prestige and the widespread academic interest in Ottoman studies. The symposium’s international nature highlights the global commitment to and the scholarly importance of this field of study.

Significance of Hosting in Tirana

Hosting the 25th CIÉPO Symposium in Tirana is a momentous event for Albania. It highlights the country’s growing role in international academic circles and its contributions to the field of Ottoman studies. The symposium provides a unique opportunity to spotlight Albania’s historical connections to the Ottoman Empire and enrich the local academic landscape. Furthermore, it fosters international collaboration and offers Albanian scholars a platform to engage with global discussions on Ottoman history.

The 25th CIÉPO Symposium in Tirana represents a landmark event in the academic calendar for Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman studies. It promises to be an enriching assembly of minds and ideas, furthering our understanding of one of history’s most influential empires. The symposium will foster scholarly exchange, promote interdisciplinary research, and enhance the global academic community’s appreciation of Ottoman history. This historic gathering is set to contribute significantly to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of the field, and the support of donors will play a crucial role in its success.

About CIÉPO

The International Committee for Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Studies (CIÉPO) is a prominent academic institution dedicated to the study of historical periods preceding and including the Ottoman era. Founded in 1974, CIÉPO aims to support, coordinate, and disseminate research across various disciplines within the humanistic sciences, including history, philosophy, the history of religion, literature, and ethnology, all related to Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman contexts.

CIÉPO is committed to inclusivity, welcoming scholars from diverse national backgrounds based on their scholarly contributions. This principle fosters rich, interdisciplinary dialogue among researchers and enhances the collective understanding of Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman histories. Membership in CIÉPO requires active engagement in the organization’s symposia, emphasizing the value placed on direct scholarly exchange and contribution to the field.

The biennial symposia organized by CIÉPO are pivotal events in the academic calendar for scholars interested in Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman studies. These gatherings serve as platforms for presenting research findings, discussing theoretical and methodological issues, and forging collaborative relationships among scholars. Since the inaugural symposium in Naples in 1974, these events have been instrumental in advancing the field, marking significant milestones in the dissemination of knowledge and scholarly debate.

The trajectory from the first symposium in Naples to the upcoming one in Tirana in 2024 underscores the growth and evolving scope of CIÉPO’s activities over fifty years. This progression reflects CIÉPO’s adaptability to new academic challenges and its ongoing commitment to enriching the field of Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman studies. Through these symposia, CIÉPO has not only facilitated the exchange of ideas but also contributed to shaping the academic discourse on these historical periods, underscoring the organization’s enduring impact on the study of Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman histories.

In a thought-provoking session of “Conversations with Brenton,” Dr. Mentor Beqa, the Executive Director of the Institute “Sami Frashëri” and an accomplished scholar in political science, delves into the essence and significance of nationhood. This episode, steered by the adept host Brenton Kotorri, embarks on an exploratory journey into what binds a distinct group of people together, compelling them to collectively envision a future.

Key Discussion Points:

Definition of a Nation: Dr. Beqa offers profound insights into the concept of a nation, beyond the confines of nationalism, emphasizing the shared aspirations, history, and cultural identity that unite people. The Role of Imagination in Nationhood: Highlighting the power of collective imagination, the conversation navigates through how nations are formed not just by shared geography but by the shared dreams and narratives of their people. Societal and Cultural Connectivity: The episode enriches the discourse on how nations contribute to the fabric of global diversity, fostering a sense of belonging and identity among individuals. Dr. Beqa’s participation in “Conversations with Brenton” sheds light on the intricate layers of nationhood, offering listeners a deep dive into the constructs that hold societies together. This engaging dialogue serves as a valuable contribution to understanding the foundations of communal living and the future of nationhood in a rapidly changing world.

For those intrigued by the dynamics of nations and the collective journey of people, this episode featuring Dr. Mentor Beqa is a must-listen. Catch the full conversation on “Conversations with Brenton” through this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U56aKE_5bms.





The Media section highlights the Sami Frasheri Institute’s active engagement with the press and broadcast media, where our experts provide analyses, comments, and expert insights on a wide range of topics, including geopolitical, political, social, and economic developments. Through this platform, we share our contributions to television programs, podcasts, interviews, and articles, reflecting our commitment to contributing to informed public discourse. Our team’s media appearances underscore our role in offering nuanced understandings of complex issues, emphasizing the importance of expert perspectives in shaping discussions on both regional and global scales. For inquiries about expert insights in the fields of our work, please contact us at info@samifrasheri.org.

During a recent appearance on the 13:00 news diary on A2 CNN, Mentor Beqa, the Executive Director of the Institute “Sami Frashëri” and a lecturer in International Relations, shared his insights on the OSCE summit that took place in Skopje. The summit occurred amidst escalating tensions between the West and Russia, primarily due to Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, putting the organization on the verge of fragmentation.

Beqa’s commentary highlighted the palpable tension and conflict characterizing the summit, noting the challenges in achieving consensus within such a charged atmosphere. His analysis sheds light on the complexities of maintaining unity and constructive dialogue within international organizations during times of geopolitical strife.

For those interested in understanding the intricate dynamics at play during the OSCE summit and its implications for international relations, Beqa’s discussion provides a critical perspective.

Follow the conversation here.





The Media section highlights the Sami Frasheri Institute’s active engagement with the press and broadcast media, where our experts provide analyses, comments, and expert insights on a wide range of topics, including geopolitical, political, social, and economic developments. Through this platform, we share our contributions to television programs, podcasts, interviews, and articles, reflecting our commitment to contributing to informed public discourse. Our team’s media appearances underscore our role in offering nuanced understandings of complex issues, emphasizing the importance of expert perspectives in shaping discussions on both regional and global scales. For inquiries about expert insights in the fields of our work, please contact us at info@samifrasheri.org.

On TRT World, Dr. Mentor Beqa, the Executive Director of the Institute of Political Studies “Sami Frashëri,” shared his insights on the controversial agreement between Albania and Italy regarding the hosting of migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea aiming to reach Italy. The agreement, which involves establishing centers in Albania to hold these migrants, has sparked significant debate and concerns.

Dr. Beqa emphasized the asymmetric nature of the agreement, pointing out that “Albania is not getting anything in return” for its cooperation in managing the EU’s migration challenges. He questioned the rationale behind Albania’s decision to facilitate the EU’s migration management efforts without clear benefits for the country itself.

The discussion highlighted the broader implications of such agreements for non-EU countries like Albania, which find themselves involved in the European Union’s efforts to address migration and asylum-seeking flows without being full members of the union. Dr. Beqa’s commentary shed light on the complexities and potential pitfalls of international agreements on migration management, particularly for countries on the periphery of the EU.

This media appearance offers a critical perspective on the dynamics of international migration agreements and the position of smaller states in these discussions. Dr. Beqa’s insights contribute to the ongoing debate on migration management, the responsibilities of EU and non-EU countries, and the need for equitable agreements that consider the interests and capacities of all parties involved.

Watch the full conversation and explore Dr. Beqa’s analysis on this pivotal issue at TRT World’s YouTube channel.





The Media section highlights the Sami Frasheri Institute’s active engagement with the press and broadcast media, where our experts provide analyses, comments, and expert insights on a wide range of topics, including geopolitical, political, social, and economic developments. Through this platform, we share our contributions to television programs, podcasts, interviews, and articles, reflecting our commitment to contributing to informed public discourse. Our team’s media appearances underscore our role in offering nuanced understandings of complex issues, emphasizing the importance of expert perspectives in shaping discussions on both regional and global scales. For inquiries about expert insights in the fields of our work, please contact us at info@samifrasheri.org.

In a comprehensive analysis for Middle East Eye, Dr. Mentor Beqa, the Executive Director of the Institute of Political Studies “Sami Frashëri,” discussed the implications of the migration agreement between Albania and Italy. This deal, which involves Albania hosting asylum seekers as part of an off-shore plan, has attracted international attention and raised concerns over its impact on migrants’ rights and regional migration policies.

Dr. Beqa elaborated on the nuances of the agreement, highlighting the potential challenges and consequences for both Albania and the broader European Union’s approach to migration. His insights delve into the geopolitical ramifications of such agreements and the ethical considerations surrounding the treatment of asylum seekers and migrants.

The discussion in Middle East Eye underscores the critical need for balanced and humane migration policies that respect international laws and the dignity of all individuals. Dr. Beqa’s commentary contributes to a deeper understanding of the complexities involved in managing migration flows in Europe and the Mediterranean, emphasizing the importance of solidarity, responsibility-sharing, and adherence to humanitarian principles.

This media appearance by the Executive Director of “Sami Frashëri” underscores the institute’s commitment to engaging in vital international discussions and providing expert analysis on pressing global issues.

Read the full article and explore Dr. Beqa’s comprehensive insights on the Albanian-Italian migration agreement at Middle East Eye.





The Media section highlights the Sami Frasheri Institute’s active engagement with the press and broadcast media, where our experts provide analyses, comments, and expert insights on a wide range of topics, including geopolitical, political, social, and economic developments. Through this platform, we share our contributions to television programs, podcasts, interviews, and articles, reflecting our commitment to contributing to informed public discourse. Our team’s media appearances underscore our role in offering nuanced understandings of complex issues, emphasizing the importance of expert perspectives in shaping discussions on both regional and global scales. For inquiries about expert insights in the fields of our work, please contact us at info@samifrasheri.org.

Dr. Mentor Beqa, a distinguished scholar in international relations, recently shed light on the democratic developments—or lack thereof—in the Balkans, specifically focusing on Albania and Serbia, in his appearance on Ditarin e orës 13:00. His analysis not only pinpointed the challenges faced by these nations in nurturing democracy but also ventured into forecasting the region’s trajectory towards European Union integration.

Discussion Highlights:

Democratic Backsliding: Dr. Beqa articulated concerns over the observable democratic regression within the Balkans, with a particular emphasis on the situations unfolding in Albania and Serbia. EU Integration Forecast: Moving beyond diagnosis, Dr. Beqa ventured to predict the implications of the current political and democratic landscape on the Balkans’ EU aspirations. Critical Analysis: Through his expert lens, Dr. Beqa provided a nuanced understanding of the geopolitical and internal dynamics influencing democratic processes and European integration efforts in the region. Significance of the Appearance:

This media engagement by Dr. Beqa underscores the Institute “Sami Frashëri”‘s dedication to providing profound insights on pivotal issues shaping the Balkans’ political and democratic contours. The discussion elucidates the intricacies of democracy development challenges and the strategic pathways towards EU integration, reflecting on both the hurdles and prospects lying ahead for the region.

Watch the Full Discussion:

For audiences keen on delving into the democratic dynamics of the Balkans and their EU integration prospects, Dr. Beqa’s analysis offers an enlightening perspective. The comprehensive discussion is accessible through the provided link, inviting viewers to engage with the critical discourse on future trajectories for Albania, Serbia, and the broader Balkan region.

Watch the full conversation here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w-ygtDwnyI.





The Media section highlights the Sami Frasheri Institute’s active engagement with the press and broadcast media, where our experts provide analyses, comments, and expert insights on a wide range of topics, including geopolitical, political, social, and economic developments. Through this platform, we share our contributions to television programs, podcasts, interviews, and articles, reflecting our commitment to contributing to informed public discourse. Our team’s media appearances underscore our role in offering nuanced understandings of complex issues, emphasizing the importance of expert perspectives in shaping discussions on both regional and global scales. For inquiries about expert insights in the fields of our work, please contact us at info@samifrasheri.org.

Dr. Mentor Beqa, the Executive Director of the “Sami Frasheri” Institute, made a significant appearance on TV Klan’s ‘Opinion,’ one of Albania’s most prestigious television shows, to discuss the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza.

Key Points from the Discussion:

During the show, Dr. Beqa provided an insightful analysis of the complex dynamics of the Israel-Palestine conflict, focusing on the latest escalation in Gaza. He explored the historical context of the conflict, the triggers for the recent escalation, and the implications for both regional stability and international relations.

Dr. Beqa emphasized the humanitarian aspects of the conflict, highlighting the devastating impact on civilians caught in the crossfire. He called for a renewed focus on diplomatic efforts to bring about a sustainable resolution to the conflict, stressing the importance of international mediation and support.

Audience Engagement:

The discussion prompted a significant response from viewers, who engaged with the topic through social media and live call-ins. Many expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the need for a peaceful solution to the longstanding conflict.

Conclusion:

Dr. Beqa’s appearance on ‘Opinion’ shed light on the critical issues at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict. His expert analysis contributed to a deeper understanding of the situation among the Albanian audience and underscored the urgency of seeking peaceful resolutions.

Follow the full conversation in the link below to gain more insights into Dr. Beqa’s perspectives on the Israel-Palestine conflict: Watch Here





The Media section highlights the Sami Frasheri Institute’s active engagement with the press and broadcast media, where our experts provide analyses, comments, and expert insights on a wide range of topics, including geopolitical, political, social, and economic developments. Through this platform, we share our contributions to television programs, podcasts, interviews, and articles, reflecting our commitment to contributing to informed public discourse. Our team’s media appearances underscore our role in offering nuanced understandings of complex issues, emphasizing the importance of expert perspectives in shaping discussions on both regional and global scales. For inquiries about expert insights in the fields of our work, please contact us at info@samifrasheri.org.

In a recent publication for “Revista Shenja,” Dr. Ardian Muhaj, Chairman of the Trustee Board of the “Sami Frasheri” Institute, provides a critical analysis of the persistent issue of corruption within the Albanian political sphere and its broader implications in the Balkans. Muhaj’s discourse delves into the perennial political promise to combat corruption and oligarchy, exposing it as largely rhetorical with minimal substantive change.

The Illusion of Anti-Corruption Measures:

Dr. Muhaj articulates that despite the frequent vows from successive governments to address corruption and dismantle oligarchical structures, these pledges often result in no significant action. He argues that this cycle of empty promises perpetuates the very conditions that enable corruption to flourish.

Oligarchy as a Symptom of Misgovernance:

A key thesis of Muhaj’s article is the notion that oligarchy is not an isolated phenomenon but rather a direct outcome of poor governance. He suggests that as long as the political and economic systems allow for the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few, efforts to combat corruption will remain ineffective.

The Need for Genuine Reform:

Muhaj calls for a reevaluation of the strategies employed in the fight against corruption, emphasizing the necessity for genuine reform that addresses the root causes of oligarchy and corruption. This includes implementing democratic controls and mechanisms to limit the power of political parties and individuals, ensuring accountability, and fostering a more equitable society.

Conclusion:

Dr. Ardian Muhaj’s insights in “Revista Shenja” challenge the Albanian political class to move beyond rhetoric and enact meaningful changes to combat corruption and oligarchy. His analysis underscores the interconnectedness of governance, corruption, and societal equity, urging a comprehensive approach to reform that could serve as a model not only for Albania but for the broader Balkan region.

For a deeper understanding of Dr. Muhaj’s critique and proposals for addressing corruption in Albanian society and the Balkans, read the full article here.





The Media section highlights the Sami Frasheri Institute’s active engagement with the press and broadcast media, where our experts provide analyses, comments, and expert insights on a wide range of topics, including geopolitical, political, social, and economic developments. Through this platform, we share our contributions to television programs, podcasts, interviews, and articles, reflecting our commitment to contributing to informed public discourse. Our team’s media appearances underscore our role in offering nuanced understandings of complex issues, emphasizing the importance of expert perspectives in shaping discussions on both regional and global scales. For inquiries about expert insights in the fields of our work, please contact us at info@samifrasheri.org.

In a recent contribution to “Revista Shenja,” Dr. Mentor Beqa, a well-respected figure in political analysis, delves into the pervasive issue of corruption within Albanian society and the broader Balkan region. Beqa’s article presents a critical examination of the structural factors that facilitate corruption, highlighting the unfortunate synergy between expansive governmental power and the absence of effective democratic mechanisms for oversight and limitation of party and individual authority.

Government Size and Lack of Democratic Controls:

Beqa argues that the Balkans, and Albanian society in particular, suffer from a detrimental combination of large governmental structures and a deficiency in democratic controls. This combination, he suggests, not only enables but also perpetuates the widespread corruption that plagues the region.

Political Parties as Primary Sources of Corruption:

Central to Beqa’s analysis is the assertion that political parties are the main sources of corruption in Albanian society. He contends that the current political and institutional framework allows parties and their affiliated individuals to operate with a level of impunity that fosters corrupt practices, undermining the integrity and effectiveness of governance.

The Cycle of Corruption:

The article further explores how widespread corruption contributes to the reproduction of a societal reality that initially enables it. This cyclical nature of corruption, where corrupt practices perpetuate the very conditions that allow them to flourish, poses a significant challenge to breaking the cycle and implementing meaningful reforms.

Conclusion and Call to Action:

Dr. Beqa’s insights into the structural roots of corruption in Albania and the Balkans offer a sobering perspective on the challenges facing the region. His analysis underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms aimed at reducing governmental size, enhancing democratic oversight, and breaking the cycle of corruption that hinders societal progress and development.

For a detailed exploration of Dr. Beqa’s analysis and thoughts on the sources of corruption in Albanian society and the Balkans, read the full article here.





The Media section highlights the Sami Frasheri Institute’s active engagement with the press and broadcast media, where our experts provide analyses, comments, and expert insights on a wide range of topics, including geopolitical, political, social, and economic developments. Through this platform, we share our contributions to television programs, podcasts, interviews, and articles, reflecting our commitment to contributing to informed public discourse. Our team’s media appearances underscore our role in offering nuanced understandings of complex issues, emphasizing the importance of expert perspectives in shaping discussions on both regional and global scales. For inquiries about expert insights in the fields of our work, please contact us at info@samifrasheri.org.