Sada Payir


Pembroke College


DPhil in Oriental Studies, History of the Ottoman Empire

Thesis title: Entertainment, Propriety, Transgression: The 'Unorthodox' Greeks of Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire

The course mainly funded by Suna & İnan Kıraç Foundation

Recipient of A. G. Leventis Foundation Educational Grant, A. S. Onassis Foundation Postgraduate Fellowship, Andreas Tietze Memorial Fellowship, ASMEA Postgraduate Research Grant, Constantine and George Macricostas Fellowship (Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies at Athens), École Française d’Athènes Doctoral Research Grant, Orient-Institut Istanbul Doctoral Fellowship, OTSA Vangelis Kechriotis Memorial Travel Grant, Oxford University Travel Abroad Bursary, Pembroke College Dean of Graduates Fund

DRA Honourable Mention Award by the Association of British Turkish Academics

Educational Background:

Boğaziçi University, MA, History

École Normale Supérieure Paris, MA, Visiting Student, History

Istanbul Technical University, BS, Mining Engineering

Research Interests:

My dissertation enquires into the transgression of legal, moral, political, and social codes via entertainment practices in late Ottoman Istanbul and aims to show the ways in which Greek Orthodox Christians committed transgressions from the perspectives of the Ottoman state, the Greek Orthodox clergy and lay, as well as the larger society including short-term residents and travellers. My chapters examine transgressions related to the business of prostitution, alcohol consumption and live music venues, the Greek Orthodox carnival (of Tatavla, i.e. Apokries, Baklahorani, Koulouma), and printed goods. While focusing on this period and city for my research, I am interested in the history of the populations in the wider region of Turkey and Greece and their literary and artistic productions from ancient to modern times.

Recent Publications:

Payır, Sada, and Athanasios Nikolaidis. "Cappadocia Ottoman Construction Company (1912) by Arsenios Istanbolloglou and Partners." In Following the Traces of Turkish-speaking Christians of Anatolia, vol. II, edited by Evangelia Balta, 449-464. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2021.

Payır, Sada. “Umumda Mahremiyet: Geç Osmanlı İstanbul’unda Tatavla Karnavalı.” [Privacy in Public: The Carnival of Tatavla in Late Ottoman Istanbul] Toplumsal Tarih 321 (September 2020): 32-38.

Kyriakides, Epameinondas. Beyoğlu Sırları [Βεϊογλου Σηρλαρὴ, 1888-1889]. Translated into Turkish by Evangelinos Misailidis. Transcribed, prepared and edited by Evangelia Balta and Sada Payır. İstanbul: Istos, 2020.

Payır, Sada. Selected Turkish literary works mentioning "chestnut". Yemek ve Kültür 55 (Spring 2019): 109-111.

Payır, Sada. Review of Les Grecs d’Istanbul au XIXe siècle: Histoire socioculturelle de la communauté de Péra, by Meropi Anastassiadou. Historein 12, Questions & Orientations in History, Part I, 124-127. Athens: Nefeli Publishers, 2012.

Conferences & Seminars:

-The Consortium for European Symposia on Turkey (CEST) Summer School: Cultural Exchange and Heritage, University of Vienna, 2022 [“A Moveable Feast: Transgressions at the Greek Orthodox Carnival in Late Ottoman Istanbul”]

-The Eleventh International Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University Seeger Centre for Hellenic Studies, 2019 [“Entertainment, Propriety, Transgression: The ‘Unorthodox’ Greeks of Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire”]

-The Twentieth Annual Postgraduate Colloquium, University of Birmingham Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, 2019 [“Privacy in Public: Transgressions at the Greek Orthodox Carnival in Late Ottoman Istanbul”]

-Hellenic College Holy Cross Asia Minor Travel Seminar: Greek Orthodox Christians of Asia Minor, Athens-Thessaloniki-Xanthi-Komotini, 2018

-The Tenth Annual ASMEA Conference, The Middle East and Africa: Assessing the Regions Ten Years On, Washington, D.C., 2017 ["The Black Sheep of the Family?: The 'Unorthodox' Greeks of Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire”]

-The Modern Greek Studies Graduate Colloquium, London, 2017 [“Mapping the Limits of Transgression: The ‘Unorthodox’ Greeks of Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire”]

-The Graduate Workshop in Ottoman Studies: Rethinking the Long Nineteenth Century in the Ottoman Empire, University of Oxford, 2013

Sada Payir