Founded as Turkey’s first private foundation 45 years ago, Vehbi Koç Foundation gives out the Vehbi Koç Award annually to individuals or institutions for their outstanding contributions to the fields of culture, education and healthcare, respectively and this year’s recipient is Prof. Zeynep Çelik in the field of “Culture”. A distinguished professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture and Design, Prof. Çelik is among the first female architectural historians that have studied and researched Ottoman urban and cultural history, as well as the history of cities under the Ottoman rule. In his speech during the award ceremony, Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman of Koç Holding, stated that Prof. Zeynep Çelik has achieved significant breakthrough in Ottoman history with her works.
Among the three candidates nominated by the Selection Committee headed by Prof. Şevket Pamuk, Vehbi Koç Foundation Board of Directors chose Prof. Zeynep Çelik as the recipient of the 13th Vehbi Koç Award for her remarkable work in the field of culture and history. Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman of Koç Holding, presented the award to Prof. Zeynep Çelik who will also receive $100,000 as a financial reward.
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In December 2013, Prof. Çelik was awarded an honorary doctorate from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, for "three decades of original and pioneering scholarship on Ottoman urban and cultural history and for her precious contribution to the integration of the discipline into the wider context of world history."