BOLIS: Derived from the Greek word for city “polis”,
it has long been used by the Armenians when referring to Istanbul.


Established within the Hrant Dink Foundation, the BOLIS Institute aims to support the production of alternative interdisciplinary studies in the field of history, sociology and culture that are pivoted around plurality and free of nationalism, racism and sexism; and to contribute to training of researchers in Turkey. It aspires to be a center for a pluralistic and democratic historiography, inclusive cultural and arts projects, and activities carried out for the recognition and preservation of the multicultural tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

To this end, Bolis employs a wide variety of methods, including carrying out research and analysis activities; developing and implementing projects; preparing reports, articles, periodicals and non-periodical publications; creating a library and an archive; supporting people and institutions carrying out academic and independent research; and organizing seminars, workshops, exhibitions, panels, conferences and other events.

The international conferences that have been organized by the Hrant Dink Foundation since its establishment in the light of universal principles enshrined in the Foundation’s founding philosophy are compiled within BOLIS, in an effort to bring together the works of academics and researchers from Turkey and abroad on a common platform, and to provide a basis for new questions and new ideas for the future. In order to reveal and preserve Turkey’s multicultural heritage, BOLIS creates inventories of structures such as churches, synagogues, mosques, djemevis, schools, monasteries, hospitals, orphanages and cemeteries in Turkey, which are important components of the cultural heritage of different communities, notably the Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and Jews and it works towards the preservation and reutilization of the inventory created; uses creative methods to increase awareness on such structures; carries out activities to ensure that academic studies reach and make an impact on the masses and large segments of the society; develops and implements training modules and learning programs based on the archives and the information produced in order to contribute to the development of a rights-based approach; compiles and classifies personal archives, photographs, documents and books and makes them available to researchers; and carries out oral history projects to archive the memory of Turkey’s Armenians.

In view of Istanbul’s geographical location and its importance in Armenian culture and history, BOLIS contributes to raising the academic quality of work in the field of Armenian Studies in Turkey and abroad; enriches the work of researchers active in this field by providing them with access to resources in and outside of Turkey; and in the light of the extremely important role that Western Armenian plays in the field of Armenian Studies, in order to move beyond its mere preservation as a rich heritage in danger of disappearing, creates programs for its transmission to new generations through teaching techniques that are appropriate to a living and changing world.