Political scientist (b. 1947, Austria). He is the son of the aircraft engineer Kemal Ortaylı. He came to Turkey when he was two years old. He experienced many years of great difficulty in Ankara.
His mother who had studied Russian Language and Literature in Stalingrad taught at Ankara University, Faculty of Language, History and Geography. When he was thirteen, he was fluent in Russian and German as well as Turkish. He attended primary school first in İstanbul and then in Ankara.
He attended elementary school and Saint George High School in İstanbul and then returned in Ankara.
There he attended Ankara Atatürk High School and graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Administration Branch and Department of Modern History.
He had the opportunity to travel to various cities and countries during his years of graduate studies. He went to Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut, Jerusalem and Amman.
When he was a student at Ankara University, Faculty of Language, History and Geography, he attended lectures on Orientalism and Slav Culture at Vienna University.
In 1973, he entered Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences as an assistant. In 1977, he went to Bonn to research archives. He completed his graduate studies at Chicago University and obtained his doctorate at Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences. His doctorate thesis was “Tanzimat Döneminde Mahalli İdareler” (Local Administration in the Tanzimat* Period).
He became assistant professor in 1979. He worked for ten years at the faculty and then resigned from his office and began to travel across several countries. He served as a guest professor at L’Ecole des Hauters Etudes in Paris and at Princeton University. After 1988, he worked as an assistant professor at the Middle East Technical University for a while and then resumed his office at Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences.
In 1988, he became a professor. In the succeeding years, he continued his studies at the same institution at the Faculty of Political Sciences as a professor of history of public administration. He speaks Russian, German, English and French.
He has published many articles on cities and the history of public administration in reviews in Turkey and abroad.
In 2001, he collected the Aydın Doğan Foundation Award. He is a member of the Foundation for International Studies and the European-Iran Examining Foundation.
Hukuk ve İdare Adamı Olarak Osmanlı Devleti'nde Kadı (The Kadi (judge) in the Ottoman Empire as a Man of Law and Administration), Türkiye İdare Tarihine Giriş (Introduction to the History of Public Administration in Turkey), İstanbul'dan Sayfalar (Pages from İstanbul), İmparatorluğun En Uzun Yüzyılı (The Empire’s Longest Century) İlber Ortaylı ile Tarihin Sınırlarına Yolculuk (A Journey to the Borders of History with İlber Ortaylı, edited by Mustafa Armağan, 2001), Osmanlı Toplumunda Aile (The Family in the Ottoman Society, 2001), Osmanlı İmparatorluğunda İktisadi ve Sosyal Değişim, Gelenekten Geleceğe (Economic and Social Change in the Ottoman Empire, from Tradition to the Future, 2002), İlber Ortaylı ile Tarihin Sınırlarına Yolculuk (A Journey to the Borders of History with İlber Ortaylı, an interview by Taha Akyol, 2002), Osmanlı Mirasından Cumhuriyet Türkiye'sine İlber Ortaylı ile Konuşmalar (From Ottoman Heritage to Republican Turkey, Conversations with İlber Ortaylı, 2002).