Biography of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
(Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation)
Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of Turkey is the first by-vote-elected Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Ever since he took the office as the ninth Secretary General in January 2005, he has taken serious steps to make the 57 member states organization as an effective organization.
Since his association with the OIC from 1980 as founding Director General of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Culture and Arts (IRCICA) in Istanbul, Prof. Dr. Ihsanoglu has pioneered activities towards creating awareness about Islamic culture across the world through research, publishing, and organizing congresses in various fields, including history of arts and sciences, and intercultural relations. Furthermore, he has initiated and supervised programs for the protection and promotion of the written and the architectural heritage of Islamic civilization in various countries. He has also contributed to scholarly debates on intercultural dialogues. With his institutional and personal initiatives, he has earned recognition at intellectual circles as a leading contributor to rapprochement between cultures, particularly between the Muslim and Western worlds.
Prof. Dr. Ihsanoglu objectively lays out the urgency for socio-economic reforms in the Muslim world in order to achieve progress and development. He ardently supports the rights of the Muslim minorities and respect for human rights globally, which he passionately advocated both in his writings and speeches.
Prof. Dr. Ihsanoglu was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1943. He received his B.S. at Ain Shams University in 1966 and master’s degree in chemistry in 1970. After completing his Ph.D. studies at Ankara University, Turkey in 1974, he did his post-doctoral research from 1975 to 1977 as a research fellow at University of Exeter, the United Kingdom.
He served as a faculty member in faculties of science and then became the first professor and founding Head of the Department of History of Science of Istanbul University. He is also the founding Chairman of Turkish Society for History of Science (TBTK) and ISAR Foundation. He further served as the President of International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS) between 2001 and 2005. He is member of various international societies; scientific councils, advisory boards of numerous academies, centres and institutes, and editorial boards of many journals in a number of Islamic and western countries.
He wrote numerous books, articles and papers in Turkish, English and Arabic on science, history of science, Islamic culture, Turkish culture, relations between the Muslim world and the Western world, and Turkish-Arab relations, some of which were translated to several eastern and western languages.
He was conferred with medals by kings and presidents as well as with honorary doctorates by a number of universities around the world.
He is fluent in Turkish, English and Arabic languages and has a working knowledge in French and Persian. He is married and the father of three young men.