At the root of the crises the Turkish society has been experiencing, lies lack of a flourishing intellectual tradition and aesthetic perspective. This ever-present question is well known by many, but not properly dealt with.
In 1986, a group of young intellectuals who fully understood this problem came together to focus on overcoming the psychological and intellectual barriers that blocked its solution.
1995: Upper-level curricula diversified with additional programs.
1996: BİSAV begins to publish its first academic journal, Divan: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, aimed at engaging the dominant intellectual tradition, on the one hand, and helping to revitalize our own tradition, on the other.
1997: BİSAV keeps moving forward steadily. The bulletin that informs the public about the foundation’s activities reaches its 40th issue.
1998: BİSAV’s website (www.bisav.org.tr) is launched in order to facilitate better and more interactive communication.
1999: Special seminar program on the “700th Anniversary of the Ottoman Empire”
2000: Special seminar program on the “2nd Millennium of Christianity and Western Civilization”
2001: After a fifteen-year formative period, the Foundation for Sciences and Arts is at the threshold of a new era: BİSAV moves to its new location in Vefa; BİSAV’s four research centers -- MAM, TAM, KAM, and SAM -- are founded.
First specialized symposium on “Critical Approaches to Islamic Legal Literature in the Modern Period” held.
The Divan journal’s 10th issue released.
2002: 10th Annual Student Symposium held with many presentations from different disciplines.
2003: BİSAV’s second academic journal, Turkish Studies Review (TALİD), is launched with the aim of contributing to the study of Turkey and Turkish history.
A symposium is held on “Istanbul’s 550th Anniversary: City and Civilization.”
2004: The first issue of the “Notes” series, aimed at maintaining the written memory of BİSAV, is released.
BİSAV’s “Bulletin” publishes its 50th issue.
The “Shadow-show Screen Cinema Group” within the Center for Art Studies (SAM) begins to publish a cinema fanzine.
An international conference on “Rethinking the Classical” is held in order to emphasize the “beacon signs that can resist the ephemeral.”
The 3rd and 4th specialized symposia on the “History of Ottoman Letters” and the “Philosophy of Nature,” respectively, are organized.
The Zeyrek Building is opened to provide more spacious offices for research centers and the BİSAV library.
2005: 14th and 15th Student Symposia are held.
2006: BİSAV organized an international conference on “Civilizations and World Orders” in which 136 academics and researchers from 29 different countries critically discussed the concepts of “civilization” and “world order.”
A national conference on the “Vefa District: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” held in order to draw attention to the significance of the Vefa district and encourage proposals for its future.
BİSAV’s “Bulletin” reaches its 60th issue, and Divan its 20th issue.
The first issue of the “Düşeyazmak”Journalis released.
The “Shadow-show Screen Group” Cinema Fanzine’s 10th issue published.
2007: The foundation’s 1001st lecture is delivered at the end of the Spring 2007 semester.
The foundation’s 6th specialized symposium, titled “Letter-by-Letter Women,” is held.
BİSAV begins to offer free Ottoman Turkish courses.
The 10th issue of “Turkish Studies Review” (TALİD) is published.
2008: The 7th specialized symposium on “Re-reading Islamic Classics” is organized.
A symposium is held on Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, where different aspects of the intellectual and poet’s work are discussed from the perspective of different disciplines.
A colloquium is offered on the subject of “Abdulhamid II on the 90th Anniversary of His Death.”
A symposium is held on the “Second Constitutional Period in the Ottoman Periphery.”
The Divan journal’s 25th issue is released.
The 10th issue of “Notes” is published.
İstanbul Şehir University is founded in order to re-present the idea(l) of the university in its ideal form in Turkey.
The size of the foundation’s library collection reaches 44,000 books and 25,000 periodicals.
2009: 20th Annual Student Symposium is held.
BİSAV’s Bulletin publishes its 70th issue.
The foundation’s 10th semester of Ottoman Turkish courses is completed.
2010: The “Divan Journal”s 29th issue is released.
The Shadow-show Screen Group’s Cinema Journal goes into publication as an e-journal.
A colloquium is organized on the subject of the “Zaydiyya”.
Another colloquium is organized on “‘Fatwa’s and ‘Fatwa’ Collections in the Ottoman Empire.”
A national symposium is held on the “Transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy.”
A specialized oral history symposium is organized on the subject of “Those who Come, Those who Leave, Those who Stay.”