Student Reflections

 “Donald Quataert had been a constant source of inspiration for me since I first read his Social Disintegration and Popular Resistance in the Ottoman Empire, 1881-1908 as an undergraduate in the late 1990s. During my Binghamton years and beyond, I felt lucky to have him as my advisor and mentor. Through his stimulating works on Ottoman labor history, seminars, friendly conversations, generosity, and kindness he provided a foundation for me as both a scholar and a human being. I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to work with him.” 

-Dr. Can Nacar, Koc University 

“Having the chance to work with Prof. Donald Quataert was one of the greatest experiences in my life. I do not need to explain his contributions to the field of Ottoman social and economic history. His work speaks for itself and anyone who reads it will appreciate its value. Instead, as someone who had the chance to work with him closely for five years, I want to underline his personality which made me admire his intellectual capacity even more. Donald Quataert is the humblest academician that I ever met in my life. I think the more he advanced intellectually in his field, the more “down to earth” a person he became in his personal life. I believe this also helped him to get access more easily into the mindset of the workers and peasants about whom he conducted research. I wish life would have treated him more fairly so that he would have more time to share with us. Nonetheless, I enjoyed every minute I spent with him. I still remember our annual apple-picking rituals with a smile on my face, any time I eat an apple. Thank you for being my mentor Prof. Quataert…”                   

-Dr. Fulya Özkan, Akdeniz University 

“Donald Quataert was truly a special mentor and person. I first met him as a 23-year-old prospective graduate student in spring 2006. I arrived in Binghamton with my partner (now wife) and he very graciously showed us around campus and town, and took us to lunch at the Park Diner. I knew then that I wanted to come to Binghamton to work with him. I was very green when I arrived as a graduate student that fall. His students were almost entirely from Turkey with extensive backgrounds in the field. However, he was patient with me and supported my research interests even as they evolved. A few months before his death, he attended presentation of mine on a dissertation chapter that I was particularly proud of. He expressed genuine surprise and amazement at my findings. He could be tough to please, and it was gratifying to know that he saw what I was doing as original and interesting. It was the only opportunity he had to engage with the work that would later become the basis of my first book. I regret that he never had the opportunity to read it. He continues to influence my work to this day, and I am glad to see that through these scholarships and other initiatives, his legacy continues to positively impact the work of undergraduate and graduate students at Binghamton.”

Dr. David Gutman, Manhattanville College 

“Donald Quataert was unquestionably one of the most prominent scholars in the field of Ottoman history. He formulated several new research agendas and developed fresh perspectives to approach to some foundational questions in the field. For me, besides his identity as a researcher he was also very special as an educator. He was one of those rare educators who genuinely wanted his students to achieve better than him and did his best to support them. Today, when I encounter difficult situations with my students or colleagues in my professional life, where I strive to find the right thing to do, I often find myself reflecting over what Prof. Quataert might have done. I feel myself very lucky to have such a mentor who taught me a lot in the past and is still continuing to inspire me in many ways.”

 -Gülhan Balsoy, Bilgi University