The aim of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul is to promote Swedish research – first and foremost in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences – in Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean as well as other regions that are connected to these linguistically, culturally, or historically.
SRII is funded by the Swedish Ministry of Education. The Institute is run by a Director stationed in Istanbul with a staff consisting of an administrator and a librarian in Istanbul and an assistant director and controller in Stockholm. At present, two senior research fellows with 3-year external grants are also working at the Institute in Istanbul.
The board of the Institute is headed by a President appointed by the Swedish Government with most other board members elected by a Collegium of Researchers associated to the Institute.
The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul was established in 1962, when it was at first given access to small lodgings at the Consulate General of Sweden on a site bought by the Swedish state in the year 1757 for the then Swedish Embassy in Ottoman Constantinople.
In 1974, the so-called Dragoman House, situated behind the Palais de Suède of the Consulate General and once the home of interpreters (dragomans) working for the Swedish diplomats, came into the possession of the Research Institute. After several phases of restoration work, the Dragoman House at present comprises the secretariat and library of the Institute, as well as an auditorium and, on the top floor of the building, the residence of the Director.
Next to the Dragoman House is a guest house with rooms for 10-15 guests, kitchen facilities, two seminar rooms and a beautiful terrace. The guest rooms, in the first place intended for scholarship holders and researchers from the Nordic countries, are booked at the secretariat of the Institute.
Paavo Roos, Archaeologist (1990)
Pontus Hellström, Archaeologist (1990-1992)
Bengt Knutsson, Arabist (1992-1999)
Elisabeth Özdalga, Sociologist (1999-2002)
Karin Ådahl, Art historian (2002-2008)
Elisabeth Özdalga, Sociologist (2008-2011)
Birgit Schlyter, Turkologist (2012 – )