Celâl Şengör

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Ali Mehmet Celâl Şengör[1]
Ali Mehmet Celâl Şengör.jpg
Şengör, while explaining the short arms of Tyrannosaurus rex (at the back) in Musee d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (2005).
Born (1955-03-24) 24 March 1955 (age 62)
İstanbul, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Occupation Professor of Geology
Years active 1974 -
Known for Tectonics of Turkey and Asia
Awards Bigsby Medal (1999)
Gustav-Steinmann-Medaille (2010)

Ali Mehmet Celâl Şengör (born 24 March 1955) is a Turkish geologist. He is currently on the faculty at Istanbul Technical University, Department of Geological Engineering.[2] After graduating from Robert College, he received his PhD from the State University of New York, Albany in 1982. He also writes a weekly popular science columns in the center-left daily Cumhuriyet.[3] He is married and has one child named Asım Şengör.

Professor Şengör is a (foreign) member of The American Philosophical Society, The United States National Academy of Sciences and The Russian Academy of Sciences. Actually, he is the second Turkish prominent professor who is elected as a member by the Russian Academy of Sciences after Professor ordinarius Mehmet Fuat Köprülü. And he was decorated with the coveted Gustav-Steinmann Medaille —the highest distinction of the Geologische Vereinigung e.V.


Professional experience[edit]

  • Autumn 1974 Undergraduate assistant, University of Houston, Geology Department
  • 1975-1976 Research assistant in tectonics and regional geology, University of Houston,Geology Department
  • April–May 1980 Maître de Conference at the Université de Paris-Sud, Laboratoire de Géologie Historique, Orsay, France
  • 1981-1986 Lecturer, İstanbul Technical University, Department of Geology, General Geology Section.
  • 1986-1992 Reader, İstanbul Technical University, Department of Geology, General Geology Section.
  • 1992–present Professor of Geology, İstanbul Technical University, Department of Geology, General Geology Section
  • 1983-1995 Associate Editor, Tectonics
  • 1983-1990 Editorial Advisory Board Member, Journal of Structural Geology.
  • 1983–present Editorial Advisory Board Member, Earth Evolution Sciences
  • 1984-1998 Editorial Board Member, Tectonophysics
  • 1985-1977 Editorial Advisory Board Member, Bulletin of the İstanbul Technical University (converted to ARI in 1977)
  • 1987-1995 Editorial Board Member, Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae
  • 1988–present Editorial Board Member Bulletin of the Turkish Association of Petroleum Geologists.
  • 1989-1995 Associate Editor, Geological Society of American Bulletin.
  • 1990–present Editorial Board Member, Geologica Balcanica
  • 1992–present Editorial Board Member, Türk Yerbilimleri Dergisi (Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences)
  • 1984–present International Lithosphere Project, WG 2 Member
  • 1987-1991 International Lithosphere Project, WG 2, Chairman of Eastern Tethys PanelDec.1983,
  • 1984 May -1985 July Visiting Scientist, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, Texas
  • 1984-1986 Ocean Drilling Program, national representative for Turkey
  • 1985-1987 Member of NATO Scientific Affairs Division Special Programme Panel on Global Transport Mechanisms in the Geo-Sciences.
  • 1986-1990 European Science Foundation Consortium for Ocean Drilling Program Science Committee (ESCOM) member.
  • 1986-1987 and 1990–present TÜBİTAK Basic Research Institute, Department of Earth Sciences (Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey); Advisor (resigned on 8 November 1992, upon the resignation of the TÜBİTAK president)
  • 1989 Visiting Research Fellow of the Royal Society of London in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford
  • 1990-1991 Committee for the Training of Young Scientists, The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), member.
  • 1991-1992 Committee for Earth Sciences, The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), member (resigned, 8 November 1992, upon the resignation of the President of the TÜBİTAK)
  • 1991-1994 The Council of the Geologische Vereinigung (Mitglied des Beirates): member, elected November 1990 (upon completion of term in 1994, elected Vice-President)
  • 1992 Advisor to the President, The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) (resigned on 8 November 1992 upon the resignation of the President)
  • 1992-1994 Yayın Kurulu Üyesi (Editorial Board Member), Bilim Tarihi (History of Science)
  • 1993–present Editorial Board Member, Earth Sciences History
  • 1993-1999 Member of the Council of the European Union of Geosciences
  • 1993-1994 Member of the Council of the Turkish Academy of Sciences
  • 1993-1994 Member of the Science Council (=executive council) of The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)
  • 1994–present Vice President of the Geologische Vereinigung (Stellvertretender Vorsitzender): elected 17 February 1994
  • 1994–present Member of the Editorial Board of the Geologische Rundschau
  • 1994–present Specially invited Board Member, Tethyan Geology (published in Chinese in Chengdu, PRC)
  • 1995–present Member of the Standing Committee for Life and Environmental Sciences (LESCO) of the European Science Foundation (ESF).
  • 1995–present Member of the Editorial Board of the International Geology Review
  • 1996 - Member, Science Centre Foundation, İstanbul
  • 1996- Member, Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı (Economic and Social History Foundation of Turkey)
  • 1997– Editor, ARI Bulletin of the Technical University of Istanbul
  • 1997- Member of the Editorial Board of the Asian Journal of Earth Sciences
  • 1998- Head of the Department of Solid Earth Sciences, Eurasian Institute of Earth Sciences, İstanbul Technical University
  • 1998- Advisor to the Minister of State responsible for TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), MTA (General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration of Turkey), and Etibank.
  • 1999- Member of the Young Scientist Award Committee of the European Union of Geosciences
  • 1999- Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Terra
  • April 2001-March 2002 Gordon W. Moore Distinguished Scholar, California Institute of Technology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
  • November 2001-November 2002 Chairman of the History of Geology Division of the Geological Society of America
  • 2005–present President of the Earth Sciences Society of Turkey

Miscellaneous experience in scholarly matters[edit]

  • 1978 Co-reviser (for"Geosynclines and Tectonics" section) for the American Geological Institute Glossary of Geology, 2nd edition.
  • 1981 Consultative Committee Member, International Symposium on Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Plateau, Beijing, China
  • 1982 Editorial Advisory board Member of the Proceedings of the International Symposium on Earthquake Prediction in the North Anatolian Fault Zone, İstanbul, 31 March – 5 April 1980.
  • 1984 International Advisory Panel Member for Tübitak Natural History Museum and Science and Technology Museum (9–12 December 1984).
  • 1985 Co-convener of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on the Tectonic Evolution of the Tethyan Regions, Istanbul, 28 September – 2 October 1985.
  • 1989 Co-convener of Symposium "Tethyan tectonostratigraphic terrane models tested". EUGV, 20–23 March 1989, Strasbourg
  • 1989 Co-convener of symposium B9: "Stratigraphy and Evolution of the Tethyan Basins" International Geological Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • 1989 Co-organizer of the Royal Society of London Discussion Meeting on' Allochthonous Terranes', 8–9 November 1989, London.
  • 1990 Co-organizer of the Eduard-SUESS-Symposium on the Development of Modern Geology and Austrian-Turkish relationships, 10 and 21 April 1990, İstanbul.
  • 1991 Co-convener of Symposium "Subduction processes, strike-slip faulting and continental collision in the Tethyan orogenic assembly" EUG, 24–28 March, Strasbourg.
  • 1992 Co-convener of Symposium I-3-24 "Tectonic evolution of Tethyan and adjacent areas" 29th Int. Geol. Congr., Kyoto, Japan, 28 August 1992
  • 1996 Co-convener of two symposia in the 30th Int. Geol. Congress, Beijing, China, but was unable to attend.
  • 1999 Co-convener of Symposium D06, "Inter-Relations between Palaeo-Tethys and Neotethys in Europe and Asia" EUG 10, 28 March-1 April, Strasbourg, pp. 189 ff.)
  • 2002 Member of Wissenschaftliches Kommitee of Pangeo I, Austria, Erdwissenschaften in Österreich/Earth Sciences in Austria, 28. — 30. 6. 2002, Salzburg.
  • 2009 Chairman of the 62nd Geological Kurultai [=Congress] of Turkey, 13–17 April, Ankara, Turkey

Membership in scientific societies[edit]

Distinguished lectures[edit]

  • 'The Tectonics of Asia': James Wright Memorial Lecture, Edinburgh Geological Society, 30 March 1988, Edinburgh.
  • 'Evolution of the Tethys': Annual Lecture of the Sylvester-Bradley Geological Society, 16 February 1990, Leicester.
  • ‘Turkic-type orogeny in the Altaids: Implications for the evolution of continental crust’: The 34th Bennett Lecture, Geology Department, Leicester University, 8 March 1993
  • 'Eduard Suess "Die Tethys" Vor 100 Jahren und Heute': Festvortrag anläßlich der 100 jährigen Geschichte des Begriffs am 18. November 1993 ('Eduard Suess "The Tethys" 100 years ago and today': Celebration lecture on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the "Tethys" concept, University of Vienna).
  • İhsan Ketin: Hayatı ve Eserleri (İhsan Ketin: His Life and Work): The First Ketin Lecture, İstanbul Technical University, İstanbul, 16 December 1996
  • 'Tectonics of the Altaids in Asia, and the evolution of the continental crust' and 'Is the present the key to the past or is the past the key to the present: An ongoing debate in geology as a general problem in historical sciences': Lewis G. Weeks Lectures, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geology and Geophysics, 4 and 5 October 2001.
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists Distinguished Lecturer, 9 to 19 March 2004, Eastern Europe (Budapest, Bratislava, Brno, Prag, Warsaw, Bucharest, Kiev)
  • 'The Geology of the Middle East': The 6th Annual Robert E. Sheriff Dinner Lecture, University of Houston Geoscience Department and the University of Houston Geoscience Alumni Association, 15 November 2004.

Fossils named after Şengör[edit]

  • Sengoerina argandi ALTINER, 1999: Altıner, D., 1999, Sengoerina argandi, n. gen., n. sp., and its position in the evolution of Late Permian biseriamminid foraminifers: Micropaleontology, v. 45, pp. 215–22.[4]
  • Dicapnuchosphaera sengori TEKİN, 1999: Tekin, U. K., 1999, Biostratigraphy and Systematics of Late Middle to Late Triassic Radiolarians from the Taurus Mountains and Ankara Region, Turkey: Geologisch-Paläontologische Mitteilungen Innsbruck, Sonderband 5, pp. 296 (see p. 75 and plate 5, figs. 3-6).[5]
  • Sengoerichthys ottoman JANVIER, CLÉMENT and CLOUTIER, 2007: Janvier, P., Clément, G. and Cloutier, R., 2007, A primitive megalichthyid fish (Sarcopterygii, Tetrapodomorpha) from the Upper Devonian of Turkey and its biogeographical implications: Geodiversitas, v. 29, pp. 249–268.[6]


Celâl Şengör is vocal in his support of Turkish military and the 1980 military coup in Turkey. In a very controversial interview published on the website of Radikal newspaper, Şengör argued that the root cause of Turkey's political problems was the lack of an aristocratic class, which would lead the society in cultural life and politics. According to Şengör, Turkish military is the only elite class in society, and their refinement and education make them qualified for rule. Most controversially, he expressed his unqualified approval of every policy of the military regime between 1980 and 1982 in Turkey.[7][8] Şengör later apologized for his remarks and claimed that he was misunderstood.[9]



  • 1982 (with A. Miyashiro and K. Aki) Orogeny: J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 242 pp.[10]
  • 1984 The Cimmeride Orogenic System and the Tectonics of Eurasia: Geoloical Society of America Special Paper 195, xi+82 pp.[11]
  • 1989 (Editor). Tectonic Evolution of the Tethyan Region: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.[12]
  • 1990 (Co-editor with J.F. Dewey, Ian G. Gass, G.B. Curry, and N.B.W. Harris) Allochthonous Terranes: Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, v. 331, pp. 455–647.[13]
  • 1992 Plate Tectonics and Orogeny - A Tethyan Perspective: Fu Dan University Press, Shanghai, 4 +2 + 182 pp. (in Chinese; this book is a combined translation of items 88 and 97 in the Papers section plus a preface added on 6 July 1991)[14]
  • 1998 (with N. Görür, A. Okay, N. Özgül, O. Tüysüz, M. Sakınç, R. Akkök, E., Yiğitbaş, T. Genç, S. Örçen, T. Ercan, B. Akyürek, F. Şaroğlu) Türkiye'nin Triyas-Miyosen Paleocoğrafya Atlası, editör: Naci Görür (Triassic to Miocene Palaeogeographic Atlas of Turkey, Naci Görür, editor): İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, Maden Fakültesi, Jeoloji Mühendisliği Bölümü, Genel Jeoloji Anabilim Dalı TÜBİTAK—Global Tektonik Araştırma Ünitesi ve Maden Tetkik ve Arama Genel Müdürlüğü, Jeoloji Etütleri Dairesi, Ankara, [IV]+41pp.+30 pp. of maps and sections, oblong elephant folio.[15]
  • 2001 Is the Present the Key to the Past or the Past the Key to the Present? James Hutton and Adam Smith versus Abraham Gottlob Werner and Karl Marx in Interpreting History: Geological Society of America Special Paper 355, x+51 pp.[16]
  • 2001 (with X. Le Pichon and E. Demirbağ) Marine Atlas of the Sea of Marmara (Turkey) IFREMER, Paris, 13 pp. of Explanatory text, 11 foldout maps.[17]
  • 2003 The Large Wavelength Deformations of the Lithosphere: Materials for a history of the evolution of thought from the earliest times to plate tectonics: Geological Society of America Memoir 196, xvii+347 pp.+ 3 folded plates in pocket[18]
  • 2004 Yaşamın Evrimi Fikrinin Darwin Dönemi Sonuna Kadarki Tarihi (History of the Idea of the Evolution of Life to the End of Darwin’s Period): İTÜ Yayınevi, İstanbul, 187 pp.[19]
  • 2005 Une Autre Histoire de la Tectonique: Leçons Inaugurales du Collège de France, Fayard, Paris, 79 pp.[20]
  • 2006 99 Sayfada İstanbul Depremi (The İstanbul Earthquake in 99 Pages): İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, İstanbul, 99 pp.[21]
  • 2009 (with S. Atayman) The Permian Extinction and the Tethys: An Exercise in Global Geology: Geological Society of America Special Paper 448, x+96 pp.[22]
  • 2009 Globale Geologie und ihr Einfluss auf das Denken von Eduard Suess Der Katastrophismus Uniformitarianismus-Streit: Scripta Geo-Historica, v. 2, 181 pp.[23]
  • 2009 (with B. A. Natal’in) Rifti Mira (uchebno-spavochnoye posobie): Geokart, Moskva, 187 pp. (Russian translation of item 166 below plus a preface)


  1. ^ Celâl Şengör was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2000.
  2. ^ "ITU Genel Jeoloji Ogretim Elemanlari - Faculty of General Geology Division, Celal Sengor, Naci Gorur, Aral Okay, Okan Tuysuz, Namik Cagatay, Nilgun Okay, Serdar Akyuz, Ercan Ozcan, Ziyadin Cakir, Boris Natalin". Web.itu.edu.tr. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  3. ^ "Bilim Teknik-A. M. CELAL ŞENGÖR-8.11.2013 Günü 7. Sayfa". Cumhuriyetarsivi.com. 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  4. ^ "Sengoerina Altiner, 1999" (PDF). Micropress.org. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  5. ^ "Dicapnuchosphaera sengori". Fossilworks. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  6. ^ "A primitive megalichthyid fish (Sarcopterygii, Tetrapodomorpha)" (PDF). Mnhn.fr. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  7. ^ "Academic Celal Şengör under fire for supporting 1980 military coup, ‘insignificant’ torture". DailySabah. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  8. ^ "Dışkı yedirmek işkence değildir - ARMAĞAN ÇAĞLAYAN". Radikal. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  9. ^ "Celal Şengör özür diledi - Milliyet.com.tr". MİLLİYET HABER - TÜRKİYE'NİN HABER SİTESİ. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  10. ^ "Orogeny (Book, 1984)". [WorldCat.org]. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  11. ^ "The Cimmeride Orogenic System and the Tectonics of Eurasia" (PDF). Specialpapers.gsapubs.org. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  12. ^ Tectonic Evolution of the Tethyan Region. Springer. ISBN 978-94-009-2253-2. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  13. ^ "Allochthonous Terranes by J. F. Dewey | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble". Barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  14. ^ "Plate tectonics and orogenic research after 25 years: A Tethyan perspective". Earth-Science Reviews. 27: 1–201. 1990-04-30. doi:10.1016/0012-8252(90)90002-D. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  15. ^ "Jeoloji Etütleri Daire Başkanlığı". Mta.gov.tr. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  16. ^ "Geological Society of America - Philosophy of the Guessing Game of Geology - Press Release". Geosociety.org. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  17. ^ Marine Atlas of the Sea of Marmara (Turkey): Data Collected on Board R.V. Le ... - Claude Rangin, Emin Demirbađ, Ýmren Caner, Alban Crusson, Xavier Le Pichon, A. M. Celâl Ţengör. 2002-05-02. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  18. ^ A.M.C Şengör (2009-04-01). "The large-wavelength deformations of the lithosphere: Materials for a history of the evolution of thought from the earliest times to plate tectonics". Memoirs.gsapubs.org. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  19. ^ "İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi Vakfı". Ituvakif.org.tr. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  20. ^ "Une autre histoire de la tectonique | Fayard" (in French). Fayard.fr. 2005-04-20. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  21. ^ Celal Şengör. "99 Sayfada İstanbul Depremi | Simurg Kitabevi Sahaf Müzayede, Türkiye'nin Entelektüel Birikimi Books on Turkey | İndirimli, Yeni, İkinci el, Nadir, Osmanlıca, Yabancı dil, Kitaplar, Dergiler". Simurg.com.tr. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  22. ^ The Permian Extinction and the Tethys: An Exercise in Global Geology - A. M. Celâl ?engör, Saniye Atayman. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  23. ^ "Globale Geologie und ihr Einfluss auf das Denken von Eduard Suess: Der Katastrophismus-Uniformitarianismus-Streit: Amazon.co.uk: A. M. Celâl Sengör: Books". Amazon.co.uk. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 

External links[edit]