We are grieving the passing of the great Turkologist and Ottomanist scholar György Hazai in Budapest on 7 January, 2016. György Hazai was both a full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), also an honorary member of numerous scholarly institutions and organisations including the Turkish Language Association (TDK), the American Oriental Society, the Deutsche Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, and the Societas Uralo-Altaica. He received numerous academic and state honours and citations.
The range of his scholarly research included Turkology in general, Ottoman and Turkish linguistic history, transcription texts, Turkish dialects, historical documents, and Old-Turkish Studies.
His publications in the field of Turkish Bibliography and Documentation proved to be especially influential, in particular his on-going Bibliography of Turkish and Ottoman Studies, the Turkologischer Anzeiger/Turkology Annual (TA), which he initiated and published in collaboration with the unforgettable Turkologist Andreas Tietze.
By means of his work at several universities and in numerous scholarly organisations he contributed to the development of Turkology but also of Oriental Studies generally.
Unfailingly he worked to build bridges between scholarly traditions, people, and lands. As president of the 12th Annual Meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference (PIAC) in Berlin in 1969, he succeeded in assembling an impressive mix of orientalists from both the East and the West, a remarkable achievement which cannot be overestimated, given the historical situation at that time.
György Hazai brought scholarly discourse to its foremost level, innovating with new problems and solutions. In these efforts he was always intensely interested in the exchange of ideas and cooperation within a widely-conceived and internationally-spread network of colleagues.