Open Lectures on Freemasonry

What is Open Lectures on Freemasonry?

In this era where the printed and manuscript word becomes ever more available through digital technology, new wider panoramas for the curious can open. OpenLFM, through its online lecture series on Freemasonry given by prominent scholars, will aim to demonstrate a range of new perspectives for academics, Freemasons or simply the curious.

Lectures are audible, within technical limits, to those who are interested in the topic to be presented. Participation requires prior registration. Registration is free of charge. Registered users will be invited to OpenLFM Googlegroups and will be informed about forthcoming activities. OpenLFM beholds the right to reject any registration with no further explanation.

Next Lecture

Ottoman Grand East By The Fall Of The Empire

Yavuz Selim Agaoglu

June 26,2021 18:00 GMT


Ottoman Empire (1299-1922) was one of the most significant role players in the history of Europe, Middle East and Mediterranean territory and as far as analysing the historical aspects of freemasonry, Ottoman Freemasonry is important to focus on. Even though the history of freemasonry in Ottoman Empire dates back to the first half of 18th century, Ottoman Grand East was founded in 1909 after the local Ottoman intellectual elits were introduced to freemasonry. The cosmopolitan Ottoman freemasons who were also united in political oppositons based on the western values and modernization of the empire played a symbolic role as a bridge between The East and The West. But the unevitable collapse of the Ottoman Empire had dramatic impacts on Ottoman Grand East like any other institution in terms of physical conditions as well as ideas. Ottoman Grand East found itself in the midst of wars and political struggles and consequently there was no lodge left outside of Istanbul. Nevertheless the experience through the years along with ups and downs and the strength of the roots of masonic tradition in Ottoman world had an interesting comeback afterwards.

Unfortunately this exciting story of Ottoman Grand East is partially covered with rumors, tales, legends and conspiracy theories. Taking into consideration of very limited number of archive materials, one can say that Ottoman Grand East is still like an “undiscovered continent” and an open field for further studies. Therefore, the recently found minutes of the meetings of the Grand Lodge Officers covering the era of 1917-1920 and 1920-1924 has an exceptional importance. In this presentation we shall take one more step only by the help of accurate archive materials which were brought to light recently and try to achieve an enriched perception exercise towards a better understanding of masonic culture of Ottoman Grand East and the interaction between different masonic traditions in this wide geography by the fall of empire.


Chair&Post-Discussant M. Remzi Sanver


Yavuz Selim Agaoglu majored in engineering, business administration and philosophy. He is the worshipful master of Izmir Valley Research Lodge. His research on the history of Freemasonry in Turkey along with his studies on archive texts in Ottoman language have been published as conferences, articles and books. His research was rewarded three times by the Grand Lodge of Turkey in 2005, 2012 and 2017. He is also the 2011 laureate of the Outstanding Service Award of the Supreme Council for Turkey.

M. Remzi Sanver (https://sanver.bilgi.edu.tr) is a senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). His research on mathematical social sciences has lead to 70 scientific papers cited more than 1000 times. Sanver is a past grand master of the Grand Lodge of Turkey and has published 7 monographs on Freemasonry, on topics ranging from history of Freemasonry in Turkey to spiritual aspects of the order.

Only registered users could get an invitation which will be sent before the lecture date. Please note that the size of the audience is limited by technical capacities.


Yavuz Selim Agaoglu

M. Remzi Sanver