Dr. Serap Ekizler Sönmez is a historian and specialist in Islamic geometric patterns. Dr. Sonmez’s breadth of knowledge stems from her extensive travels to notable Islamic heritage architectural sites consisting of exemplary geometric patterns.
Her exposure derives from visits to Iran, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Morocco, and India, notwithstanding her immersion and first-hand experience in her native country, Turkiye. In addition, Dr. Sönmez’s expertise in the theological and historical analysis of geometric patterns extends to noteworthy academic research.
Dr. Sönmez completed her Ph.D. in the spring of 2022, addressing the histories of science, Islamic art, architecture, and geometric patterns.
Her dissertation, “The History of Geometric Patterns in Turkish and Islamic Art: Methodology, Applications, and Analysis in the Context of the Topkapi Scroll,” is a monumental work that pioneers a complete understanding of the subject matter.
Here is a short excerpt from the introductory foreword by the great geometer Jay Bonner:
“There is a distinct need for burgeoning scholars who are focused upon a wholistic and highly detailed approach to Islamic geometric patterns, who are well-versed in historical design methodology – especially those associated with the polygonal technique, and with the nuanced application of these practices to the wide geometric diversity associated with the width and breadth of this tradition. And additionally, scholars who are dedicated to placing this knowledge into historical context. Serap Ekizler Sönmez is just such a scholar. Her work is fresh and original, interpreting the historical masterpieces of Islamic geometric art through sound geometric analysis and methodological knowledge and providing a greater understanding of the historical relevance of individual examples within broader historical trends throughout the long history of this tradition. What is more, and of particular interest to me, is her ability to design original patterns that meet the aesthetic criteria of the highest quality of Islamic geometric design from the past. Academia needs more high-caliber scholars in this field, and the pioneering work of Serap Ekizler Sönmez helps to fill this void. As one of her teachers in this discipline (albeit informal), I have had the pleasure of working with her and tracking her scholarly evolution over the past ten years. I am very familiar with her intelligence and dedication, as well as with her remarkable creativity. It is therefore my distinct honor to provide this foreword for this exceptional scholar’s Ph.D. thesis.”
‘Author of Islamic Geometric Patterns: Their Historical Development and Traditional Methods of Construction.’ Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
He has served as a judge at a number of Quran competitions in Istanbul. A sought-after translator and editor at embassies and conferences (and even by the mayor of Istanbul!) in Arabic and Turkish, he also converses in English and Malay.