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He was of Crimean Tatar origin and born in Babadag, Romania. He received his LLB from the University of Istanbul, his MA from the University of Washington and his PhD from New York University. He previously worked for the UN Economics and Social Council and taught at the University of Montana (though it was called Montana State University at the time) and New York University. His final post was at Istanbul Şehir University.
- Elites and Religion: From Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic (Times, 2010)
- The Gecekondu: Rural Migration and Urbanization (Cambridge University Press; 2009)
- The Politicization of Islam (Oxford University Press, 2001)
- The Ottoman Past and Today's Turkey (Brill, 2000)
- Political and Social Thought in the Contemporary Middle East (Praeger, 1968)
- Turkey's Politics: The Transition to a Multi-Party System (Princeton University Press, 1959)
- Political Modernization in Japan and Turkey (Princeton University Press, 1964)
- An Inquiry into the Social Foundations of Nationalism in the Ottoman State (Princeton UP, 1973)
- Social Change and Politics in Turkey (Brill Leiden, 1973)
- Turkey's Foreign Policy in Transition (Brill Leiden, 1975)
- "Kemal Karpat kimdir? Kemal Karpat kaç yaşındaydı? - Son Dakika Haberler". m.milliyet.com.tr. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Kenyon, Richard L. (3 March 1979). "Interpreting The News ..Iran's Turmoil Rooted In Tenets Of Islam". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 5. Retrieved 18 November 2010.