Concerns with Turkish in divan poetry
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Köprülüzâde Mehmed Fuâd (1890-1966) collected the poems in the divan of the 16th century poet Edirneli Nazmī that he characterized as ''Türkī-yi basīt'' and published them with a long foreword under the title Dīvān-i Türkī-yi Basīt (1928). This publication paved the way to great errors that have continued to this day. Nearly everyone has believed that a serious Turkization movement began in the 16th century and that Nazmī actually put together a divan under this title. However Nazmī wrote these poems in ''Türkī-yi basīt'' simply in order to demonstrate his skill, i.e., as a game. His thousands of other poems do not show the slightest concern with avoiding foreign words; but they do demonstrate various kinds of unusual verbal skills. Although Köprülü was well aware of this, in order to conform with the nationalist movement of the period he could not refrain from exaggerating the importance of Nazmī's writing gazels in ''Türkī-yi basīt ''. This article deals with this attitude and the errors it fostered. © Ahmet Yesevi University Board of Trustees.