Making a cosmopolitan model in Rûm: Dâ’î and 15th century Ottoman textual culture

Date
2017-09
Advisor
Kalpaklı, Mehmet
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

In this study, the texts written by the 15th century court-poet Dâ’î, his literary identity and his audience are examined within the scope of vernacularization and the concept of edeb. Therefore, it is accepted that the formation of Ottoman literature was tightly related to the vernacularization of the literary and the scriptural models of the Islamic cosmopolite, and Dâ’î is asserted to have been an actor of this process. Dâ’î’s literaryintellectual- professional identities are investigated through historical explanations/narratives and the conceptualization of the Islamic cosmopolite. In this framework, the relationship between edeb and literary-intellectual-professional identities, and the transformations occurring in the literary life of the Islamic cosmopolite after 11th-12th centuries are underlined. It is attempted to lay emphasis on the influence of this process on the formation of the court-centered literature of Anatolian and Ottoman courts. The prose texts in the genres of exegesis, calendar, inşâ, medicine-hadith, glossary-grammar translated and composed by Dâ’î are discussed with respect to edeb related identities of the Islamic cosmopolite, which is “‘ulemâ-edib”, and the identity of the poet is involved into this discussion. In addition, it is demonstrated that literary-intellectual identities are quite important in this vernacularization process. Under the aforementioned discussion, it is revealed that the targeted audience of the court-poets of the Ottoman, specifically that of Dâ’î, was not madrasah itself. Their intellectual model corresponded to the intellectual model of the Islamic cosmopolite that was giving priority to the pedagogical aspects of edeb. Therefore, Dâ’î’s audience can be named as Turkish literate/reading communities. Dâ’î’s Turkish edeb reading community is investigated through Müfredât, Si-fasl and Teressül. The “beginners” in Turkish reading community can be regarded as the focus of this chapter.

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Adab, Ahmed-i Dâ’î, Ottoman Court Poets, Reading Communities, Vernacularization
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Published Version (Please cite this version)