Semerkand School of Mathematics-Astronomy as a Background of the Ottoman Philosopy-Science

In the first part of this study, the conceptual universe of the Semerkand School of Mathematics-Astronomy, which was one the most significant pillars of the Ottoman philosophico-scientific system, is described within its historical context; the mentality of those philosopher-scientists who constructed that conceptual universe is analyzed; and the ways in which, and the persons by whom, that mentality has been transmitted to the Ottoman land is examined. The second part presents the description of a lecture in the school recorded by Fethullah Sirvanî in his Şerhu't-tezkire fi ilmi'l-hey'e, who was an important member of the school, together with the translation and critical edition of his icazetname (diploma) that Sirvanî received from his tutor Kadizade. Then, this icazetname is evaluated with reference to the framework given in the first part regarding the School, and new issues and questions that this text brings into view about the known history of the Semerkand School are underlined.

A Method in the Administration of Non-muslim Groups in the Ottoman Empire: The System of Religious Iltizam

This article inquires into the method (Iltizam System) that had been used by the Ottoman Empire in the administration of its non-muslim groups between 1453-1856. The main argument of the article is that the non-muslim groups in the Ottoman Empire had been administrated according to Iltizam system instead of millet system. Using the documents from the Ottoman Archives various approaches to millet system have been criticized. On the basis of this argument how non-muslims applied their own legal system and how this application had been harmonized with the Ottoman legal structure have been analyzed.

An Early Assessment of the Modern Turkish Thought: Ahmed Muhiddin (1892-1923)

As a poor but highly competent student, Ahmed Muhiddin attended to Vefa high school and after graduation to the department of literature at Istanbul Darulfünun (Istanbul University). During the First World War he went to Germany and there he completed his doctorate, while at the same time working as lecturer in Turkish. Since his years in Istanbul as a student, he established close contact with the leading intellectuals and men of letters of his time, especially with Ziya Gökalp. Even before moving to Germany, he participated in the intellectual debates with his writings on the topic of national economy. At the University of Leipzig, where he served since 1916, Muhiddin focused in his lectures on the modern literary and intellectual developments in Turkey, and played a hardly negligible role in attracting the attention of the German academia to this area. In his doctoral dissertation (Die Kulturbewegung im modernen Türkei), which he presented to the University of Leipzig in 1921, Ahmed Muhiddin brings in question the cultural changes, and their impact on the mental-intellectual transformations, that began to emerge since the 18th century in the Ottoman Empire. Especially stressed among these transformations are the place and importance of modern Turkish poetry, and the transformation of the conception of religion. This early study, with its attempt at giving the full story of the modern Turkish thought from its beginning to Muhiddin's own time, and centering on the main trends and representative figures, stands out as the first of its kind and displays an authentic approach.

Molla Lutfi Tokadi (d. 900/1494): His Life, Works and Philosophical Thoughts

Molla Lutfi (d. 900/1494) was one of the outstanding figures of the Ottoman times. His unjust execution took an important part from the Turkish culture. He was put to death by the jealous scholars of his time. The claims put forward, which caused the death of Molla Lutfi, were not valid, and the judgement for his execution has always been a point of discussion both in his time and in the following years. That he always criticised other scholars plays very important role in his death. Molla Lutfi wrote a lot on philosophy, theology, classification of sciences, maths, logic and linguistics. Among his works Taz‘îf al-Mazbah which is about math and deals with “Delos Problem” (Doublication of the Altar), Mavzûât al-‘Ulûm (Subject Matters of Sciences) in which he made the classification of sciences and Risâle fî Uslu Şucâ‘ in which he criticised the scientific and administrative structure of his time are original books in their own fields. His philosophy of existence is based on Ibn Sina's thought, which is about existence and essence. He divided administration into two parts as religious and rational, and stated that both the Caliph and the Sultan should have the same qualifications. His ethics is based on the classical theory of ethics. The main purpose in ethics is to reach the good. His critical point of view, works and thoughts stated in this article differ him from the scholars of his time.

İbrahim MARAŞ
Transformative Effect of Modernism: Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Secularization of Jurisprudence (Ahkam)

S.A. Khan, who is, in the Indian subcontinent, the first and foremost representative of the modernist thought, which has arisen as a result of the increasing influence of the West in the Muslim world, stands out with his serious criticisms of the classical conception of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). In his approach to fiqh S.A. Khan, whose thought reflects substantive changes parallel to the growing impact of the British activities in the subcontinent, gives the central place to the distinction he makes between the religious matters and the secular ones. This study evaluates his arguments for the mentioned distinction, and examines some of the practical consequences of it with reference to slavery, theft, and jihad.

Decoration of Royal Tombs in Istanbul in the Classical Era

The Ottomans followed a different path from Seljukids giving up the type of crypt and conical hat and developed the type of tomb with dome. This modification has been reflected in the decoration of the construction, too. The principles of the decoration of dynasty tombs of classical age Istanbul has appeared in Bursa and has been further developed in Istanbul. Parallel with the developments in the architecture from the perspectives of plan and form, decoration aesthetically has reached its' zenith in the classical period. In order to maintain a monumental view the main body of the tomb has been lifted up and a system of double wall dome has been applied. The harem has been illuminated via two or three lines of windows. The front part has been shaped via profiled moldings and colorful stones have rarely been used. Colonnade could never be given up. The portal, which had been shaped with basket handled, has taken their classical shape as with mukarnas or pointed arch. The classical Ottoman decoration has freed itself from Persian and Anatolian influences and developed the Istanbul type. Ornaments have been arranged so that they fit to the structure. To all material similar ornaments has been applied. As a result, the Ottoman tomb architecture and search for innovations in its decoration has began in Bursa, developed in Istanbul and reached to its aesthetic ratios and classical type with the School of Sinan.

Semavi EYİCE

Book Reviews

Iqbal Studies in Turkey

The aim of this article and bibliographic study is to make a contribution from the point of view of index materials to Iqbal studies occuring especially in Turkey as well as in other countries where Turkish language is spoken. In order to establish sure and strong relations between Iqbal, who was interested in the Anatolian lands having the Ottoman heritage, and the Turkish people living in those fertile lands, first of all, it is necessary that Iqbal is to be enough known. We think that two institutional developments are necessary in Turkey so that the Turkish people can learn Iqbal's real dimensions and studies on Iqbal can achieve a great depth in Turkey. First, an Iqbal Library should be founded, where one must find all what he looks for about Iqbal. Second, an Institute of Iqbal Researches should be established. Furthermore, a web site ought to be created in Turkish by this Institute, making Iqbal's works available to individuals all over the world who wants to reach Iqbal's works in Turkish.

M. Cüneyt KAYA
Philipp Schweinfurth and His Conference at Istanbul University on the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Conquest

This study first gives an account of the life and works of Philipp Schweinfurth (1887-1954), who served as the professor of the Byzantine history of art at the department of literature in the University of Istanbul, during 1950-54; and then presents the text of his conference he presented in German on June 2, 1953, in the symposium arranged due to the 500th anniversary of the conquest of Istanbul. In his speech, titled "the Byzantine State and Culture Toward 1453", Schweinfurth analyzes the situation of the Byzantine state before the conquest with great erudition.