An Introduction to the History of the Turkish Philosophy-Science

When the Turks entered the Islamic civilization as a political force in 1040, the latter was about 400 years old and was disintegrated politically and intellectually. Trying to construct a common/meta language, the Turkish scholars first adopted the concept of Being developed earlier by Muslim predecessors, then reached a common framework for the expression of the knowledge regarding Being. Ibn al-Arabi's system had produced a common vision of Being/God, creating the possibility of a common metaphysics. The meta/common language was composed, with the contributions of Fahreddin al-Razi, by Necmeddin Kazvini and Siraceddin Urmevi within the framework of Avicenna's philosophy, which had been influenced by al-Ghazali. It might be argued that, due to this language, starting from Avicenna, the different traditions of thought in the Islamic philosophy-science have been complimentary with each other rather than conflictual and exclusive. The Islamic-Turkish philosophy-science has profoundly analyzed the paradigm that was shaped by Avicenna and Ibn al-Haytham. For this reason, Turkish thought is a natural extension of the earlier Islamic tradition. This, however, is based on further verification (tahqîq) and analysis (tadqîq), rather than mere imitation (taklîd). Also, the madrasas made it possible to transmit knowledge through generations and thus the socialization of theoretical knowledge, which in turn led to the systematic analysis of social problems. In conclusion, it may be said that the substance of the Islamic philosophy-science was formed before the Turks, and its form by them; the combination of substance and form was achieved in the Ottoman period.


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