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Turkish Culture

Turkish Culture

Turkish Culture
Turkish culture



Various opinions have been put forward regarding the meaning of the name “Turk”. Scientific studies have shown that some communities whose names are claimed to be similar to the word “Turk” have no relation with the “Turkish” nation. 

According to these studies, the word “Turk”; It means “strength, power, strong, strong, courageous, diverse (the owner of law and order) and deriving, multiplying”.
The first state called “Turk” in history was the “Sky-Turk State”. The concept of “Turkey” as a geographical name appears in Byzantine sources for the first time in history. VI. In the 19th century, “Turkey” was used to express Central Asia. 

IX. The area from the Volga to Central Europe was called “Turkey” in the 10th and 10th centuries (Eastern Turkey = Caspian country; Western Turkey = Hungarian country); XIII. In the 19th century, Egypt and Syria were also called “Turkey”. Anatolia is XII. It has been known as “Turkey” since the 19th century.


Hun Empires

Asian Huns

The Asian Hun State is the first known Turkish state in history and brought together the Turkish tribes living in Central Asia and provided political unity. Although there is no definite information about its establishment, BC. It is understood from Chinese sources that it was founded by Teoman in 220 years and the state was turned into an empire by Mete. Hun Empire in the time of Mete; Siberia dominated the lands between the China Sea, the Sea of ​​Japan and the Caspian Sea.

After the death of Mete, the Asian Hun Empire maintained its power for a while, but due to the succession system in the state administration, that is, the state was accepted as the common property of the monarch family, every child of the emperor had the right to take over the administration, and due to the conflicts experienced as a result of marriage with the Chinese princesses, the state lost its power. It was divided into two as the Eastern and Western Hun Empire.

The Hun Empire had an economy based on horse breeding and animal husbandry in parallel with the structure of the geographical region in which it was founded. This economic structure brought along the military success of the state. In the vast steppe, which is not suitable for agriculture, the Huns, who raised horses, established a very successful centralized state system in the time of Mete, both militarily, socially and economically.


The Gokturks are the first state founded under the name of Turk in history. After the weakening and disintegration of the Hun Empire, the Göktürk State was established by providing dominance among the Turkish tribes in 552. In 745, when the Uyghurs defeated the Second Eastern Göktürk (Kutluk) Khaganate, the Göktürk state collapsed.
Information about the Gokturk period can be obtained from the Orkhon monuments erected in the Orkhon-Yenisey valley from the same period and written using the Gokturk alphabet.


In the years 745-840, the Uyghurs dominated Central Asia. The Uyghur Khaganate, which was established after the collapse of the Gokturk State, constitutes one of the most important periods of Turkish history in terms of sedentary life and dealing with trade. In 840, the Uighur domination came to an end.

State Administration in Pre-Islamic Turkish States

Khan, Hakan, Kagan, Yabgu, Tanhu: State rulers or emperors were called Han, Hakan, Kagan, Yabgu or Tanhu in pre-Islamic Turkish states.

Kut: In the Turkish belief and thought system, it is accepted that the authority to govern the state was given to the Turkish Khagan by God. This idea is called “Kut”.

Tigin: Kağan’s son is called “Tigin”.

Şad: In order to gain experience in the state administration, the sons of the Kağan were educated by people called “Şad” in various regions of the country.

Hatun: His wife, who is next to Kagan in the state administration, is called “Hatun” and when Hakan goes on a campaign, the country is ruled by “Hatun”, the ambassadors are accepted by “Hatun”. This understanding is also an important understanding in terms of showing the value given to women in Turkish culture.

Inheritance System: In the pre-Islamic Turkish states, there is no certain system about who will ascend to the throne after the death of Kagan. Since the state was considered the common property of the Khan’s family, it was common for any of the Khagan’s sons to aspire to the throne or to struggle with his other brothers to seize the throne. 

Even after Mete, who established a certain state organization, the Empire was divided between brothers, East and West. This situation caused the Turkish states to be divided in a short time and their power weakened and collapsed.

Dual System: State; It was governed by dividing east-west or right-left. Since the east is considered sacred in the Turkish belief and thought system, the center of the state was located in the east and the ruler of the state was the khan in the east. On the other hand, one of the brothers of the Kağan or the son of the Kağan was assigned to the west, and this person was given the title “Yabgu”.

Congress-Kengeş: Although the state was considered the property of the Kagan family, state affairs were carried out through the advisory council called “Kurultay” or “Kengeş”; various social, military, political and religious issues were discussed and resolved in these congresses.

Toygun: Persons who have the right to attend the convention are called “Toygun”.

Toy: Dinner meetings and entertainments organized by Kagan are called “Toy”.

Capitals: “Ötüken” during the Hun and Göktürk period, and “Karabalgasun-Ordubalık” during the Uyghur period was accepted as the capital.

Ayguci: Prime Minister

Command: Minister

Bitikçi: This word, which literally means “Writer, Writer”, was given as a title to “Clerks”, the people who made the correspondence of the state in the pre-Islamic Turkish states.

Tamgacı: The person responsible for the foreign affairs of the state is called “Tamgacı”. Tarkan: Army commanders from pre-Islamic Turkish states were called “Tarkan”.

Apa: Civil administrators with various duties within the state are called “Apa”.

Tudun: The collection and control of taxes from other states taxed by the state were carried out by officials called “Tudun”.

Judge: Judges

Judgment: Courts presided over by Hakan. Political crimes were taken into account.

Agligig: Treasury official

Religion and Belief in Pre-Islamic Turkish Society :In the pre-Islamic Turkish society, a religious belief that we can call the “Sky God Religion” was dominant. According to this belief system, the “Sky God” was sitting on the seventh floor of the sky. World; It was considered as a triple structure: earth, sky and underground. It was believed that the “Sky God” gave “Kut” to the Turkish khan to rule the world.

Shamanism: In pre-Islamic Turkish societies, religious ceremonies were administered by “Shamans” (Kam, Baksı).

Cult of Ancestors: Turks believed that life continued after death. For this reason, they would not forget their deceased ancestors, commemorate them at certain times and perform various magical practices for them. These practices are called “ancestral cults”.

Believing in the Forces of Nature:According to the old Turkish belief, every being has a soul. This belief, called “Yer-Water” spirits, constitutes an important part of the old Turkish belief system.Only the Uyghurs adopted Manichaeism and Buddhism after they settled down, the Khazars the Judaism, and the Bulgarians the Christianity.

Family in Ancient Turks: In the pre-Islamic Turkish society, the family was accepted as the basic building block of the society and family life was given great importance. In Turks, men were accepted as the head of the family, but women were also highly valued in social life. “Monogamous” marriage style is seen in Turks.

STATE MANAGEMENT IN THE FIRST TURKISH STATES IN THE ISLAMIC PERIOD: In the Talas war between the Chinese and the Abbasids in 751, Turkish tribes such as Karluk, Yagma and Çiğil, who were on the side of the Arabs, accepted Islam and the Turks largely became Muslims from this date until the 10th century.The acceptance of Islam not only affected the social and cultural life, but also the state administration. 

The expeditions, which are called the “Turkish idea of ​​world domination” and which were organized with the idea that the Turks were sent to order the world by “receiving blessing” from God, started to be organized to spread Islam with the adoption of Islam and the adoption of the “jihad” idea.The first Turkish-Islamic state was the Karakhanids. Ghaznavid and Seljuk rulers used the title “Sultan”.

Symbols of Sovereignty: In Turks; “Otağ, Sanjak, Drum, Tugra, Arma, Title, Hilat (Clothing), Throne, Scepter and Çetr (Umbrella of Reign)” were used as symbols of sovereignty.During the Seljuk period, the administrative system was more developed compared to other Turkish states, and the issues related to state administration were discussed and decided in a big divan called the “Divan-ı Saltanat”.

Sultan: Heads of state in Turkish-Islamic states are called “Sultan”.

Inheritance: The understanding of “inheritance” seen in pre-Islamic Turkish states continued after the adoption of Islam.

Melik: Sultan’s children were referred to as “Melik”.

Hajib:He regulates the relationship between the members of the Divan and the Sultan.

Atabey: These are the people who are responsible for the education and training of the Sultan’s children.

Menşur: It does not exist in pre-Islamic Turkish societies. The process of obtaining the approval of the caliph regarding any event or decision is called “Manshur”.

Vizier: As the deputy of the Sultan, he is responsible for all state affairs.

Divan-ı Saltanat (Government): Internal and external affairs, finance, army, education, general inspection and correspondence are discussed in the Divan.

Divan-ı Arz: It is responsible for military service and army affairs.

Divan-ı İstifa: It takes care of financial affairs. He was also responsible for the court.

Divan-i Israf:He took care of all kinds of audit work, except for military and legal affairs.

Divan-ı Tugra: It handled internal and external correspondence.

Some Important Turkish Scientists:Especially since the X. century, some important scientists were trained in the Seljuk geography.

Nizamülmülk: Nizamülmülk, which has a work called “Siyasetnâme”, has made a great contribution to the development of science with the madrasahs that he founded and which are named after him.

Farabi: He has important studies on philosophy, mathematics, astronomy and physical sciences.

Ghazali: He is one of the most important philosophers of his time.

Ibn-i Sina: He gained fame especially with his studies in the field of medicine. He also has studies on biology, physics and philosophy.

El-Birunî : He is one of the most important scientists of the period, who worked in the fields of astronomy, history, geography and mathematics.


Throughout history, Turks have used the “Göktürk”, “Uyghur”, “Arab”, “Latin” and “Cyrillic” alphabets. The first alphabet used by the Turks is the Göktürk alphabet, which was created with the influence of the Turkish lifestyle and culture. Cyrillic letters were used by Turkish tribes outside the Republic of Turkey.

Orkhon and Yenisei Monuments and Writings:
During the Göktürk period, the first written examples of Turkish, called Orhun-Yenisey Inscriptions or Orhun Monuments, were given using the Göktürk alphabet. Orkhon Monuments, which are the first written examples of Turkish that have survived, are of great importance in terms of language history. 

In addition, the content of the texts written on the stones contain important information about the Turkish state administration and Turkish culture. Among these inscriptions, the most important ones in terms of both content and volume are the “Kül Tigin”, “Bilge Kagan” and “Tonyukuk” Inscriptions.

Oral Literature:
Oral literature products have an important place in pre-Islamic Turkish culture. In this period, “Sav”, “Sagu” and “Koşuk” from oral culture products draw attention. The first examples of “Arguments” used as a proverb can be found in Orhun Monuments, Divanü Lügati’t-Türk and Kutadgu Bilig.The terms “Sagu” and “Yuğ” are used for laments recited in burial rites. 

“Koşuk”s are melodious poems called “Şölen” and read in celebration and hunting ceremonies.Among the oral cultural products of this period, “Oguz Kagan Epic”, “Migration” and “Derivation Legends” and “Alper Tunga Epic”; It is important in terms of containing the first examples of the Turkish epic tradition and data on Turkish cultural life. However, it should be remembered that these were written in later periods.

First Works Written in the Islamic Period : With the acceptance of Islam by the Turks, there have been important changes in the Turkish language and cultural life. Turks have combined their old cultural life styles with Islam, and even the Turkish called “Divanü Lügati’t-Türk”, “Kutadgu Bilig” and “Atabetü’l-Hakayık”, which are considered to be the first examples of Islamic period Turkish literature, “Religion Turkish”. A religious terminology has developed. 

Divanü Lügati’t-Türk: This work, which was written by Kaşgarlı Mahmut to teach Turkish to Arabs, is a dictionary. However, beyond being a classic dictionary; It is a very important work in terms of containing rich and important information about Turkish language, history, literature, culture and art.

Kutadgu Bilig:The work was written by Yusuf Has Hacib. It contains important information about Turkish state understanding and management, state and public relations.

Atabetü’l-Hakayık: Written by Yuknekli Edip Ahmet. It is a book written on the moral development of human beings and the characteristics of being a good person.

Turkish Literature in the Seljuk Period:Important literary figures grew up in the Seljuk period.

Yunus Emre: Yunus Emre, who wrote his poems in Turkish, is one of the most important names of Turkish Sufi literature.

Hacı Bektaş-ı Velî: Haci Bektaş-ı Velî, who is accepted as the founder of the Bektashi order, is a great poet and mystic.

Mevlânâ: Mevlânâ, who gave one of the most beautiful examples of Turkish literature with his work named “Mesnevî”, wrote his works in Persian.Oral literature products have an important place in Turkish literature. It would be appropriate to give some general information about these products.

Turkish epics Epic; “As a result of events that have left a deep mark in the life of a nation or society; mostly in verse, sometimes in verse-prose mixed; wide enough to allow the transmission of more than one event; narrated by a master narrator or by an apprentice who conveys what he has learned from the masters, accompanied by a musical instrument or a melody in front of an audience; some of what was told orally was written down; has a heroic theme that concerns a nation or society in terms of its consequences; It is an oral or written literary creation that adopts to keep national values ​​above personal values ​​when heard or read.

”Turkish epics, “Ozan”, “Baskı”, “Bahşı”, “Jırav”, “Akın”, “Olonhohut”, “Kayçı”, “Sasan”, “Çaçan”, “Destancı”, “Koşakçi” and “Turkish epics”. They are products created and transferred by epic tellers called “Aşık”.The epics of “Oğuz Kagan”, “Köroğlu”, “The narratives in the Book of Dede Korkut”, “Manas” and “Alpamış” are the most important examples of the Turkish epic tradition.

Minstrel Literature:
The “Poets”, who are the representatives of the Turkish epic tradition, left their place to the “Aşıks” with the effect of the change in social life and Islam. The Turkish minstrel tradition, which we can follow through cönk and journals, has been formed since the 19th century. The tradition of minstrelsy, which continues to live in Turkey, Azerbaijan and the north of Iran today, forms a unity with the tradition of epic in independent or autonomous Turkish republics.

Folk Stories:
Mixed verse and prose narratives about love or love-heroism performed by poet-narrators called “Aşık” accompanied by saz are called folk tales.In Turkish Folk Literature; “Aşık Garip ile Şahsenem”, “Kerem and Aslı”, “Tahir and Zühre”, “Ferhat and Şirin”, “Arzu and Kamber” etc. There are folk tales.


The first Turkish culture and civilization is called “Steppe Culture” and “Steppe Civilization” with the effect of the geography where the Turks established a state. The lifestyle based on animal husbandry has made a style that can be called animal style dominant in Turkish art. The most typical feature of Turkish art is the excessive use of animal motifs.Since the Turks lead a “nomadic” and “semi-nomadic” lifestyle, that is, they live in places called “Yaylak” in the summer and in the places called “Kışlak” in the winter, a “decoration” art based on making “tents” and decorating the items used here has developed. This situation led to the emergence and development of the concept of “Dome” and “Round Cupola” in Turkish art.

In the pre-Islamic Turkish states, the “balbals” and “statues” planted in the graves with the influence of religious beliefs, the items placed in the grave of the deceased, were unearthed in the archaeological excavations carried out today and provided important information about the early periods of Turkish art.In pre-Islamic Turkish society, music was performed in religious ceremonies led by “Kam” or “Shaman” accompanied by a rhythmic melody created by using the “Shaman Drum”. Later on, “Bards” performed epics with their instruments called “Kopuz”.Especially App

With the sedentary life in the Ottoman period, important developments were also experienced in terms of art. Among the Turkish tribes, the creators of “Domed Tombs” and “Corner Triangles” are Uighurs. In addition, the Uyghurs ensured the spread of miniature art to the Islamic world.After the Turks accepted Islam, they gave great importance to religious architecture. 

During the Karakhanids, the first mosques were made of adobe and covered with plaster. In later periods, various structures were built using bricks. During the Seljuk period, there were important developments in architecture. During this period, the Turks; They produced important works by combining Central Asian Turkish architecture and Islamic architecture.After the adoption of Islam, especially in the Seljuk period, a significant development in Turkish architecture is also observed. In this period, in addition to plant 

and animal motifs, writing and geometric shapes were used for decoration. With the influence of Islam, human figures were not used.Mosques, masjids, tombs, complexes, inns and baths, palaces and mansions that have survived from the Seljuk period; It constitutes the most beautiful examples of Turkish architecture. 

Most of these architectural works are in Turkey.In this period, mosques, tombs, cupolas, madrasas, lodges and zawiyas in religious architecture; city ​​walls, castles and fortresses in military architecture; bridges and caravanserais in commercial architecture; In civil architecture, works such as palaces, mansions, inns and baths were built. “Miniatures, Tiles, Carpets and Rugs” among the ornamental arts are very developed.This development in the Seljuk 

period reached its peak in the Ottoman period. Architectural works made by a genius like Mimar Sinan are masterpieces. XVIII. In the “Tulip Age” in the 19th century, the European influence in Turkish social and cultural life began to be seen in architecture as well.

With the proclamation of the Second Constitutional Monarchy in 1908, the efforts to create a national style in Turkish culture and art gained weight in the atmosphere of freedom and with the effect of the nationalist movement. Under the leadership of Architect Kemalettin Bey and Vedat Bey, Turkish architecture entered a new era.Efforts to create a national style in architecture continued in the years when the Republic of Turkey was founded, and in 1927 and after, the works of Western architects left their mark on Turkish architecture. 

With the effect of the political developments before the Second World War, the effort to create a national architecture started again. In Turkish architecture, an architectural understanding based on Western influence is seen after the 1950s. These stages of development in architecture are a valid development line for the whole of Turkish art.


The Turks first used the “Turkish Calendar with Twelve Animals”. After the “Hijri”, “Jalali” and “Rumi” calendars were used with the adoption of Islam, the “Gregorian” calendar has been used since the Republican period. 


In pre-Islamic Turkish society, animal husbandry is seen as the main economic activity. Turks raise horses and sheep in this period. The Uyghurs, who settled down, engaged in agriculture and traded with China.With the acceptance of Islam by the Turks, the transition to settled life gained speed. Accordingly, agriculture and trade also developed. 

During the reign of Mahmud of Gazne, the dominance of the “Silk Road” and “Spice Road” passed to the Turks, thus increasing the commercial incomes.In the Seljuk period, the first coin in the time of Mesut I, II. The first silver coin was minted during the reign of Kılıçaraslan and the first gold coin was issued during the reign of Alaattin Keykubat I.Ghaznavids advanced in agricultural activities and increased production by using irrigation channels.

The commercial center of the Great Seljuk State was “Horasan”. The Seljuks were also successful in commercial activities, and they had many bazaars and caravanserais built for this purpose.

1. Organization of Ahi Order: It is accepted that this organization was founded by Ahi Evran, also known as Ahi Baba. It is a professional association of Horosan origin, which was the commercial center of the Seljuks. The Ahi organization, which was established in order to regulate and supervise the economic activities of tradesmen during the Seljuk period, also supported the military activities of the state. 

It is accepted that the word “Ahi” comes from the Arabic word “Ahi” meaning my brother or the Turkish word “Akı” meaning generous, generous, valiant, young man.In the Ottoman period, the main economic activities; agriculture, livestock, trade and various taxes. In the Ottoman Empire, the artisans gathered around the union called “Lonca”. Also, “Silking” in Bursa; “Leathering” was carried out in Kayseri, Manisa and Tokat.

War equipment was also produced in the Ottoman Empire. The first great Ottoman shipyard was built in Gallipoli by Yıldırım Bayezit. In later periods, shipyards were built in cities such as Istanbul, Sinop, and Izmit. Cannon foundries were established in Edirne and Bursa before the conquest of Istanbul, and in Istanbul after the conquest. The first gunpowder shop was also established in Gallipoli.


HISTORY The history of the Ottoman Empire is analyzed and evaluated by dividing it into certain periods. These periods are; It is called Principality Period (1299 and before), Establishment Period (1299-1453), Ascension Period (1453-1579), Stagnation Period (1579-1699), Decline Period (1699-1792) and Dissolution Period (1792-1922). Principality Period: The Ottoman Principality is a principality belonging to the Kayı clan. During the Seljuk period, Ertuğrul Gazi came and settled in Söğüt and its surroundings. After the death of Ertuğrul Gazi, Osman Bey became the head of the principality. 

Establishment Period (1299-1453):Osman Bey became the heir of the Anatolian Seljuk State, which was about to collapse, with his conquests. It is accepted that the Ottoman Empire was founded after the conquest of Bilecik, Yarhisar and İnegöl, and 1299 is accepted as the foundation date in historical studies.In the time of Orhan Bey, who came to power after Osman Bey, the conquests gained speed, Bursa and Iznik were conquered. Orhan Bey declared his independence by printing money and the Ottoman Principality became the Ottoman State.During the Foundation Period, the Ottoman advance spread to the Balkans. 

Edirne was conquered, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia were captured in the Balkans. At the same time, the principalities established in Anatolia after the Seljuks began to come under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.In the Establishment Period, Osman Bey, Orhan Bey, I. Murad, Yıldırım Beyazid, Mehmet I and II. Murat became the head of the Ottoman Empire. The Foundation Period ends with the conquest of Istanbul.

Ascension Period (1453-1579): It is accepted that the Ottoman Empire, which became an “Empire” with the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, entered a period of rise as of this date, after important lands were conquered in the East and West and the borders of the State expanded. II. Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, who came to the throne after Murad, conquered Istanbul in 1453 and Istanbul was declared the new capital of the empire.

During the ascension period, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, II. Bayezid, Yavuz Sultan Selim, Suleiman the Magnificent and II. Selim ascended the throne. Especially during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566), the Empire experienced its most magnificent period.

Stagnation Period (1579-1699): The stagnation period of the Ottoman Empire began with the death of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha. Sokullu Mehmet Pasha; Suleiman the Magnificent, II. Selim and III. He served as grand vizier during the reign of Murad II. Sokullu Mehmet Pasha is an important statesman who worked for the political and military success of the state during his 14 years as the Grand Vizier, and his death is accepted as the beginning of the Ottoman Empire’s entry into the stagnation period.

With the accession of inexperienced people to the throne and the weakening of the central government, internal rebellions broke out, and the unrest increased, especially with the revolt of the Janissaries against the authority. 

The deterioration of the timar system and the economic problems brought by the Iran and Austrian expeditions also played an important role in the pause.During the pause period, respectively, III. Murad III. Mehmet, I. Ahmet, I. Mustafa, II. Osman, IV. Murad, I. Ibrahim, IV. Mehmet, II. Suleiman II. Ahmet and II. Mustafa took the throne.

Period of Decline (1699-1792):In the history of the Ottoman Empire, the period between the Treaty of Karlowitz signed in 1699 and the Treaty of Yash signed in 1792 is considered as the period of decline. The Treaty of Karlowitz was the first treaty in which the Ottoman Empire lost a large amount of territory in the West. 

After this date, the main policy of the empire was based on reclaiming the lost lands.During the decline period, respectively, II. Mustafa, III. Ahmet, I. Mahmut, III. Osman, III. Mustafa, Abdülhamit I and III. Selim ascended the throne.

Period of Disintegration (1792-1922):The period in which the Ottoman Empire entered the period of collapse and disintegration is called the period of disintegration. This period begins with the signing of the Yassi Treaty in 1792, where the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia in 1787 in order to take back the Crimea, and the events that developed against the Ottoman Empire with Austria’s involvement in the war.

During the disintegration period, respectively, III. Selim, IV. Mustafa, II. Mahmut, I. Abdulmecit, I. Abdulaziz, V. Murat, II. Abdülhamit, Sultan Mehmet Reşat and Sultan Mehmet Vehdettin came to the throne.With the abolition of the sultanate in 1922, the Ottoman period came to an end.


: Sultan/Sultan: In the Ottoman Empire, state administrators used the title of “Bey” at first, then the title of “Sultan”, and since 1517 the titles of “Caliph” and “Sultan”.

Divan/ Divan-ı Humayun: State affairs were discussed in the Divan, called “Divan-ı Hümayun”.

The members of the Divan-ı Hümayun and their duties are as follows:

Vizier-Azam (Grand Vizier): He is the most authoritative statesman after the sultan and bears the sultan’s seal.

Vizier: The most authorized person after the Grand Vizier is the Vizier and performs the duties given by the Grand Vizier.

Kazasker: Works related to “Justice” from the Ottoman Empire were handled by “Kazaskers”. There were two separate Kazaskers, Anatolian and Rumelian Kazasker.

Defterdar: Works related to “Finance” are handled by “Defterdar”. There were two Defterdars, the Anatolian and Rumeli Defterdar.

Nişancı: Officials called “Sniper” carried out the “Deed” and “Cadastre” works and the registration procedures of the conquered places.

Shaykh al-Islam:The person who checks whether the state decisions are compatible with Islam and decides on this issue is called “Sheikh al-Islam”.

Captain-i Derya: Person responsible for navy and maritime affairs.Divan-i Humayun, II. It was abolished during the reign of Mahmut and replaced by “Ministerial Offices”.

Administrative Division: In the Ottoman administrative system, state lands were divided into administrative units called “Vilayet”, “Sancak”, “Kaza”, “Nahiye” and “Karye”. 

LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE:During the Ottoman Empire, the Arabic alphabet was used. The literary heritage from the Seljuk period was further developed during the Ottoman period. Especially in the field of written literature, a very serious literary and cultural environment has emerged. Poets and writers were protected and guarded by the courtiers. In particular, the fact that some Ottoman sultans were poets enabled the further development of this literary environment.

This literature, called “Classical Turkish Literature” or “Divan Literature”, constitutes one of the most important phases of Turkish literature.Although the language of Divan Literature is Turkish, it is seen that Arabic and Persian compositions, phrases or words in the Turkish of this period, although changing according to the periods, gained intensity.Divan Literature, which was started with Hoca Dehhani in the 13th century, experienced its peak period in the 16th century with the training of important names such as Fuzulî and Baki. 

“Aruz” measure is used in Divan poetry.In this period, in addition to Divan Literature, Folk Literature also showed a great development. It is also known that minstrels appeared in palaces from time to time and performed their arts in rural settlements as well as in commercially and culturally developed cities of the period, such as Bursa, especially in capital Istanbul.

ART AND ARCHITECTURE: Science and art were given special importance in the Ottoman Empire. Scientists were supported and thus the most advanced military power of the age was in the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The conquered lands were prosperous in every sense. Institutions with religious, cultural, scientific and social functions such as mosques, inns, baths and madrasas were built there, and thus the lands that were conquered militarily became Turkish in a cultural sense.

Ottoman art initially bears the general characteristics of Seljuk architecture. However, over time and especially in the XV. After the century, classical Ottoman works emerged. In this period, the unique style of Turkish culture was combined with Islamic culture and original works were created. Most of the works made during this period, especially by Mimar Sinan and his students, are still standing today.

Periods such as the 1839 Tanzimat Edict, the 1856 Reform Edict and the 1908 Second Constitutional Era had a significant impact on the Ottoman cultural and artistic life. During the Tanzimat period, Western influence and influence began to be seen in the Ottoman cultural and artistic life, and this effect began to be felt even more heavily with the Reform Edict. 

In the period called Tanzimat literature, new concepts and new approaches in literature and art began to show their effects. With the proclamation of the Second Constitutional Monarchy in 1908, the debates on Turkism and Turkish nationalism led to a new era in the cultural sense and laid the groundwork for the establishment of the national state to be established in the future, as well as the determinant of the understanding of art in the first years of the new state.

ECONOMY:The Ottoman Empire had a systematic economic organization while it was still in the principality period. It is accepted that the first financial organization was established during the reign of Murat I and developed in a systematic way.There was a person called “Defterdar” at the head of the Ottoman finances. Upon the expansion of the lands, the number of “Defterdar” was increased to two.The Ottoman treasury consists of two parts: “Miri Treasure” and “Enderun Treasure”. 

“Miri Treasure” is the foreign treasury of the state and covers general expenses, income and expenses. The “Enderun Treasure” is the sultan’s own treasury and is also accepted as the inner treasury.Taxes have an important place in the Ottoman economic system. In addition, agriculture and animal husbandry constitute an important part of economic activities.


The economic and military collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to the occupation of the empire’s lands after the First World War, the Turkish Grand National Assembly was established on April 23, 1920, and after the national struggle given by the Turkish nation under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey The establishment of the “Republic of Turkey” was declared on 29 October 1923 in Turkey.With the proclamation of the Republic, important changes were experienced in Turkish cultural and artistic life. 

Since the new state was built on national culture, studies on Turkish language, literature and history gained momentum in this period. The foundations of the new state are, above all, based on Turkish culture. This cultural innovation is also seen in the state administration and system. Innovations such as the proclamation of the Republic, the abolition of the Caliphate and the Sultanate, and the adoption of the Latin alphabet led to the emergence of the modern Turkish Republic.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: “The foundation of the Turkish Republic is language and culture.” The understanding of the national state based on Turkish culture, which can be summarized with the following words, also shows itself in the studies carried out after the War of Independence.The articles written by Ziya Gökalp and Fuat Köprülü to promote “Folklore” after the proclamation of the Second Constitutional Monarchy, and the data obtained from the field studies carried out afterwards, accelerated scientific studies on Turkish culture. 

During this period, cultural studies were carried out by associations such as “Türk Yurdu”, “Turkish Hearth” and “Turkish Association”.Founded on November 1, 1927, “Anatolian Folklore Association” changed its name to “Turkish Folklore Association” after a while, and this association went down in history as the first independent scientific organization to work on Turkish culture. 

The articles in the first publication of the association, “Halk Bilgi Mecmuası” and the “Folk Knowledge News” published later, are important in terms of placing the folklore studies of this period on an academic and scientific basis.

With the closure of the Turkish Hearths in 1931, Community Centers were established in 1932. People’s Houses contributed to the development of Turkish culture and art with the journals it published and the research and education activities it carried out. 

During the period of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, efforts were made to make the modern Turkish Republic a state based on “national architecture, national art and national culture”, and Atatürk gave great importance to language, history and culture studies in this period. In 1931, the “Turkish Historical Society” and in 1932 the “Turkish Language Research Society” were established to conduct studies in the field of Turkish history and language.

The studies carried out by Pertev Naili Boratav at Ankara University, DTCF in 1939 and by Mehmet Kaplan at Atatürk University in the 1960s ensured that studies on folk culture in Turkey were carried out on a scientific and academic basis.

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