Skip to navigation – Site map

HomeThematic issues24Transfer and Asymmetry

Transfer and Asymmetry

Turkological Dialogue between Russia and Turkey in the first half of the 20th Century
Zaur Gasimov


Russian and Soviet Turkology has been intensively considered in Turkey since the 1920s. Azerbaijani, Tatar and other Turkic emigrants from the late Tsardom and the Soviet Union heavily contributed to the transfer and dissemination of Soviet Turkology and linguistics to Turkey by translation and own research at the universities of Istanbul and Ankara. This article elucidates the interaction between Soviet and Turkish Turkologists in the context of ambiguous Soviet-Turkish relations during the interwar period as well as World War II.

Top of page

Full text

  • 1 Translation is regarded as one of the most important spaces of transfers. See Lemke Duque; Gasimov (...)

1This article aims to fill the gap by attempting to elucidate Turkological developments in the USSR and in Turkey and by paying particular attention to the Turkology-related transfers between Russia, the Soviet Union, and Turkey as well as the use and misuse of Turkology and Turkologists for power and state-building aims. I argue that Russian Oriental and particularly Turkological Studies had an enormous impact on linguistics in Turkey itself, and the Turkologists of the Soviet Union and Turkey steadily participated in intellectual transfers between Moscow, Leningrad, Baku, Kazan, Yerevan, Istanbul, Ankara and even beyond. While Russia-born linguists of Turkic background moved to Turkey in the 1920s and became prominent agents of transfers between Russia and Turkey, Turkologies in the Soviet Union and in Turkey were intertwined but had different features based on traditions, geopolitical interests and personal attitudes (Vasil’ev 2013). The article focuses on the analysis of Turkologists as important intermediators between politics and science throughout the twentieth century. The aim of this article is to trace the transfer of Turkology from Russia to Turkey by exploring academic contacts, interaction and translationist activities of Turkologists.1 The main sources are printed memoirs, interviews, conference reports of Soviet and Turkish Turkologists and diplomats as well as personal interviews.

  • 2 Born in 1884 in a suburb of Baku, Rasulzade attended a Russian school in Baku and joined the Russia (...)

2The cultural and academic exchange between both societies, alongside the transfer of knowledge and other aspects of the Russian-Turkish entanglement have been neglected by most international scholars. On the one hand, the lack of knowledge of Slavic languages among Western and Turkish scholars of Turkology caused the contribution of Soviet and other Turkologists to Turkish Turkology to be underestimated and eventually neglected. On the other hand, many Turkish scholars of the history of linguistics and Turkology downgraded or even silenced the socialization and education of numerous important Turkish Turkologists outside of Turkey. A relatively well-researched article of the Istanbul-based Russianist Altan Aykut on the history of Russian language instruction in Turkey and on the traditions of translation of Russian literature into Turkish mentioned that Mehmet E. Rasulzade2 translated Maxim Gorkii’s novels (Aykut 2006: 12) in his anthology of Russian literature and Ahmet Ağaoğlu published on Russian literature in Yeni Mecmua in 1917. The author did not mention that Baku-born Rasulzade and Shusha-born Ağaoğlu were graduates of Russian schools, or that Rasulzade played a prominent role in Azerbaijani politics during the period 1918-1920. (Aykut 2006) It is noteworthy that Aykut’s “turkification” of Russia-born Turkic intellectuals is not an exception but mainstream. As aforementioned, a lack of Russian competence among most Turkish and European Turkologists, the (post-) Cold War context and the methodological nationalism of Turkish historians of linguistics left the Soviet-Russian-Turkish entanglement and Turkological dialogue outside of scientific focus.

3Before analyzing the transfer agents, frameworks and translation activities, a preliminary elucidation of the milestones in the development of Turkology in Russia and in Turkey is necessary. I will then focus on the dialogue between Turkologists of the two countries during the interwar period and World War II on the basis of the Istanbul-based journal Türk Amacı.

I. Turkology in Russia

  • 3 For more on Russian Orientalists in the late Russian Empire and in the early Soviet Russia, see the (...)

4Along with Europe, Russia possessed its own travel records on the Ottoman lands and its own field of Oriental and Turkological studies, which developed in close interaction with other European Turkologies.3 A renowned Russian orientalist of Azerbaijani descent, Derbent-born M. Ali Mirza Kazembek (1802-1870/1879) published his seminal Grammar of Turkish-Tatar Language (Grammatika Turetsko-Tatarskogo Iazyka) in 1839 at Kazan University (Rzaev 1965; Rzaev 1989; Antologiia 1989: 207-208; Guliev 2002). Shortly afterwards, it was translated into German (1848) and later partly into French. Kazembek was a son of Sheikh-ul-Islam of the Caucasia, spent his youth in Astrakhan and converted there to Protestantism. He embodied the vertical mobility of ethnically non-Russian Orientalists within Russian Oriental Studies in the nineteenth century. Throughout the nineteenth century, numerous intellectuals in Russian Caucasia, at the Lazarev-Institute in Moscow, Asiatic College of Omsk and at other places were involved in research on Oriental languages, as well as in fields that can be seen as related to the Oriental Studies. Dozens of offspring of Russian Muslim nobles worked as translators for Russian colonial authorities; translation and intermediation between Russia and the Orient became their everyday activity. At the end of the nineteenth century, a new generation of Russian Muslim intellectuals was forged. Educated at Russian schools and universities, many of them were fluent in other European, as well as Oriental, languages.

  • 4 I use the notion of ‘Orientalist’ being aware of the highly esteemed scholarship of Edward Said. Or (...)
  • 5 In 2002, the Russian Academy of Science reedited the monograph.

5According to the prominent Russian and Soviet Orientalist4 Vasilii V. Bartol’d (1869-1930), Russian achievements in the field of Oriental Studies and Turkology were even greater than that of Europeans by the start of the twentieth century (Bartol’d 1925). Indeed significant Turkological research was conducted by the specialists in Moscow, St. Petersburg and in Kazan. Four years after the publication of Deny’s well-known grammar of Turkish, Aleksandr N. Samoilovich’s (1880-1938) Concise Study Grammar of Modern Ottoman Turkish (Kratkaia uchebnaia grammatika sovremennogo osmansko-turetskogo iazyka)5 was issued.

6The Russian intellectuals started to translate Orient-related monographs from French and German at the end of the eighteenth century, but in the middle of the nineteenth century Russia’s own Oriental Studies emerged. The Oriental Studies in general and Turkology in particular were strategic disciplines from the very beginning. Along with the philological research conducted by the Russian-German scholar Wilhelm Radloff and his numerous students on Turkic languages, dialects, and folklore of the Turkic communities throughout the Russian Empire, a very specific field of the so called ‘Military Oriental Studies’ was established in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century. Military Orientologists were trained in Oriental languages and cultures for more effective actions in case of deployment in the regions of the Near, Middle or Far East, as well as in the peripheries of the Russian Empire populated by Turkic or Persian-speaking peoples. Military Oriental Studies (voennoe vostokovedenie) and Military Turkology (voennaia tiurkologiia) enjoyed particular development after the establishment of the Soviet Union.

  • 6 Unfortunately, it was not possible to get more information on Fevziye Sultanzade. Obviously, she ha (...)

7The Moscow-based Military Institute of Foreign Languages (Voennyi institute inostrannykh iazykov) issued dictionaries, as well as learning and translation materials for the Turkish language. Between 1938 and 1942, three revised and expanded versions of Russian-Turkish and Turkish-Russian dictionaries authored by Pavel Stepanovich Bochkarev (1898-1966) were published in Moscow. Bochkarev was a military professional trained as a Turkologist. He served in the Russian Army during World War I and took part in the Civil War. Bochkarev joined the Communist Party in 1918 and was deployed in Central Asia in the 1920s. Along with Turkish, Bochkarev was fluent in Uzbek. In the following years, he headed the Chair of Geography at the Military Frunze-Academy. The Russian Turkologist Gordlevskii supervised the preparation of the dictionaries. The Soviet Russian publications on Turkish military terms were noticed in Turkey. In 1953, the Turkish Ministry of Defense issued the Russian-Turkish Dictionary of Military Terms (Rusça-Türkçe askeri terimler 1953). Turkish linguists made extensive use of two editions of Russian-Turkish and Turkish-Russian dictionaries of military terminology published by P. S. Bochkarev in 1938 and 1940 (Aykut 2006, 21). In the 1950s, the Russian-instructor at the Ankara University Fevziye Sultanzade6 authored a two volume-textbook of the Russian language for Turkish military schools (Sultanzade 1953, 1956).

8I would like to point out four special features of Turkological research in Russia throughout the twentieth century:

9First, Russian Orientalists traveled to the international Orientalist congresses, operated the Russian Archeological Institute in Istanbul, and sent regular expeditions not only to their own territory in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Crimea, but also to Palestine and Greece.

10Second, a unique ‘military-related Turkology’ as a part of (military Oriental Studies) emerged in late Tsarist Russia and co-paved the way for the Soviet expansion in the Near and Middle East. Turkish Turkologists saw their work as separate from the Turkish Oriental Studies and the research on other Turkic languages besides Turkish remained relatively weak until that point.

  • 7 The Turkish scholar Talȃt Tekin (1927-2015) pointed out this specific feature of Soviet Turkology i (...)

11Third, In Western and Central Europe throughout the nineteenth century as well as in the interwar period, autochthonous Turkic communities (Polish Tatars, Karaims) resided only in Poland and Lithuania. Contrary to most European countries, both the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire were home to numerous Turkic communities. The Ottomans possessed vast regions populated by Slavic peoples. Throughout the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Slavs and the Russian Turks, as well as Russian and Ottoman Armenians, underwent the process of nationalism. Influenced by pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism and Pan-Turkism were designed to mobilize the masses in their own respective countries as well as outside of their own borders for the purposes of St. Petersburg and Istanbul. Despite similarities, there were numerous large differences between the late Ottoman and Romanov dynasties. The Balkan region, populated by the Slavic communities of Bulgarians, Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and others, was one of the most developed parts of the Ottoman Empire. In the Russian Empire, the social and economic level of the Turkic communities of Central Russia, the Caucasus and particularly of Central Asia was below the average of the Empire. Illiteracy among Russia’s Turkic communities was alarming even at the start of the twentieth century. 7

  • 8 Many young people of Talish, Kurdish or Tat background were willing to study Iranian Studies in Sov (...)
  • 9 Some of them were active in the intelligence community. Obviously, it is quite difficult to analyze (...)

12Fourth, Oriental Studies has been a prestigious discipline in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet Russia. Hundreds of young people country-wide applied for Oriental linguistics at universities yearly. Oriental Studies provided opportunities for diplomatic service and especially for a career with the Soviet intelligence service. Additionally, for many non-Russian people with a Muslim, Caucasian and/or Central Asian background, the training in Oriental Studies had an identity-building function.8 Numerous Turkologists of Soviet Russian, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Tatar, Armenian, Georgian and other backgrounds were deployed as translators at Soviet embassies, consulates and other missions in Turkey during the Cold War.9

  • 10 At the same time, we should assume that similar considerations may appear with regard to other area (...)

13These four features are interrelated. Before starting with the depiction of this inter-relation, let us look at the variety in the definition of Turkology. In the essay on the academic and university discipline of Turkology, “What is Turkology?”, the German Turkologist and specialist on Central Asia Jens Peter Laut demonstrated the difficulties of any precise definition of the geographical area of research covered by these ‘area-studies’ and its interconnection with Chinese, Arabic and Persian-speaking regions in the past and present (Laut 2013).10 In Russian, there are two notions that correspond with the German Turkologie or French turkologie: tiurkologiia and turkologiia. The second one emerged relatively late. It describes studies on the Republic of Turkey and Turkish. The first one, tiurkologiia, was defined by the prominent Soviet Russian Turkologist Andrei Nikolaevich Kononov (1906-1986) as “a complex of humanities exploring languages, history, literature, folklore culture of the peoples speaking Turkic languages.” (Kononov 1973).

14Both ‘national’ Turkologies in Soviet Russia and in Turkey were engaged in dialogue and steady interaction during the interwar period and even despite antagonism between the two blocks during the Cold War. Although this dialogue existed, it was quite asymmetrical. While Soviet Russia looked back at century-old Turkological research, Turkish Turkology became established and institutionalized in the 1920s due to the organizational talent of the Turkish nobleman, politician and intellectual Fuat Köprülüzade (1890-1966), and particularly due to the extensive contribution of numerous emigrants from the Russian Caucasus, Crimea and Central Asia.

II. Türkoloji in Turkey

  • 11 His students Ahmed Ateş (1917-1966), Nihad Çetin (1924-1991) and Tahsin Yazıcı (1922-2002) co-shape (...)

15Turkey boosted its own Turkology (türkoloji) as a science which was predestined to assist the country, its intellectuals and society in search for a new identity. Turkishness (Türklük) had to cement together different social and regional groups between Edirne and Erzurum, Trabzon and Izmir. A specific Turkological infrastructure, the chair of Turkish Language, its history, literature etc., emerged at the universities in Istanbul and later in Ankara. These institutions, supported by the Türk Dil Kurumu (Turkish Linguistic Society) and Türk Tarih Kurumu (Turkish Historical Society), delivered an important framework for Turkological research along with the Faculties of Literature and History at the University of Istanbul as well as with the Faculty of Language, History and Geography (Dil, Tarih ve Coğrafya Fakültesi) at the University of Ankara in Kemalist Turkey. Along with a tiny group of Turkish academicians, political emigrants from the Turkic regions of the former Tsarist Empire and from the Soviet Union, as well as German and Hungarian linguists, played a significant role in this endeavor both in Istanbul and in Ankara. It was in the interest of the numerous immigrant linguists and historians to conduct research on the ‘outside Turks’ or ‘Turks from abroad’ (Dış türkler). Backing Turkological studies conducted by emigrants, Ankara tolerated the diasporic activity of those intellectuals less and less. On the one hand, Turkish authorities were concerned by an eventual deterioration of Soviet-Turkish relations, on the other hand the Azerbaijan-, Tatar- and Turkestan-related research of the Turkic emigrants was perceived as destructive by Ankara, which was interested in forging a unique Turkish identity within its borders. Finally, at the end of the 1920s and in the early 1930s, Turkic political emigrants such as M. E. Rasulzade, Zeki Velidi Togan, Nimet Akdes Kurat a.o. had to leave Turkey, but some managed to stay in the country and to cover diasporic and anti-Soviet political activities under the guise of academic research. The instruction and investigation of Arabic and Persian philology was on an even lower level than Ottoman and Turkish linguistics in the Turkey of the 1920s. While Fuat Köprülüzade organized the Türkiyat Enstitüsü in 1924 with the help of Turkic emigrants, and founded the first Turkological academic journal at the University of Istanbul a year later, the German emigrant Helmut Ritter (1892-1971)11 founded the Institute of Oriental Studies at the same university. Contrary to its development in Europe and Russia, Turkology did not emerge out of Oriental Studies in Turkey. Turkology, Arabic and Persian Studies, as well as Indology, were imported to Turkey from Germany and especially from Tsarist and Soviet Russia.

16While some Russian academicians were interested in Turkology as a discipline and field of knowledge, other colleagues of theirs saw it as a tool for more efficient control of the Turkic regions within their own Empire, as well as a tool for a more effective policy and strategy towards a weakened Ottoman Empire. For the Ottoman Turkish intellectuals, Turkology was a science generated initially by European scholars. And they tried to appropriate the science ‘about themselves’. Both in early Soviet Russia as well as to a large extent in the early Kemalist Republic of Turkey, the Turkologists were graduates of Russian schools. The political turmoil during the years of civil war in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution as well as Russian reoccupation of Azerbaijan in 1920 and Central Asia caused the emigration of Azerbaijani, Tatar, Bashkir and Turkestani intellectuals who had a very deep impact on the development of Turkish language-, literature- and history-related research. Turkey’s first waves of Turkologists were political emigrants fluent in Russian and very often in other field-related languages like Persian, German, Russian, and Polish. Represented by three generations of Turkic emigration from Tsarist and Soviet Russia, these Turkologists essentially shaped the Turkish Turkology by authoring grand narratives on the history of Turks, Turkish law, language and history.


Seminal monographs

Yusuf Akçura

The Fall of the Ottoman Empire (18-19th centuries) (Osmanlı Devletinin Dağılma devri [XVIII. ve XIX. Asırlarda]), Ankara, TTK, 1940, 2nd edition: 1985.

Ahmet Caferoglu

Five-volume History of Turkish Language (Türk Dili Tarihi), since the 1940s, repeatedly republished;

Kaşgarlı Mahmut, Istanbul: CHP, 1938; Ankara: Milli Eğitim B., 1970,1985.

Zeki Velidi Togan

Method in History (Tarih’te Usul), Istanbul 1950, 1969.

Turkish History (Türk Tarihi), Istanbul 1928.

Introduction to all-Turkic history. From the Ancient States to sixteenth century (Ümümtürk Tarihine Giriş: En Eski Devletlerden 16 Asra Kadar), Istanbul: Ismayil Akgün Matbaası, 1946, 1970, 1981.

Abdülkadir Inan

Sketches on Turkology (Türkoloji Ders Hülasaları), Istanbul: Devlet Basımevi, 1936.

Nimet Akdes Kurat


Turkey and Russia. Turkish-Russian Relations from the End of the eighteenth century to the War for National Independence (1798-1919) (Türkiye ve Rusya. XVIII. Yüzyıl Sonundan Kurtuluş Savaşına Kadar Türk-Rus ilişkileri [1798-1919]), Ankara: Kültür Bak., 1970, 1990, Ankara: TTK, 2011.

Russian History. From the Beginning to 1917 (Rusya Tarihi Başlanğıçtan 1917’ye Kadar), Ankara: TTK, 1948, 1987.

Sadri Maksudi Arsal

Turkish History and Law. Pre-Islamic period (Türk Tarihi ve Hukuk. Islamiyetten Önceki Devir), Istanbul: Istanbul Üniversitesinin Hukuk Fakültesi, 1947.

Reşid Rahmeti Arat

Translation and critical edition of Kutadgu Bilig; Monograph Old Turkish Poetry (Eski Türk Şiiri, Ankara: TTK 1964/65, 1986, 1991.)

Ahmet Temir

The Era of Wilhelm Radlov: His Life, Academic Personality, Works (Türkoloji Tarihinde Wilhelm Radlof Devri: Hayatı, Ilmi Kişiliği, Eserleri), Ankara: TTK, 1991.

III. Russian Turkology and Turkish Scholarship

17Mobilizing against Western imperialism world-wide in general and in the Near and Middle East in particular, Soviet Russia backed Turkey’s modernization since the early 1920s. Moscow supported Ankara’s industrialization as well as academic reforms. Fuat Köprülüzade (Németh 1967) was frequently invited to the academic congresses in the Soviet Union in the early 1920s. He took part at the renowned Turkological Congress of Baku in 1926. Accompanied by Salyan-born Ali bey Hüseyinzade, Köprülüzade could get in touch with the most prominent European and Soviet Turkologists of that time in Baku. In the early 1925, Nikolai Marr and Bartold as well as Aleksandr Samoilovich held lectures in Istanbul in 1925, shared their knowledge on Oriental Studies and Turkology with their Turkish colleagues. The Soviet delegations of linguists headed by Marr and Bartold were received by Mustafa Kemal. In November 1928, a Soviet Ukrainian delegation of Orientalists (O. Gladstern, A. Sukhov, V. Zummer and P. Tychyna) traveled to Turkey: In Istanbul, they met Köprülüzade, and in Ankara the delegation was received by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Tevfik Ruşdi. A year later, Köprülüzade together with Reşid Safet Bey joined the Second Congress of Soviet Ukrainian Orientalists in Kharkov (Tsygankova 2006). In 1933, Samoilovich travelled together with Marr to Turkey in order to develop academic exchanges with Turkey. A year later and repeatedly in 1936, Samoilovich attended the Second and Third Turkological Congresses in Ankara (Ashnin 1978: 26).

  • 12 Katanov was one of the students of Wilhelm Radloff. In 1903, his well-known study Opyt issledovanii (...)

18Aware of the importance of genuine Turkish Turkological research, Köprülüzade initiated the purchase of the library of Russian Orientalist Nikolai Fedorovich Katanov.12 The so-called Katanov library became the material and scientific nucleus of the Türkiyat Enstitüsü founded by Köprülüzade in the early 1920s. By obtaining this unique collection of European and particularly Russian writings on the history of the Ottoman Empire and Turkic languages and culture and the institutionalizing of Turkology in the form of Türkiyat Enstitüsü, Köprülüzade shaped two of three necessary basic elements of scientific research in the field of humanities: there was a small building with office rooms and a library. The next step was to recruit staff able to read European languages and particularly Russian, as well as being trained Orientalists and at least fluent in more than one Oriental language. Köprülüzade solved the problem of lack of research personnel by hiring and attracting dozens of Russia-born Orientalists. Ahmet Caferoğlu (1899-1975) embodied this generation of young academicians who had to leave their country of origin because of the Soviet re-conquest of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1920.

  • 13 Born in 1889 in a Bashkurt village into a conservative and religious Muslim family, Inan enjoyed hi (...)

19Caferoğlu, educated at the Kiev School of Commerce and briefly at the Baku University (department of Oriental Philology), escaped to Istanbul and was enrolled in the Faculty of Literature. He graduated from the University of Istanbul in 1925 and went to Berlin and finally to Breslau for doctoral studies. In 1929, he graduated from a PhD program at the University of Breslau. At the time of his return to a position at the University of Istanbul, Caferoğlu looked back at four years of close interactions with German Orientalists. His academic fluency in Russian, German and Persian made him so different from most of his Turkey-born colleagues. The multilingualism and awareness of Russian and European schools of Oriental Studies was typical for Caferoğlu as well as for Zeki Velidi Togan (1890-1970), Reşit Rahmeti Arat (1900-1964), Nimet Akdes Kurat (1903-1971), Saadet Çağatay (1907-1989), Abdülkadir İnan (1889-1976),13 Hasan Eren (1919-2007) and many other migrants who contributed enormously to the emergence and development of Turkology in Turkey with their own research, translations from Russian and reviews of Turkology-related Soviet academic publications. Some of their writings were published under their own names, other under pennames but some of their writings were incorporated into the research of Köprülüzade without any mentioning of the names of the real authors.

20The first reviews authored by Ahmet Caferoğlu, at that time still a student at the Faculty of Literature, dealt with the recent publications on Turkology-related topics in Soviet Azerbaijan and Russia. These two reviews were published within a large literature report Türkiyat Haberleri authored by Fuat Köprülüzade in the first issue of the Türkiyat Mecmuası in 1925. The latter penned a long essay on Turkological academic literature in Europe and Soviet Russia but did not mention that a part of the piece was written by Caferoğlu. Janos Eckmann’s article on Caferoğlu’s bibliography from 1959 contained information indicating the authorship of Caferoğlu, referring to Türkiyat Haberleri: Rusya’da (Türkiyat Mecmuası I 1925, pp. 336-314) and to Türkiyat Haberleri: Azerbaycan’da (pp. 341-343) (Eckmann 1959). Janos Eckmann described Türkiyat Mecmuası I (1925) as the medium of publication. While looking at the contents of the first issue of Türkiyat Mecmuası, the above-mentioned literature report of Köprülüzade covered the pages 327 to 350. It started with a short description of the recent publications in Turkey, then in France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Belgium, and then continued with a short introduction to the newest publications in Russia and in Azerbaijan, followed by those in Turkestan. At the end of the part on Azerbaijan and not of that on Russia, the name of its real author Ahmet Caferoğlu was mentioned but not in the table of contents of the Türkiyat Mecmuası.14 Many other quotations, without mentioning the real author, have remained largely innominate, still undiscovered by historians and linguists exploring the transfer of the discipline from Russia to Turkey.

  • 15 In 1966, the complete collection of Bartol’d’s writings was published by the Soviet Academy of Scie (...)
  • 16 Cemal Velidi, or in Tatar, Cemalettin Celalettin oglu Velidov (1887-1932) was a Tatar historian, cr (...)
  • 17 Metin Ahad Ural Bukkul was a Tatar emigrant. Together with Ahmet Temir, a prominent Turkish scholar (...)

21Another example of Turkological transfer is the translation and edition of Vasilii Bartol’d’s book by Fuat Köprülüzade. In 1918 shortly after the Russian Revolution, Vasilii Bartol’d published his book-long essay Kul’tura musul’manstva in Petrograd (Bartol’d 1918).15 In 1940, Köprülüzade published the translation of the work under the title İslam medeniyeti tarihi (The History of Islamic Culture). In his foreword, Köprülüzade complained about the lack of well-trained historians in Turkey, as well as the dominance of philologists working on Ottoman and Islam history in Europe. He pointed out that the students of Turkish history should be aware of the framework of knowledge related to the “general evolution of the Islamic culture” (Barthold 2014). He felt that so clearly while teaching the history of Turkish literature at the Istanbul University. According to Köprülüzade, the book of Bartol’d could help to overcome this gap. He wrote in the introduction that the book was translated into Tatar by a certain Cemal Velidi (1887-1932)16 in 1922 and by Gazi Yunus into Uzbek in 1927. Köprülüzade’s student Metin Ahad Ural17 had re-translated the Tatar translation into Turkish on behalf of Köprülüzade. Köprülüzade integrated the English translation of the book done by the prominent Pakistani intellectual Shaheed Suhrawardi (1890-1965) (Barthold 1934; Pandopadhaya 2010) into his “translation and edition” by “correcting some essential errors” (Barthold 2014: 13). Köprülüzade knew Bartol’d personally. Bartol’d was invited as guest lecturer to the Türkiyat Institute in Istanbul in 1925. Fuat Köprülüzade met him during the Turkological Congress in Baku in February-March 1926.

22The Turkish translation of Bartol’d’s book took place after the Tatar, Uzbek and English translations had already been published. Contrary to the abovementioned translations, Köprülüzade’s version was not done from the original text in Russian but was based on the re-translations from Uzbek and Tatar by comparing with and co-translating from Suhrawardy’s English text. Additionally, Köprülüzade altered the text in numerous places by changing, adapting and ‘correcting’ the notions, leaving aside parts of the original text and adding his own comments into the text’s corpus.

23Below, there are three excerpts from the Russian original of Bartol’d, from the Calcutta-published initial English translation from 1934 and from the second and revised edition of Köprülüzade’s ‘translation’ from 1963:

  • 18 Ignatii Iu. Krachkovskii (1883-1951) was a prominent Russian and Soviet specialist of Arabic langua (...)

24At the end of the Chapter 1, Bartol’d wrote: “Sovremennyi arabskii pisatel‘ Amin Reikhani, s kotorym nedavno oznakomil russkikh chitatelei I. Iu. Krachkovskii, govorit o verovanijakh i sviashchennykh knigakh khristian i musul’man v takikh vyrazheniiakh, chto po nim trudno bylo by reshit‘, ispoveduet avtor khristianstvo ili islam.”(Bartol’d 1917). In the English translation from 1934, Suhrawardy remained very strict and close to the original: “A contemporary Arab writer, Amin Raihani, with whom the Russians have been recently acquainted by Prof. I. U. Krachkovsky, speaks of the religious beliefs and holy books of the Christians and the Mussulmans in such terms that it is difficult to guess which of these two religions he actually professes.” (Bartold 1934). The only difference between the English translation and Russian original is that Bartol’d wrote that Krachkovskii18 made “Russian readers” aware of Rihani, while Suhrawardy translated the “Russian readers” simply as “Russians”. In the Turkish version, much more deviations from the original text and English translation can be traced.

  • 19 Krachkovskii’s translation of the poetry of the Lebanese-American poet and intellectual Ameen Rihan (...)

25The same excerpt was translated: “Zamanımızın Arap muharrirlerinden Emin Reyhani, müslümanların ve hıristiyanların itikadları ve mukaddes kitapları hakkında öyle ibareler kullanıyor ki, buna bakarak, muharririn müslüman, yahut hıristiyan olduğunu tayin etmek müşküldür.” (Barthold 1963: 19). It is obvious, that Krachkovskii’s translation of Ameen Rihani’s works has not been mentioned.19 Furthermore, there is a footnote 15 at the end of the sentence in the text of Köprülüzade. When checking this footnote, we find a short text related to the topic of nationalism among Muslims (Müslümanlar arasında milliyetcilik). Written presumably by Köprülüzade himself, this text contained superficial information on nationalism among Albanians and Arabs in the late Ottoman Empire. Neither Bartol’d’s original text nor the English translation had any footnote at that place. When Köprülüzade’s translation of Bartol’d’s book was first published in 1940, the prominent Turkish intellectual Abdülhak Adnan Adıvar reviewed it positively in the nationalist journal Ülkü (Adıvar 1940). Adıvar praised the contribution of Bartol’d and particularly that of Köprülüzade; however, he mentioned some inconsistencies in the Turkish and English versions (Adıvar 1940).

26In his review of the Philologiae Turcicae Fundamenta, the German Orientalist Hans-Joachim Kissling (1912-1985) wrote that Ali Ulvi Elöve had translated in 1941 the famous grammar of Turkish authored by the French Turkologist Jean Deny in 1921 by introducing “Beifügungen” (Kissling 1961: 201) (“addings”) into the text. These ‘Beifügungen,’ in the case of Köprülüzade’s translation of Baltol’d’s monograph demonstrate two characteristic aspects of Turkish Turkology. Firstly, Turkish Turkologists needed the translations of European and Russian grand narratives on the Ottoman history and the past of the region of the Middle East and Central Asia. Though aware of the history of the Ottoman dynasty, the knowledge of Persian, Arab and Central Asian cultures in early Kemalist Turkey left much to be desired. At the same time, the awareness of this necessity challenged the search for own identity among Turkish intellectuals and even provoked a sort of anti-European intellectual reaction. Most of the changes in the translation, Köprülüzade added, were related to Ottoman Turkish history. Secondly, Köprülüzade’s translation of Bartol’d illustrates how important the impact of the Russophone Turkic emigrants was on the development of the Turkish Turkology. Also, it was not only about the Russian language competence of the Turkic Turkologists from Central Asia and Volga region. Along with Russian and Ottoman Turkish, they had command of Uzbek and Tatar and had therefore the additional competence of another Turkic language. This and other competences made the contribution of the Turkic Turkologists in Istanbul and Ankara in the field of comparative linguistics and literature study particularly significant.

27From the very beginning of the Kemalist state-building project, Turkish Turkology had a nation-building feature. Under the personal patronage of the leader of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal, Turkology enjoyed state backing mirrored by the institutionalization of Turkology through the aforementioned Türk Dil Kurumu, Türk Tarih Kurumu as well as the foundation of Turkology-related chairs at the Universities in Turkey’s main cities. Köprülüzade became the foreign minister of the country and Atatürk used to attend the Turkish Language Congresses. The Turkic emigrants were eager to support post-Ottoman nation- and state-building in Turkey founded on ethnic principles. Tatar, Azerbaijani and Turkestani emigrants were aware of the significant impact of the first wave of Russian Turkic emigration (Yusuf Akçura, Ali Bey Hüseyinzade, Ahmet Ağaoğlu and others) on the creation of the political Turkism. They hoped for a strongly consolidated, modernized and mobilized Turkey which would be able to advocate for the ethnic interests of millions of Turkic citizens in the Soviet Union. Opposing Soviet Communism, Marxism and Russian culture in general, the Turkic émigré Turkologists contributed tremendously to the development of Turkish anti-Communism. Aimed at the deterioration of Turkish-Soviet relations, many Turkic Turkologists were active public intellectuals in the Kemalist as well as in the post-Kemalist period.

28In the following section, the journal project of the Azerbaijani emigrant in Turkey and prominent Turkish linguist, Ahmet Caferoğlu, and his colleagues during the World War II will be presented.

IV. Dialogue during World War II and the late Stalinist period

29In this chapter, I will elucidate the dialogue between Soviet and Turkish Turkologists in the 1940s and 1950s. Challenged by World War II and late Stalinism, the bilateral contacts between Soviet and Turkish Turkologists were damaged dramatically in the second half of the 1940s and during the first half of the 1950s. The activities around the journal Türk Amacı (1942-1943) and the aggravation of Soviet-Turkish relations since 1945-1947 will be analyzed in the context of the Turkological dialogue between two countries.

30Türk amacı, a Turkish target, was an Istanbul-based monthly between 1942 and 1943. Designed as a platform for knowledge sharing about the Turkic world and Turkey, their culture and language in past and present, Türk Amacı became an important ideological medium for the promotion of the ideas of Pan-Turkic solidarity, as well as of staunch anti-Communism. The journal’s activity is of paramount importance with regard to the circumstances of World War II and the ambiguous geopolitical situation of Turkey. Along with Caferoğlu, a number of other prominent Turkic emigrants from the Soviet Union as well as Turkish intellectuals, historians of literature, and philologists contributed to the journal.

31The first issue of Türk Amacı was published in July 1942. Ahmet Caferoğlu was appointed a regular professor of Turkish Language History at Istanbul University in 1939. Caferoğlu, a graduate of Istanbul and Breslau Universities, possessed extensive experience in journalism. Throughout the 1920s, he contributed to Turkological periodicals such as Türkiyat Mecmuası, edited by Fuat Köprülüzade, as well as to Azerbaijani exile journals in Istanbul such as Odlu-Yurt and Azeri-Türk. In 1932, Caferoğlu founded his own monthly Azerbaycan Yurt Bilgisi and edited it until its forced closure in 1934. In 1942, when Türk Amacı was founded, the Soviet Union had been at war for a year with Nazi Germany and its allies. The Wehrmacht controlled large territories in the western regions of the USSR. Caferoğlu had been living in Turkey since his return from Germany in 1929; he had Turkish citizenship and was married to the philologist Suzan Caferoğlu. Despite his dismissal from the University in 1934 due to his anti-Soviet and anti-Russian paper presentation during the Second Turkological Congress in Turkey, Ahmet Caferoğlu was restored to the University and even obtained professorship. He had good contacts both with the Turkish intellectuals and politicians and with the Azerbaijani and other Turkic political and intellectual emigrants in Turkey and beyond. The contributors’ list of Türk Amacı illustrates these contacts.

Graphic of regular contributors of the Türk Amacı

  • 20 Information on Ali Genceli is very limited. Unfortunately, I could learn neither the dates of his l (...)
  • 21 Mecit İbrahim Okay authored one of the first Turkish textbooks of inorganic and organic chemistry. (...)
  • 22 Obviously, a penname of an Azerbaijani political emigrant.
  • 23 The poet and literature critique Dündar Akünal wrote for other nationalist journals like Çinaraltı. (...)
  • 24 For this information, I would very much like to thank Dr. Vilayət Quliyev. For more on Akünal’s fat (...)


Date and place of birth

Date and place of death

Notes on education

Fuat Köprülüzade

1888, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire

1966, Istanbul, Turkey

No diploma, affiliated with Istanbul University

Ahmet Caferoğlu

1899, Ganja, Russian Empire

1975, Istanbul, Turkey

Studied Philology and Oriental Studies at the universities in Baku, Istanbul and Berlin. PhD from Breslau University (1929).

Kadircan Kaflı (Abdülkadir Kaflı)

1899 (1903), Dagestan, Russian Empire

1967/1969, Istanbul, Turkey

Arrived in Turkey at a young age. Studied in Adana, Konya and at the Gazi Institute in Ankara. Beginning in 1936 he wrote literary pieces for newspapers and journals in Izmir and Istanbul. In 1943, he authored the novel Kösem Sultan.

Abdullah Zihni Soysal

1905, Crimea, Russian Empire

1983, Istanbul, Turkey

Studied at the University of Istanbul. PhD in Turkology from Cracow University (1938)

Muharrem Feyzi Togay

1877, Crimea, Russian Empire

1947, Istanbul, Turkey

No data

Dr. A[hmet Can] Okay

1900, Tashkent, Russian Empire


Studied in Tashkent and in Berlin.

Ali Genceli20

No data

No data

Translated Muhammad Iqbal’s works into Turkish.

Sadeddin (Sadettin) Buluç

1913, Van, Ottoman Empire

1984, Istanbul, Turkey

Studied in Istanbul and Breslau with a Turkish scholarship (1931). PhD from Breslau University (1937)

Mehmed Halid Bayrı

1896, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire

1958, Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul University

F. Saltkan/ Kırzıoğlu (M. Fahrettin/Fahrettin Çelik)

1917, Kars, Russian Empire

2005, Istanbul, Turkey

PhD studies under supervision of Prof. Nimet Akdes Kurat, Istanbul University (1967)

Tahir Alangu

1915, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire

1973, Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul University, Department of Turkology

Abdülkadir İnan

1889, close to Ufa, Russian Empire

1976, Istanbul, Turkey

After migrating to Turkey, İnan worked and taught at the University of Istanbul and then in Ankara. During the 1950s, he worked as translator for the Türk Dil Kurumu.

Samim Kocagöz

1916, Söke, Ottoman Empire

1993, Izmir

Istanbul University, University of Lausanne (1942-45)

Mecit İbrahim Okay21

Tashkent, Russian Empire

Chemist, PhD Studies in Chemistry in Germany

Baycan Turanlı22

No data

No data

No data

Dündar Akünal23

1922, Istanbul

No data

Poet and writer. Son of the Azerbaijani emigrant Ahmet Kemal (1873-1942)24

32From the sixteen contributors of Türk amacı, ten were born in the Russian Empire and immigrated to Turkey in the early 1920s. Not all those Turkic emigrants were active mainly in the field of humanities and Turkology. The Tashkent-born brothers Okay co-shaped Turkish geology and chemistry by authoring the first textbooks in their respective fields. The Okays, as well as Caferoğlu and Buluç, graduated from PhD programs in Germany, Abdullah Z. Soysal from the University of Cracow and Samim Kocagöz obtained their doctoral titles from the University of Lausanne. Besides the brothers Okay, a majority of the Türk Amacı- writers - were trained in Turkology. Along with the folklore researchers Mehmed Halid Bayri, Tahir Alangu, Sadeddin (Sadettin) Buluç, the linguists Ahmet Caferoğlu and Abdülkadir İnan as well as the historian of literature Köprülüzade wrote for Türk amacı. As mentioned above, the journal’s founder Caferoğlu was an experienced editor. His monthly Azerbaycan Yurt Bilgisi (1932-1934) functioned as a Turkological and Azerbaijani diasporic medium. Türk Amacı was the second effort to launch a publication platform for Caferoğlu and his fellows.

33All contributors tried to avoid political polemics to a wide extent: there was no place for direct verbal attacks against Soviet policies on the pages of Türk amacı. The émigré Turkologists seemed to have learnt from the experience of exile Azerbaijani and Turkestani journals in Turkey of the 1920-30s. All of these journals were closed by the Turkish authorities. Türk Amacı avoided “Azerbaijanness” or “Tatarness” and focused on Turkishness, but its messages on ethnicity were articulated more sophisticatedly. Turkological themes that were touched on by the contributors aimed at the depiction of Soviet Russia as the main ‘evil’ for the Turks in general and the Turkic communities in particular.

  • 25 Andrei Viktorovich Anokhin (1869-1931) was an important Soviet Russian ethnographer and explorer of (...)

34There was a difference in the academic standard of the articles. The contribution of M. F. Toğay on Sevim Bike that was published in the first issue of Türk Amacı had no citations or references to scholarship (Toğay 1942). In the same issue, there were the articles of Azerbaijani emigrant Ali Genceli on Tabriz-born poet Tebrizli Sâib, of Abdullah Zihni Soysal on the Crimean Tatar nobles as well as that of Ahmet Caferoğlu on the Central Asian medieval poet Mīr ʿAlī-Šīr Nawāʾī. All three articles contained plenty of sources and references to European and Russian scholarship. Sâdeddin Buluç, who defended his PhD at Breslau University with a scholarship from the Turkish state in the 1930s and published a paper on Shamanism (Buluç 1942), used the monograph of the Russian Orientalist A. V. Anokhin25 extensively. It is worth mentioning that it was Abdülkadir İnan who translated the entire book of Anokhin into Turkish and published it in parts in the Turkish journal Ülkü between 1940 and 1941.

  • 26 Aleksandr A. Semenov (1873-1958) was a prominent Russian Orientalist. A graduate of the famous Laza (...)
  • 27 Hinz 1938. It was a translation of the chapter “Das iranische Löwen-Sonnen-Wappen” of the article: (...)

35Türk Amacı contained translations of articles by the German Orientalist Carl Brockelmann. The journal demonstrated the enormous translationist work already done by the Turkic emigrant Turkologists before the 1940s. İnan’s translations of Vladimirtsov, Semenov26 and Anokhin had already been published. In the 1920s, Caferoğlu completed the translation of the two-volume monograph History of Turkey and Its Literature (Istoriia Turtsii i ee literatury) authored by the prominent Ukrainian Orientalist and victim of Stalinist purges Agafangel Iefimovich Krymskii (1871-1942) between 1910 and 1916. János Eckmann’s bibliography of Caferoğlu’s works states that Caferoğlu prepared the translation of Krymskii’s monograph and published only a part of it under the title Mihri Hatun in Yeni Mecmua in 1923. After his dismissal from Istanbul University in 1934 (Gasimov 2016a). Ahmet Caferoğlu continued to translate Turkological scholarship from German and particularly from Russian. In 1938, he published the translation of an Iran-related article by the prominent German Iranologist Walther Hinz (1906-1992).27 Along with the translation of Pekarskii’s Dictionary of the Iakut Language, Caferoğlu authored the translation of Aleksei Iur’evich Iakubovskii’s short monograph on Mahmud Gaznevid. Iakubovskii, a prominent Russian Orientalist, was a distinguished specialist of Central Asian history, particularly of the medieval period. In 1934, his work Maḥmūd-i Ġaznavī. On the question of the genesis of the Ġaznavīd State (Makhmud Gaznevi. K voprosu o proiskhozhdenii Gaznevidskogo gosudarstva) was published in Leningrad and four years later it became accessible for the Turkish audience through Caferoğlu’s translation (Yakubovsky 1939). The translationist activity of the Istanbul- and Ankara-based Turkologists illustrates a particular feature of Turkish Turkology. Translation can be perceived as an intercultural mediation. In the case of Turkish Turkology, the Turkic émigré linguists and intellectuals played an important role as agents of transfer and intercultural communication not only between Russian and Soviet Oriental Studies and Turkey, but also between the Persianate world and Turkey. A stunning example for the last connection was the Azerbaijani emigrant Ali Genceli.

  • 28 The monograph was translated into Croatian language as well.

36While the contributors of Türk Amacı focussed on Russian and Soviet Turkology, their Soviet contemporaries did to some extent the same with regard to Turkish scholarship. The Ufa-born historian and Turkologist Abdulla M. Shamsutdinov (1907-1998) translated Fuat Köprülüzade’s opus magnum Les Origines de l’Empire ottoman from the French original and published it in 1939. This monograph was based on lectures that Köprülüzade delivered at the Sorbonne in 1935, and was positively reviewed by European Orientalists and historians. As mentioned above, Shamsutdinov’s translation was published in Moscow in 1939, twenty years earlier than the Turkish translation. (Köprülü 1959)28 At that time, Abdulla Shamsutdinov was engaged in his doctoral studies with the prominent Soviet historian and Turkologist V. A. Gordlevskii (1876-1956). A graduate of the prominent Lazarev-Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow, Gordlevskii worked as a linguist throughout the 1930s and co-authored a Russian-Turkish dictionary in 1931. In 1941, his seminal monograph on the Seldjuks in Asia Minor was published. His supervisor’s interest in the early Ottoman period and his own translationist work related to Köprülüzade’s Les Origines de l’Empire Ottoman obviously coined Shamsutdinov’s preoccupation with early Ottoman history at the start of his career at the Moscow-based Institute of Oriental Studies. Later Shamsutdinov analysed the independence war in Turkey between 1918 and 1923. This monograph was translated into Turkish in 1996 by the prominent Turkish leftist intellectual, poet and Russianist Ataol Behramoğlu and enjoyed several new editions in the past few decades (Şamsutdinov2010).

37While the Soviet Army started a large-scale counter-attack on the western front in World War II during 1943, Türk Amacı was closed down by the Turkish authorities. The anti-Soviet activities of Turkish Turkologists of Azerbaijani, Tatar and Central Asian origin were under steady surveillance of Turkish intelligence and were less tolerated, since the Soviets were successful in their warfare against Nazi-Germany. In 1944, the Turkish government launched the arrest of numerous intellectuals accusing them of nationalism, pan-Turkism and extremism. Many political emigrants were among the arrested (Bora 2017: 196-231, particularly 273-275).

  • 29 On Soviet-Turkish relations in the context of the World War II and the Cold War, see the seminal wo (...)
  • 30 Vizantiiskii vremennik is one of the oldest academic journals on Byzantine studies. Founded in 1894 (...)

38During the last phase of World War II and particularly during the first post-war years, Stalin initiated an anti-Turkish campaign. Willing to position itself strategically in the Near East, the Soviet army occupied northern Iran by mobilizing local Azerbaijani and Kurdish separatists. While being physically present in northern Iran, Moscow claimed the eastern Anatolian regions close to the Turkish border with Soviet Georgia and Armenia. These policies of the Soviet government have been thoroughly studied by the scholars of Cold War history,29 but the relations between Turkologists of the two countries have unfortunately remained neglected. The Soviet Academy of Sciences revoked Fuat Köprülüzade’s honorary membership as a foreign correspondent of the Academy in 1948. The influential Soviet periodical of Byzantine Studies Vizantiiskii vremennik30 published a long essay by the Soviet Russian Turkologist and historian Anna S. Tveritinova (1910-1973) on “Falsification of History of Medieval Turkey in Kemalist historiography” in 1953 (Tveritinova 1953). Tveritinova was a Leningrad-educated specialist on early Ottoman history. Along with the aforementioned Abdulla Shamsutdinov, Tveritinova belonged to the school of Gordlevskii and Samoilovich. In her essay, she castigated Köprülüzade and other Turkish historians as ‘bourgeois’ and ‘nationalistic’ for their writings on the history of Ottoman-Byzantine relations and reciprocal influence (Köprülüzade 1931). Tveritinova’s language and argumentation were extremely aggressive. The author wrote “During the last decade, the reactionary ideology of racism and pan-Turkism in Turkey has been accompanied by intensified ‘scientific’ research on medieval Turkish history” (Tveritinova 1953: 9). Köprülüzade was described as a “staunch racist and Panturkist” (Tveritinova 1953: 11).

39After the death of Stalin, political relations between Moscow and Ankara improved to some extent. Soviet Turkologists started to visit the Linguistical Congresses in Turkey again in the second half of the 1950s. Despite the deterioration of Soviet-Turkish relations during the late-Stalinist period, the interest in each other never disappeared.

40Along with wide translation from Russian Turkology, Turkish Turkologists from the Turkic regions of the former Russian Empire, Soviet Union and also Bulgaria contributed to the establishment of Russian and East European Studies in Turkey. Along with the mother of the prominent Turkish historian Crimean Tatar origin İlber Ortaylı, Şefika Ortaylı, the Kazan-born historian Akdes Kurat taught Russian at the University of Ankara. Hasan Eren (1919-2007) and İsmayıl Kaynak (1925-) were born in Vidino in Bulgaria and immigrated to Turkey after graduation from school and university in Europe. Hasan Eren studied Oriental Studies and Turkology in Hungary and graduated from a doctoral program in 1942. His supervisor was the Hungarian Turkologist Gyula Nemeth. In 1948, Hasan Eren moved to Turkey and joined the University of Ankara. Being trained as Turkologist, Eren taught Russian. In Istanbul, Caferoğlu taught Russian linguistics at the University of Istanbul during the 1930s and 1940s.

  • 31 He taught Turkic linguistics and Azerbaijani literature from 1992 to 1999 at the Ankara Üniversites (...)
  • 32 Professor of Turkic Linguistics at the private Arel Üniversitesi in Istanbul (Turkey).
  • 33 Professor of Armenian Studies, Erciyes University (Turkey).
  • 34 Ass. Professor at the private Şehir Üniversitesi in Istanbul (Turkey).
  • 35 Ass. Professor at the Istanbul-based Mimar Sinan Üniversitesi (Turkey).


Translations from Russian

Translations from other languages

Ahmet Caferoglu

Agafangel Krymskii

Kitab al-idrak li-lisan al Atrak, Istanbul: Evkaf M. 1931

Abdülkadir İnan

Türkistan san'atkârları : loncasının risalesi / yazan A. Samayloviç. Tercüme eden: Abdülkadir [ʿAbd-al-Qādir], İstanbul , İktisat Matbaası, 1929.

Aleksandr N. Samoyloviç Orta Asya edebî türkçesinin tarihine dair, Ankara Üniv. Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fak. Yıllık araştırmaları, 1940-1941.

Boris Vladimirtsov Moğolların içtimai teşkilatı. Moğol göçebe feodalizmi, Ankara: TTK, 1944, 2nd edition: 1987.

Anna S. Tveristinova Türkiye’de Kara Yazıcı-Deli Hasan İsyanı, 1946.

Vladimir A. Gordlevskiy Küçük Asya’da selçuklar, edited by Timurlan Omorov, Ankara: TTK, 2015.

Abdullah Battal Taymas

Alimcan Şeref Harfleremizin Müdafası, Istanbul: Yeni Matbaa 1926, 2nd edition Istanbul: Bedir yayınevi, 1993.

Nimet Akdes Kurat
(Tahiroglu, 1903-1971)

V. Bartold Uluğ Bey ve Zamanı, Istanbul: Evkaf M., 1930.

Ahmet Temir
(1912, Kazan/Russian Empire-2003, Ankara)

F. W. Radloff Sibirya’dan, Istanbul: Maarif vekaleti, 1954-57, 2nd edition: Ankara: Kültür ve turizm başkanlığı, 1986.

The Clandestine History of the Mongols (Moğolların gizli tarihi, Ankara: TTK, 1947, 2010) is considered the main contribution of Ahmet Temir. He translated the text from the twelfth century from Mongolian but consulted the German translation of E. Haenisch and the Russian translation of S. Kozin.

Samir Kâzimoğlu Tağızade31
(1950, Tovuz/Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic-1999, Ankara)

Russian Surnames of Turkic Origin (Türk Kökenli Rus Soyadları) N. A. Baskakov, Ankara, TTK, 1997.

Kamil Veli Nerimanoğlu32
(Veliyev, 1946, Djebrail, Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic-)

With Nazim Muradov and Yakup Sevimli: A. N. Kononov Rusya’da Türk dillerin araştırılması tarihi, Ankara: TTK, 2009.

Gaffar (Çakmaklı) Mehdiyev33

Mahvedilmiş Türkoloji, ed. by Alpatov, Nasilov, Ankara: TTK, 2016.

Vügar Imanbeyli34
(Imanov, 1971, Nakhichevan, Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic-)

Nikolay Trubetskoy Avrupa ve Beşeriyet, Istanbul: Küre yayınları, 2012.

Ilyas Kemaloğlu35
(Kamalov, 1978, Ulianovsk, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic-)

Nikolay Ivanov. Osmanlı’nın Arap Ülkelerini Fethi (1516-1574), Ankara: TTK, 2013.

G. Galstyan Ermeni Kaynaklarına Göre Moğollar, Istanbul: Yedipete Yay., 2005.

Rizaeddin Fahreddin. Altın Ordu ve Kazan Hanları, Istanbul: Kaktüs yay., 2003.

V. Concluding remarks

  • 36 See the article of Bulgarian Turkologist of Turkish dissent Mefküre Mollova (1927-2009) in the lead (...)

41Ahmet Caferoğlu was widely read and highly regarded among Soviet Orientalists. His linguistical works were mentioned and reviewed by Soviet Russian (Aleksandr Samoilovich a.o.), Tatar and Azerbaijani (Shiraliev 1961: 119f), as well as Bulgarian Turkologists36. His writings on Soviet politics addressed to a Turkish audience were heavily critisized by Soviet scholars of Turkish history and communism. Good examples of this kind of reception are the monographs of the Soviet Azerbaijani and Armenian historians Adalet Mamedov (Mamedov 1987), Raffi Kondakchian (Kondakchian 1978: 166) and Elmira Zamanova (Zamanova 1991: 56). The Soviet Azerbaijani historian Tofiq Köçərli (1929-2007) accused Caferoğlu of being an ‘enemy of the Soviet Union’ and ‘representative of the bourgeois science’, just as Tveritinova accused Köprülüzade in her article from 1953. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many Turkic Turkologists who pursued their academic careers in Turkey were ‘re-discovered’ in the post-Soviet republics and in Russia itself. In 1990, a congress devoted to Zeki Velidi Togan was organised in Ufa. Six years later, the Bashkir Academy of Sciences published a sixty-page catalogue of Abdülkadir İnan’s writings. In 1997, a collection of articles devoted to Sadri Maksudi Arsal in Tatar and Russian was published in Kazan. In 2008, Caferoglu’s collected works were published in Azerbaijani translation in Baku. Russian Turkologists started to visit the Katanov Library at the Türkiyat Enstitüsü at the University of Istanbul. A transfer of the results of the émigré Turkologists, particularly their public intellectual writings were translated and published in Ufa, Kazan and Baku. Inspired by the relatively liberal era of Boris Yeltsin, numerous Soviet Turkologists, victims of Stalinist purges, could be commemorated by Russian historians and linguists throughout the 1990s (Alpatov et al 2002).

42Simultaneousely, a new generation of Turkish Turkologists and historians with distinct knowledge of Russian emerged. Trained at the universities in the post-Soviet republics, they continued the cultural transfer of Russian and Soviet Turkology to Turkey. Kenan Koç, a Turkish linguist and historian trained in Kazakhstan, translated and published the masterpiece of Andrei Kononov in 2006 in Istanbul (Kononov 2006).

  • 37 Barthold 2015. First edition: Barthold 1997.
  • 38 Hinz was educated firstly as Russianist and then studied Oriental philology.

43The necessity of translations from (Soviet) Russian Turkology into Turkish is still on the agenda in Turkey. The translation of Russian Turkology- and Turkey-related academic works into Turkish triggers interesting debates that indicate the significance of the problem. The Izmir-based historian of literature Serkan Acar lashed out at the second edition of a newly re-published Turkish translation of the famous book of Wilhelm Barthold (Vasilii Bartol’d), Ulugbek i ego vremia authored by Ismail Aka (1942-).37 Bartol’d wrote it in 1915 and published it three years later in Petrograd. The Kazan-born political emigrant and Turkish historian of Tatar origin Nimet Akdes Kurat translated the masterpiece and published it in Istanbul in 1930 (Barthold 1930). The book enjoyed popularity among international scholars. The aforementioned German specialist of Iranian Studies Walter Hinz (1906-1992) translated it into German.38 The prominent Russian exile Iranist Vladimir Fedorovich Minorskii (1877-1966) prepared the English translation of the monograph in the 1950s. Ismail Aka is a Turkish historian and former student of Akdes Kurat. Acar criticized Aka for using only the German version of Walther Hinz. His review contained several examples of the “lost-in-translation” parts of Aka’s text. Acar, born in 1980, studied Russian and authored a monograph on Kazan in the medieval period and worked as a translator as well. His translation of the travelogue of the prominent Russian traveler Afanasii Nikitin was published by the Türk Tarih Kurumu in 2013 (Nikitin 2013).

44The ‘dialogue’ between Russian and Turkish Turkologies has its own dynamic and continuity. While Russian Turkologists could develop their own specific fields such as ‘Military Turkology’ looking back to a century-long tradition beginning with Andrei Snesarev, Turkish Turkologists have been century-long recipients of Russia- and Soviet Union-made Turkological research and gained a lot from translationist activity – both conducted by the Russia-born Turkic Turkologists such as the Azerbaijani Ahmet Caferoğlu, Bashkir Abdülkadir İnan and the Crimean Tatar Abdullah Zihni Soysal and dozens of others. Being fierce anti-Communists, these Turkic Turkologists transferred Soviet academic writings through regular reviewing, translating and integrating of the Soviet as well as European Turkological research results into their own scholarly writings. Paradoxically, Caferoğlu, İnan and others embodied Russian-Turkish Turkological dialogue for decades. Born in Russia’s borderlands, they became Turkish counterparts of Soviet Russian, Azerbaijani and other scholars, meeting them on Linguistic Congresses in Ankara, Istanbul as well as internationally and corresponding privately. The Turkological dialogue and Turkology-related transfers between the Soviet Union and Turkey were of an asymmetrical nature: Turkish linguists received and considered much more from the well-established Soviet Turkological centers than vice-versa. Nevertheless, the transfer between Moscow, Leningrad, Baku, Tbilisi, Istanbul and Ankara was not a one-way-movement of ideas and academic production and we see that for instance through the example of Shamsutdinov’s translation of Köprülüzade’s French-language masterpiece.

Top of page


[Adıvar] Abdülhak Adnan (1940). “W. Barthold - Fuad Köprülü, İslâm Medeniyeti Tarihi,” Ülkü XV, nr. 90, Ağustos, pp. 566570.

Akünal, Dündar (1942). ‘Hüseyinzade Ali Bey. Kafkasya'da Türkçülük Hareketine Bir Bakış’, Çınaraltı, 14 ( 28), pp. 1214.

Alpatov, V. M.; Ashnin F. D.; Nasilov D. M. (eds.) (2002). Repressirovannaia tiurkologiia (Persecuted Turkology), Moscow, Vostochnaia literatura.

Anokhin, Andrei V. (1924). Materialy po shamanstvu u altaitsev sobrannye vo vremia puteshestvii po Altaiu v 1910-1912 po porucheniju Russkogo komiteta dlia izucheniia Srednei i Vostochnoi Azii (Materials on Shamanizm of Altai [people – Z.G.] collected during the travels through Altai in 1910-1912 initiated by the Russian Committee of Study of Central and Eastern Asia), Leningrad, Sb. MAE.

Antologiia pedagogicheskoi mysli Azerbaidzhanskoi SSR (Anthology of pedagogical thought of Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic) (1989), edited by Agaev A. A. and Gashimov A. Sh., Moscow: Pedagogika.

Arıkbaġ, Zafer, Dündar Akünal (1944). Türk Edebiyatında Hiciv ve Mizah Şiirleri, İstanbul, Aydınlık Basımevi.

Ar-Reikhani, Amin (1917). Izbrannye proizvedeniia (Selected Works), Petrograd, “Ogni”.

Ashnin, F. D. (1978). “Aleksandr Nikolaevich Samoilovich (1880-1938)”, Tiurkologicheskii sbornik 1974, pp. 1827.

Ateş, Ahmed; Tahsin Yazıcı ; Nihad M. Çetin (1964). Arapca Dilbilgisi (Alfabe, Kelime Sekil Bilgisi, Türetme), Istanbul, Edebiyat Fakültesi Basımevi.

Avatkov, Vladimir A. (2016). Kratkii turetsko-russkii voenno-politicheskii slovar’ (Concise Turkish-Russian Dictionary for Military-Political Purposes), Moscow, MGIMO.

Avatkov, Vladimir A. (2013). Turetskii iazyk: Ochebnoe posobie po obshchemu kursu voennogo perevoda. Dlia studentov 3 kursa v 2 chastiakh. Chast’ 2. (The Turkish Language: General Course on Military-Related Translation. For Students of the Third Education Year. In two parts. Part 2), Moscow, MGIMO.

Avatkov, Vladimir A. (2012). Turetskii iazyk: Ochebnoe posobie po obshchemu kursu voennogo perevoda. Dlia studentov 3 kursa v 2 chastiakh. Chast’ 1. (The Turkish Language: General Course on Military-Related Translation. For Students of the Third Education Year. In two parts. Part 1), Moscow, MGIMO.

Aykut, Altan (2006). ‘Türkiye’de Rus Dili ve Edebiyatı Çalışmaları. Rus Edebiyatından Çeviriler (1884-1940) ve Rusça Öğrenimi (1883-2006)’, Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi Dergisi 46 (2), pp. 127.

Babayev, Ekber (1976). Yaşamı ve Yapıtlarıyla Nazım Hikmet, Istanbul, Cem yayınevi.

Babayev, Ekber (2002). Nazım Hikmet. Yaşamı ve Yapıtları, Istanbul, İnkılap yay.

Barthold, W. W. (2015). Uluğ Beg ve zamanı (Ulug-Bek and his Time), translated by İsmail Aka, 2nd edition, Ankara, Türk Tarih Kurumu.

Barthold, W. W. (2014). İslam Medeniyeti Tarihi, translated by Fuat Köprülüzade, İstanbul, Alfa Yayıncılık.

Barthold, Wilhelm (1997). Uluğ Beg ve Zamanı (Ulug-Bek and his Time), translated by İsmail Aka, Ankara.

Barthold, W. W. (1963). İslâm medeniyeti tarihi, Expanded, 2nd revised and enriched edition, Ankara, Türk Tarih Kurumu.

Barthold, W. W. (1934). Mussulman Culture, Calcutta, University of Calcutta.

Barthold, W. W. (1930). Uluğ Bey ve Zamanı, translated by Tahiroğlu Akdes Nimet, İstanbul, Evkaf Matbaası.

Bartol’d, V. V. (1925). Istoriia izucheniia Vostoka v Evrope i Rossii: Lekcii, chitannye v universitete i v Leningradskom institute zhivykh vostochnykh iazykov, 2nd edition, Leningrad, Leningr[adskii]. in-t izucheniia zhivykh vost[ochnykh]. iaz[ykov].

Bartol’d, V. V. (1917). Kul’tura musul’manstva, Petrograd, “Ogni”.

Bayram, Parvana (2013). ‘On Gün Türkiye’de’ (Ten Days in Turkey). İnsan ve Toplum Bilimleri Araştırmaları Dergisi 2/3, pp. 175182.

Bochkarev, P. S. (1938). Voennyi russko-turetskii slovar’, Moscow, GIS.

Bochkarev, P. S. (1938). Voennyi turetsko-russkii slovar’, Moscow, GIS.

Bochkarev, P. S. (1940). Voennyi turetsko-russkii i russko-turetskii slovar’, 2nd edition, Moscow, GIS; (1942) 3rd edition.

Bora, Tanıl (2017). Cereyanlar. Türkiye’de siyasi ideolojiler (Movements. Political ideologies in Turkey), 4th edition, Istanbul, İletişim.

Bouquet, Olivier (2016). ‘De Turquie, de Russie et d’ailleurs’, European Journal of Turkish Studies 22, connection on 20 July 2017. URL :

Buluç, Dr. Sadeddin (1942). ‘Şamanizm’, Türk Amacı 1, pp. 4248.

Çetin, Nihad M. (1968/1969). ‘Ahmed Ateş (1911-1966)’, Oriens 21/22, pp. 715.

Deny, Jean (1921). Grammaire de la langue turque (dialecte osmanli), Paris, Imprimerie nationale.

Eckmann, Janos (1959). ‘Ahmet Caferoğlu'nun Eserleri (Doğumunun 60. Yıl Dönümü Münasebetiyle)’, İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı Dergisi 9, URL:

Gasimov, Zaur (2016a). “Science Transfer to Turkey”, European Journal of Turkish Studies 22, Consulté le 10 janvier 2017. URL :

Gasimov, Zaur (2016b). ‘Wissen und Macht. Türkei- und Nahostexperten in Russland’, Osteuropa 11-12, pp. 5774.

Gasimov, Zaur (2017). ‘Krimtatarische Exil-Netzwerke zwischen Osteuropa und dem Nahen Osten’, Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 1, pp. 142166.

Guliev, Vilaiat (2002). “Azerbaidzhanskaia shkola” v rossiiskoi orientalistike (pervaia polovina 19-go veka) (‘Azerbaijani school’ within Russian Orientology [First Half of the 19th century]), Baku, Azerneshr.

Hasanli, Jamil (2006). At the Dawn of the Cold War: The Soviet-American Crisis over Iranian Azerbaijan, 1941–1946, (The Harvard Cold War Studies), Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield.

Hasanli, Jamil (2011). Stalin and the Turkish Crisis of the Cold War, 1945-1953 (The Harvard Cold War Studies), Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Plymouth, Lexington Books.

Hasanli, Jamil (2017). The Sovietization of Azerbaijan. The South Caucasus in the Triangle of Russia, Turkey, and Iran, 1920-1922, Salt Lake City, The University of Utah Press.

Hinz, W. (1938). ‘İran‘ın Şir-u Hurşit Arması’, Ülkü XII (68), pp. 101108.

Hinz, Walther (1937). ‘Beiträge zur iranischen Kulturgeschichte’, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 91, pp. 5879.

Katanov, N. (1903). Opyt issledovaniia uriankhaiskogo iazyka s ukazaniem glavneishikh rodstvennykh otnoshenij k drugim iazykam tiurkskogo kornia (Experience of Study of the Uriankhai Language), Kazan’, Tipolitografiia Imperatorskogo Universiteta.

Kemper, Michael ; Conermann, Stephan (eds.) (2011). The Heritage of Soviet Oriental Studies, London/New York, Routledge.

Kemper, Michael ; Kalinovsky, Artemy M. (eds) (2015). Reassessing Orientalism: Interlocking Orientologies during the Cold War, London, Routledge.

Kepriuliu, M. F. (1939). Proiskhozhdenie Osmanskoi Imperii (The Origins of the Ottoman Empire), Moscow.

Knüppel, Michael (2012). ‘Geschichte der Turkologie und türkischen Studien in Göttingen’? URL:

Kondakchian, Raffi (1978). Vnutrenniaia politika Turtsii v gody Vtoroi Mirovoi Voiny, Erevan, AN ArmSSR.

Kononov, A. A. (2006). Türk Dili Araştırmaları Tarihi, İstanbul.

Kononov, Andrei (1973). ‘Tiurkologiia’, Bol’shaia Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia, URL:

Köprülü, Fuat (1959). Osmanlı İmparatorluğunun Kuruluşu, Ankara, Türk Tarih Kurumu.

Köprülü, Fuad (1935). Les Origines de l'Empire ottoman, Paris, E. de Boccard.

Köprülüzade, Mehmet Fuat (1931). ‘Bizans Müesseselerinin Osmanli Müesseselerine Te'siri Hakkında bazı mülâhazalar’, Türk Nukuk ve İktisat Tarihi Mecmuası, I, pp. 165313.

Kuşçu, Ayşe D. (2010). ‘Portre: Prof. Dr. Mekki Şerif Baştav’, Türk Yurdu 30, pp. 7175.

Laut, Jens Peter (2013). ‘Was ist Turkologie? Überlegungen zu einem sogenannten Orchideenfach’, URL:

Laut, Jens Peter (2009). ‘Carl Brockelmann und die türkische Sprachreform’, in Fenz Hendrik (ed.) Strukturelle Zwänge – Persönliche Freiheiten. Osmanen, Türken, Muslime: Reflexionen zu gesellschaftlichen Umbrüchen. Gedenkband zu Ehren Petra Kapperts, Berlin-New York, De Gruyter, pp. 277295.

Lemke Duque, Carlos; Zaur Gasimov (2015). ‘Introduction. Outlines of a Logical Constitutive Model of Cultural Transfer’ Transfer and Translation, Comparativ – Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung 2: pp. 7-15.

Mamedov, Adalet (1987). Stroitel’stvo kommunizma v respublikakh Sovetskogo Vostoka i sovremennyi antikommunizm, Baku, Elm.

Meyer, James H. (2014). Turks Across Empires. Marketing Muslim Identity in the Russian-Ottoman Borderlands, 1856-1914, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Məlikli, Tofiq (2014). ‘Türkiyə sevdalısı Әkbər Babayev’ (An Admirer of Turkey - Әkbər Babayev), URL: (19.07.2017)

Mikhailov, M. S. (1966). “Sergei Esenin i Nazym Khikmet” (Sergei Esenin and Nazim Hikmet), Tiurkologicheskii Sbornik, pp. 209215.

Mollova, M[efküre] (1968). ‘Opyt foneticheskoi (konsonanticheskoi) klassifikatsii tiurkskich iazykov i dialektov oguzskoi gruppy’ (An Attempt of Phonological (Consonants-related) Classification of Turkic Languages and Dialects of the Oghuz Group), Voprosy iazykoznaniia 3 (82), pp. 8294.

Mongush, Zoia M. (2011). ‘Biblioteka russkogo tiurkologa v Turtsii,’ (A Library of Russian Turkologist in Turkey), URL:

Németh, Gyula (1967). ‘Köprülüzade Mehmet Fuat (1890-1966)’, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae XX (3), pp. 363366. URL:

Németh, Julius (1917). Türkische Grammatik, Berlin, Leipzig, Göschen.

Nikitin, Afanasiy (2013). Üç Deniz Ötesine Seyahat, Ankara, TTK.

Novikov, Nikolai V. (1989). Vospominaniia diplomata. Zapiski o 1938-47 gg. (Memoirs of a Diplomat. Notes on 1938-1947), Moscow, Izdatel’stvo polit. Literatury. URL: (12.07.2017).

Okay, Mecit İbrahim (1942). Anorganik Kimya (Inorganic Chemistry), Ankara, Ankara Üniversitesi Basımevi, 2nd ed. 1950.

Okay, Mecit İbrahim (1947). Organik Kimya (Organic Chemistry), Ankara: Kanaat Basımevi.

Ortaylı, İlber (2000). Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda İktisadî ve Sosyal Değişim. Makaleler I. (Economic and Social Change in the Ottoman Empire. Articles. I), Ankara, Turhan kitabevi.

Orlov, S. A. (1990). Voennyi perevod. Turetskii iazyk (Military Translation. Turkish). Moscow.

Pandopadhaya, Sunil (2010). ‘Remembrance Shahid Suhrawardy. Forgotten pride of our subcontinent’, The Daily Star 03.03.2010. URL: http: //

Plaggenborg, Stefan (2012). Ordnung und Gewalt. Kommunismus – Faschismus – Sozialismus, München, Oldenbourg.

Quliyev, Vilayǝt (2013). ‘“Füyuzat”ın başqa bir müəllifi – Əhməd Kamal’, 525ci qǝzet 11.08.2013. URL:

Reynolds, Michael A. (2011). Shattering Empires. The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires 1908-1918, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Rusça-Türkçe askeri terimler (1953), Ankara, Erkânıharbiye Umûmiye Riyaseti.

Rzaev, Аgababa К. (1965). Mirza Kazembek, Baku, Azerneshr.

Rzaev, Agababa K. (1986). Azerbaidzhanskie vostokovedy XIX veka: ocherki (Azerbaijani Orientalists of the 19th century: Sketches), Baku, Elm.

Rzaev, Agababa K. (1989). Mukhammed Ali M. Kazem-Bek, Moscow, Nauka.

Rəsulov, Әsgər (2011). ‘Hədiyyəniz bir dəstə gül olsun’. 525-ci qəzet (25.06.2011), (19.07.2017)

Samoilovich, A. N. (1925). Kratkaia uchebnaia grammatika sovremennogo osmansko-turetskogo iazyka, Leningrad, Ross. God. Akadem. Tip.

Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, David (2011). ‘The Imperial Roots of Soviet Orientology’, in Kemper, Michael; Conermann, Stephan (eds.), The Heritage of Soviet Oriental Studies, London; NewYork, Routledge, pp. 2946.

Semenov, A. A. (1928) ‘Pamir Ismaiîîleri Akîdelerine Ait’, Daru’l-Fünûnu İlahiyat Fakültesi Mecmuası (7).

Shiraliev, M. A. (1961). ‘Sur l’origine de l’affixe personnel v dans les dialects de la langue azerbaïdjanaise’ Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 13 (1/2), pp. 119121.

Shiraliev, M. A. (1947). ‘Izuchenie dialektov azerbaidzhanskogo iazyka’. Izvestiia Akademii Nauk Soiuza SSR. Otdelenie literatury i iazyka, Vol. VI, Issue 5, Sep.-Oct., pp. 431436.

Snesarev, A. A., Snesarev Andrei Evgen’evich, in: (28.12.2016).

Sultanzade, Fevziye (1953). Rusça Ders Kitabı I. Askeri Liseler İçin (Russian Language Textbook. For Military Colleges), Ankara, E. U. Basımevi.

Sultanzade, Fevziye (1956). Rusça Ders Kitabı II. Askeri Liseler İçin (Russian Language Textbook. For Military Colleges), Ankara, E. U. Basımevi.

Sumin, Ye. V. (1954). Posobie po voennomu perevodu (Turetskii iazyk) (Textbook on Military Translation [Turkish Language]), Moscow, Voennyi institut inostrannykh iazykov.

Şamsutdinov, Abdula Mardanoviç (2010). Bir Sovyet Tarihçisinin Gözüyle Türkiye. Ulusal kurtuluş savaşı 1918-1923 (Turkey under the Eyes of a Soviet Historian. The National Independence War of 1918-1923), 4th edition, Istanbul, Cumhuriyet kitap.

Tan, Nail (2001). Kuruluşunun 70. Yıl Dönümünde Türk Dil Kurumu (70’s Anniversary of Turkish Language Society), Ankara, Türk Dil Kurumu Yayınları.

Tekin, Talȃt (1959). ‘Sovyet Rusya’da Savaştan Sonra Türkoloji Çalışmaları’, Türk Dili Araştırmaları Yıllığı “Belleten”, pp. 379406.

Toğay, M. F. (1942). ‘Sevim Bike’, Türk Amacı 1, pp. 2229.

Tolz, Vera (2011). Russia's Own Orient:The Politics of Identity and Oriental Studies in the Late Imperial and Early Soviet Periods, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Troebst, Stefan (2009). ‘Slavizität. Identitätsmuster, Analyserahmen, Mythos’, Osteuropa 12 (7-20), URL:

Tsygankova, Ye. G. (2006). ‘Vseukrainska naukova asotsiazsiia skhodoznavstva (1926-1930)’ (All-Ukrainian Scientific Society of Oriental Studies [1926-1930]), Skhidnyi svit 2, pp. 1123.

Tveritinova, Anna S. (1953). ‘Falsifikatsiia istorii srednevekovoi Turtsii v kemalistskoi istoriografii’ (Falsification of Turkey Medieval History in Kemalist Historiography) Vizantijskii vremennik 7, pp. 931. URL:

Vasil’ev, A. D. (2013). ‘Rossievedenie v Turtsii’, in Avatkov, V. A.; Druzhilovskii, S. B.; Fedorchenko, A. V. (eds.), Rossiisko-Turetskie otnosheniia: 2002-2012 gody, Moscow, MGIMO, pp. 2746.

Vladimirtsov, Boris Ia. (1934). Obshchestvennyi stroi mongolov. Mongol’skii kochevoi feodalizm (The Structure of the Society of Mongols. Mongol Nomadic Feodalism), Leningrad, Izdatel’stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR.

Weil, Gotthold (1917). Grammatik der Osmanisch-türkischen Sprache, Berlin, Georg Reimer.

Yakubovsky, A. Y. (1939). ‘Gazneli Mahmut, Gazne Devletinin Menşei ve Karakteri Meselesine Dair,’ translated by A. Caferoğlu, Ülkü Halkevleri Dergisi, XII/72, Ankara 1939, pp. 505513; XIII/73 (1939), pp. 4957; XIII/75 (1939), pp. 241246; XIII/76 (1939), pp. 321333.

Zamanova, El’mira (1991). Esteticheskaia mysl‘ v sovremennoi Turtsii: Osnovnye problemy i tendentsii (Esthetics in Modern Turkey. Essential Problems and Trends), Baku, Elm.

Zülfikar, Hamza (2008). ‘Hasan Eren’in Ardından’, Dil Araştırmaları Dergisi 2, pp. 162166. URL:

Әlizadə, Mayis (2015). ‘Səfir Xəlil Akıncı: “Prezident Fəxri Korutürk Əkbər Babayevə dəvətnamə göndərmişdi” Müsahibə’ 18.06.2015. URL:

Top of page


1 Translation is regarded as one of the most important spaces of transfers. See Lemke Duque; Gasimov 2015.

2 Born in 1884 in a suburb of Baku, Rasulzade attended a Russian school in Baku and joined the Russian socialists. During his first exile in Tehran, he founded and edited the socialist newspaper Irane-Now. Then he moved to Istanbul and finally could return to Russian Baku in 1913. Until the proclamation of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1918, Rasulzade was an active publicist and journalist. Between 1918 and 1920, he played one of the key roles in the Azerbaijani political establishment. Since the early 1920s until his death in Ankara in 1955, Rasulzade lived in exile in Turkey (1920s), then in Poland (1930s), in Germany and in Romania (1940s). He published extensively on Azerbaijani political history, commented on the Soviet nationalities policy in the Caucasus and on Azerbaijani literature.

3 For more on Russian Orientalists in the late Russian Empire and in the early Soviet Russia, see the seminal monograph of Vera Tolz (2011). The book offers an amazing overview and insight into the rich realm of Russian Oriental Studies, the key persons and institutions of the late Tsarist and early Soviet period. However, neither the perception of these Orientalists among the non-Russian intellectuals in the peripheries of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, nor in the countries of the Middle East was intended to be examined.

4 I use the notion of ‘Orientalist’ being aware of the highly esteemed scholarship of Edward Said. Orientalist (Russian: vostokoved, Turkish müsteşrik or later doğubilimci) is a sort of a collective name of specialists of philology and/or history of Near and Middle East. In Russia, a China-specialist can be understood as an Orientalist as well, though the classical understanding of vostokovedenie (Oriental Studies) comprises Arab, Persian and Turkic Studies. More on Russian Oriental Studies see (Kemper; Conermann 2011; Kemper; Kalinovsky 2015; Gasimov 2016b.

5 In 2002, the Russian Academy of Science reedited the monograph.

6 Unfortunately, it was not possible to get more information on Fevziye Sultanzade. Obviously, she had Russian Turkic background. In the foreword, she thanked the lector of Military College Hilmi Süalp for correction and proof-reading of her Turkish text.

7 The Turkish scholar Talȃt Tekin (1927-2015) pointed out this specific feature of Soviet Turkology in his study from 1959. See Tekin 1959.

8 Many young people of Talish, Kurdish or Tat background were willing to study Iranian Studies in Soviet Azerbaijan particularly after the end of World War II. In the 1950s, teaching of Talish at schools in the southern part of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic was reduced, while Kurdish and Tat were suspended. The apprehension of Persian on a comparatively high-level and the acquisition of knowledge on Persian culture, history and literature gave Azerbaijan-born Talishs, Kurds and Tats the possibility to ‘get closer’ to their own mother tongues that belonged to the Iranian family of languages.

9 Some of them were active in the intelligence community. Obviously, it is quite difficult to analyze this kind of Turkologist activity and interaction. Soviet Turkologist Tofik Melikli (1942-), Rüfət Rəsulov (1945-) and many others were deployed in Turkey in the 1970s. Later they rejoined academia but it is not quite clear what they had done during their stays in Turkey.

10 At the same time, we should assume that similar considerations may appear with regard to other area studies, such as Russian and French studies.

11 His students Ahmed Ateş (1917-1966), Nihad Çetin (1924-1991) and Tahsin Yazıcı (1922-2002) co-shaped the Turkish Oriental Studies after Ritter left Turkey in 1949. Ahmed Ateş’s textbooks on the Persian language and on grammar are still in use. (Ateş et al 1964). For more details on Ahmed Ateş see (Çetin 1968/1969). However, the quality of the collective manual of Arabic authored by Ateş, Yazıcı and Çetin can hardly be compared with that of Yusuf Uralgiray, a Dobrugea-born Crimean Tatar emigrant. Uralgiray published his two-volume textbook of Arabic and taught Arabic linguistics at the University of Ankara. For more on Uralgiray, see Gasimov 2017.

12 Katanov was one of the students of Wilhelm Radloff. In 1903, his well-known study Opyt issledovaniia uriankhaiskogo iazyka (Experience of Study of the Uriankhai Language) was published in Kazan.

13 Born in 1889 in a Bashkurt village into a conservative and religious Muslim family, Inan enjoyed his school and high school education in Central Russia. From 1915 to 1923 he taught at different schools in Bashkiria. In 1923 he decided to leave Soviet Russia by emigrating to Iran and Afghanistan, and then to India a year later. From British India he travelled to Europe and after a yearlong sojourn in Germany and France, in summer 1925 he arrived in Istanbul, where he joined the Turkology Institute headed by Fuat Köprülüzade. Inan’s research works were mostly on Shamanism, Central Asian folklore and literature. His translations from the Russian and Soviet Orientalists were of particular importance for the relatively young Turkish Turkology. In 1944 his translation of the monograph of Boris Iakovlevich Vladimirtsov (1884-1931) on the Mongol society and social structure and nomadic feudalism was published in Ankara. This monograph, which was originally issued in Leningrad under the title Obshchestvennyi stroi mongolov. Mongol’skii kochevoi feodalizm in 1934, enjoyed several reprints in Turkey, in 1987 and in 1995.

14 P. 343, in: (04.01.2017)

15 In 1966, the complete collection of Bartol’d’s writings was published by the Soviet Academy of Sciences. After the fall of Communism, the book Kul’tura musul’manstva was published in 1998 and in 2012, the monograph emerged in the third edition.

16 Cemal Velidi, or in Tatar, Cemalettin Celalettin oglu Velidov (1887-1932) was a Tatar historian, critic of literature, and specialist on the poetry of Abdullah Tukay.

17 Metin Ahad Ural Bukkul was a Tatar emigrant. Together with Ahmet Temir, a prominent Turkish scholar of Mongol Studies of Tatar origin, Ahad Ural left the Soviet Union for Istanbul in 1929. He studied Hungarian philology at the University in Ankara. Later he worked for the Topkapı Museum in Istanbul. See Kuşçu 2010.

18 Ignatii Iu. Krachkovskii (1883-1951) was a prominent Russian and Soviet specialist of Arabic language and literature, and one of the first translators of the Holy Koran into Russian. He edited the translation and many-volume edition of A Thousand and One Nights.

19 Krachkovskii’s translation of the poetry of the Lebanese-American poet and intellectual Ameen Rihani (1876-1940) was published in 1917 by the same edition house (Ogni), like the book of Bartol’d. (ar-Reikhani 1917).

20 Information on Ali Genceli is very limited. Unfortunately, I could learn neither the dates of his life nor the basics on his vitae.

21 Mecit İbrahim Okay authored one of the first Turkish textbooks of inorganic and organic chemistry. See Okay 1942, second edition 1950. Okay 1947.

22 Obviously, a penname of an Azerbaijani political emigrant.

23 The poet and literature critique Dündar Akünal wrote for other nationalist journals like Çinaraltı. See his account on the Azerbaijani emigrant and one of the Pan-Turanism co-founders Ali bey Hüseynzade Turan: Dündar Akünal, “Hüseyinzade Ali Bey. Kafkasya'da Türkçülük Hareketine Bir Bakış", Çınaraltı, 14 Şubat 1942, 28: 12-14. In the 1940s, he authored some monographs on Turkish literature. See Ankbag; Dündar 1944.

24 For this information, I would very much like to thank Dr. Vilayət Quliyev. For more on Akünal’s father Ahmet Kemal, see Quliyev, Vilayət 2013.

25 Andrei Viktorovich Anokhin (1869-1931) was an important Soviet Russian ethnographer and explorer of Siberian culture and music. In 1924, he published a collection of materials on Shamanism in the Altai region. See Anokhin 1924.

26 Aleksandr A. Semenov (1873-1958) was a prominent Russian Orientalist. A graduate of the famous Lazarev-Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow, Semenov was one of the founders of Tashkent University and a renowned specialist of Central Asian history. See İnan’s translation of Semenov’s article on the beliefs of the Pamiri Ismaillites. See Semenov 1928.

27 Hinz 1938. It was a translation of the chapter “Das iranische Löwen-Sonnen-Wappen” of the article: Hinz 1937.

28 The monograph was translated into Croatian language as well.

29 On Soviet-Turkish relations in the context of the World War II and the Cold War, see the seminal work of Cəmil Həsənli: Hasanli 2006, 2011, 2017.

30 Vizantiiskii vremennik is one of the oldest academic journals on Byzantine studies. Founded in 1894, it was refounded in 1947 after the break throughout the 1930s and during World War II.

31 He taught Turkic linguistics and Azerbaijani literature from 1992 to 1999 at the Ankara Üniversitesi.

32 Professor of Turkic Linguistics at the private Arel Üniversitesi in Istanbul (Turkey).

33 Professor of Armenian Studies, Erciyes University (Turkey).

34 Ass. Professor at the private Şehir Üniversitesi in Istanbul (Turkey).

35 Ass. Professor at the Istanbul-based Mimar Sinan Üniversitesi (Turkey).

36 See the article of Bulgarian Turkologist of Turkish dissent Mefküre Mollova (1927-2009) in the leading Soviet journal on linguistics Voprosy iazykoznaniia (Mollova 1968: 82).

37 Barthold 2015. First edition: Barthold 1997.

38 Hinz was educated firstly as Russianist and then studied Oriental philology.

Top of page


Electronic reference

Zaur Gasimov, Transfer and AsymmetryEuropean Journal of Turkish Studies [Online], 24 | 2017, Online since 08 November 2017, connection on 03 December 2022. URL:; DOI:

Top of page

About the author

Zaur Gasimov

Orient Institut

By this author

Top of page



Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International - CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Top of page
  • Logo ERIH PLUS | NSD
  • DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Journal supported by the Institut des Sciences Humaines et Sociales (CNRS)
    CNRS - Institut national des sciences humaines et sociales
  • OpenEdition Journals
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search