Islam in Anatolia after the Turkish Invasion: (Prolegomena)

Islam in Anatolia after the Turkish Invasion: (Prolegomena)

Islam in Anatolia after the Turkish Invasion: (Prolegomena)

Islam in Anatolia after the Turkish Invasion: (Prolegomena)

Excerpt

In 1922, at the age of thirty-one, a precocious and enthusiastic Franz Babinger, who was soon to gain fame for his work on early Ottoman history, published an article in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft entitled Der Islam in Kleinasien: Neue Wege der Islamforschung. Originally delivered as the inaugural lecture at Friedrich-Wilhelms- Universität in Berlin on 7 May 1921, this article was the first modern attempt to describe, in broad strokes, the nature of the evolution of Islam in Asia Minor, or Anatolia, a rather different subject from the Islamization of that region. As we shall see, it provoked a remarkable response, the present monograph, from an equally young, precocious, and enthusiastic Fuad Köprülü.

Born in Bavaria in 1891 to a family of high-level civil servants, Babinger acquired a taste for history as a young man and eventually decided to pursue an academic career. He specialized in Indology at the University of Munich, but World War I changed his scholarly interests forever. He was first assigned to the field artillery and then was transferred to the German Military Mission to the Ottoman Empire. Babinger received numerous decorations in the war zone, including a rarely granted Ottoman order of merit, and quickly advanced in rank. For some time, he was a liaison officer with Mustafa Kemal, later Atatürk, and wrote several articles from the Gallipoli Front for the Frankfurter Zeitung. After the war, he joined the Bavarian Freikorps in the fighting around Munich, but left to devote himself to scholarship, above all Turkish studies, as a result of his wartime experience. This required some courage, for at that time Orientalism in Germany and Austria was . . .

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