Ottoman Ulema, Turkish Republic: Agents of Change and Guardians of Tradition

By Amit Bein | Go to book overview

Note on Transliteration, Names, and Dates

For the sake of simplicity, names and terms that are well-known to the average English speaker (most of them included in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) are rendered in conventional English spelling rather than strict transliteration. Therefore, Sharia and not şeriat, fatwa and not fetva, and Sheikh ul-Islam and not Şeyhülislam are used.

Names and terms in Ottoman-Turkish are generally transliterated in their modern Turkish form, except for one notable exception. I have left the d and b as rendered in their original Ottoman-Turkish, even in cases in which they tend to be replaced in modern Turkish with t and p. Therefore Ahmed and not Ahmet is used.

Muslim citizens of Turkey only rarely used surnames before they were required to do so following the adoption of the Surname Law in 1934. Thus, Hüseyin Cahid became Hüseyin Cahid Yalçın and Mehmed Şemseddin became Mehmed Şemseddin Günaltay. I have added these adopted surnames in brackets when referring to the activities and publications that preceded the adoption of surnames in 1934.

The Ottoman bureaucracy and private publications made use of three calendars during the closing decades of the empire. One was the Islamic Hijri calendar (AH), which counted the lunar years since the emigration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. Another was the Rumi calendar, which was based on the solar Julian calendar, but with the emigration of Prophet Muhammad also serving as the starting point. The third calendar was the Gregorian calendar, which prior to 1908 was used primarily by the Ottoman Foreign Ministry. A reform in early 1917 effectively eliminated the difference between the Rumi and Gregorian calendars, with the exception of the year counter. In 1926, the republican government did away with the Rumi calendar. In the body of the book I have converted all dates to the Gregorian calendar. In the notes I have applied the original dating system used in specific documents and publications, followed by the Gregorian equivalent in brackets.

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