Nagihan GÜR

Keywords: 19th century,Ottoman poetry,British Newspaper Archive,J. C. Mangan,J. W. Redhouse,E. J. W. Gibb.



Following the Traces of Ottoman Poetry in The British Newspaper Archive (1835-1900)

In the 19th century, Ottoman literature became the focus of Western scholars and various studies were published in this topic. These works were in the form of anthologies, individual articles and the history of literature. They paid considerable attention to the historicity of Ottoman language and literature. During this period, studies on the Ottoman written culture were not limited to scholarly works. There were also periodically published newspapers and journals that presented the Ottoman culture to a wider audience. In the 19th century, a number of local newspapers published in England, Scotland and Ireland opened their columns to the news about Ottoman culture. Thus, they brought the works produced within a particular elite and academic circle to the attention of the common reader. These newspapers published political texts and poems, travel notes, translations of Ottoman poems and reviews of certain works. They became important agents of promoting sympathy and curiosity about Ottoman culture in the 19th century Europe. These newspapers created a cultural platform in which the Ottoman literature was discussed by British, Scottish and Irish press, and made important contributions not only by boosting the impact of the previous studies but also by inspiring the on-going research in this field. This article focuses on the news about Ottoman literature and translations of Ottoman poetry, which were published in the local newspapers between 1835 and 1900 and are now open to access in the British Newspaper Archive. The article aims to find answers to the following questions: What is the content of the news about Ottoman culture and the translations from Ottoman literature in the British, Scottish and Irish newspapers? What kind of a function does these news have in the historical context in which the Ottoman literature studies developed in the 19th century Europe? What do these news tell us about the perception of the Ottomans/Turks in the West? This article aims to provide some answers to the above questions and reveals the cultural context in which the Ottoman studies were produced and consumed in the 19th century by focusing on the news about the studies and translations of prominent scholars/orientalists such as J. C. Mangan, Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, J. W. Redhouse, W. A. Clouston and E. J. W. Gibb.