Works Written in Turkish Using the Latin Characters during the Ottoman Era
Yunus İNCE, Bayram AKÇA
Keywords: Turkish, Latin characters, printing press, early modern era, lingua franca
It is known that there existed a feeling of fear towards the Ottomans among the European societies who had economic, political and military relationships with the Ottoman state in the early modern era (1450- 1750). This fear, which derived from failure to cope with the Turks in the military field, evolved into curiosity about the Ottomans from the late 16th century on. This took the form of imitating the Ottomans in clothing, music and art. Desire to learn Turkish is one of the natural reflections of this. It is interesting that Turkish was adopted as a lingua franca, or a common language. This study will dwell on texts written by Westerns in Turkish using the Latin characters but no attempt will be made to explain how the texts can be used language studies. The effects of the fear from Turks and the movement of Turquerie, which was born out of this, on interest in learning Turkish in Europe and the results ıf this will be discussed. The dynamics that determined learning and writing in Turkish will be revealed on the basis of Turkish texts and relevant works. The nationalities of the text writers, their reasons for learning Turkish and the dates when the works were written were taken into consideration in the assessment. In addition, mention was also made of the effects of the printing press on learning non-Latin languages, including Turkish. The study is expected to reveal, with its fundamental reasons, the perception of Turkish language in the early modern era.