Fall 2010, Issue#24
-BROCHURE (inside)

Second Annual Ataturk Symposium: Ataturk: Leader of a Nation
United Nations, December 7, 2010

Transfer of Western Knowledge To Turkey:

Institutionalized Policy of Translaiton and Library Building - 3
Photo: Sirin Cengizalp, Isikbinyili.Org

by Fuat ANDIÇ*
Prof.Arnold REISMAN*

In 1932 the Turkish Government decided to westernize the country’s higher education and library systems. But there was a substantial shortage of human resources to undertake the task. Having been informed of the flight of professional intellectuals from Nazi persecution in Germany for whom America was out of reach because of its restrictive immigration laws, state department practices, and anti-Semitic hiring bias at its universities, Turkey in 1933 invited over 190 of them to be part of its modernization efforts. Among the invitees was a team of philologists, expert librarians, archivists and bookbinders. These conservators of knowledge, gathered over generations, were ready and willing to oblige. To them this was the gift of life. They contributed greatly to the organization of a modern European system of libraries and document archives in Turkey. In addition, a monumental program was set up to translate the major works of classical (Greek and Roman) and general European literature into the Turkish language.

Key words: Turkey; history; libraries; archives; librarians; educational policy; government policy; higher education; Nazi persecution; migration; Diaspora; exile.

Diaspora of German Intellectuals

Much has been written about the migration of native German speaking intellectuals and professionals to America and United Kingdom circa the 1930s. There is precious little, especially in the English language, about the migration of German intellectuals to Turkey following the Nazi takeover of Germany in 1933. That migration involved over one thousand individuals including their family members and assistants. These intellectuals represented all disciplines and professions. Among them the library and philology contingent was small, perhaps no more than a dozen individuals. Their stay in Turkey was rather short, perhaps one decade on the average. However, their impact on the host society was considerable in developing human-based knowledge and its preservation for future generations. It is regrettable that western historians have ignored this phenomenon for such a long time. The bulk of the relevant English language literature which acknowledges this historical episode consists mostly of essays in-memorial tributes to one or a subset of the individuals involved.

Within the larger context of Turkey’s role during the Holocaust, Stanford Shaw was first to discuss and provide biographical details in the English language on 54 members of this Diaspora. Almost a decade later Frank Tachau discussed comprehensively these émigrés and their multi-faceted impact, which for its time was unique. He also provided statistics on their distribution by age, field of specialization, etc. Müller provided a thorough discussion of the librarians, archivists and document conservators among the émigrés. Others wrote about some émigrés in other professions. Lâle Burk published several papers on fellow chemist Fritz Arndt. Seyhan provided an incisive discussion of the émigrés. Irzik and Güzeldere published an interview with philosopher Hans Reichenbach’s widow. Day discussed biochemist Felix Haurowitz’s contribution to developing chemistry at Indiana University. Laura Fermi provided limited discussions on twelve émigrés. In his web-based autobiography Arthur von Hippel, who spawned nanotechnology, devoted one chapter to his personal tragi-comedic experiences in Turkey, including some anecdotes involving two colleagues – ophthalmologist Josef Igersheimer and dentist Alfred Kantorowitz. Grinstein and Campbell provided a good discussion of world-class applied mathematician Hilda Geiringer who reached the highest ranks in Germany and in Turkey, but could never obtain an equally prestigious position in the United States because of anti-Semitism and gender bias. Reisman, co-author of this paper, published the only English language book that fully dedicates close to 600 pages to the topic at hand.

This paper chronicles the individuals within the contingent of philologists, librarians and document conservators who lost the right to work, to teach and to direct libraries and contribute to the translation efforts, a Government policy especially after the mid 30’ soon after the Nazis came into power in 1933. Like many of their colleagues they were caught at a crossroads and targeted in the cross fires of history. Events in their native Germany presented them with a Hobson’s choice – leave if you can, or die! Their lives were saved because Turkey, a country heretofore alien in every respect to them, was at that time discarding the society and culture inherited from the Ottomans’ shattered empire. As Turkey transformed into a republic, it recognized the need to change, to modernize its society, culture, way of living and system of higher education.

Recognizing the desperate situation of his colleagues, Phillip Schwartz, a German Jewish physician, set up a Swiss-based organization to help place as many of his contemporaries as he could outside Nazi-dominated lands. One of the countries he contacted was Turkey. Not all the expelled professionals were Jewish. Most could not go west to America. But those who received invitations looked at Turkey as a safe haven, from 1933 until the war’s end in 1945 and even beyond. Turkey needed the brains and skills these men and women possessed and offered them contracts and accommodations.

The Third Reich encouraged these emigrations because they served several purposes for the Nazis. One was to increase the German influence in Turkey. Though the Reich would have preferred to send Aryan and especially Nazi professors in the early 1930s, few were willing to go. German Jews and mischlings (mixed breeds), to use the Nazi term, were considered the next best choice, because many had property and relatives remaining in Germany with which the Reich could manipulate them. Also, because of its significant geographic location, Hitler wanted to insure Turkey’s neutrality. All these maneuvers were chits to be used as and when necessary.

To what kind of place were these émigrés going? Turkey, between 1923 and 1933 had taken gigantic steps to overhaul its legal system that was essentially modeled after European codes. It had also shut down its quasi-medieval learning institution, the Darülfunun, in Istanbul and replaced it with a university, which structurally was very similar to those of German universities. With secularization now enshrined in its constitution, Turkey’s new government had to meet the need for modernization/westernization throughout the society. While a number of policies were designed to bring this about, but there were not enough Turkish personnel of sufficient caliber to implement it. Turkey found a way to partially solve this problem by adopting the intellectuals fleeing their country and employing them in building the basic structure of its higher education system.

A Giant Step towards Transfer of Knowledge

It is axiomatic that within the overall process of transfer of knowledge and ideas from one culture to another translation holds a special place. It is the main mechanism through which thinkers and writers, irrespective of their spheres of interest, are influenced at the extent that they have access to the writings of those who pen their contributions in their own vernaculars. Translation is the bridge that assures a continuum. It suffices to remember that the Greek classics were first translated into Arabic in Baghdad and Cordoba and subsequently – about a couple of centuries later –into Latin from Arabic. Those translations formed the foundation of the Renaissance and Reformation.

This paper does not pretend to delve into the history of translation in Turkey and its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire. To do this is a monumental task. It simply tries to sketch the translation efforts as a government policy in modern Turkey and the contributions the émigré philologists and librarians made to enhance these efforts.

Translation and library building were not unknown endeavors to the leaders of the Republic. Historically, the Ottoman Turks were rather active in translation works mostly from Arabic and Persian and sometimes from Greek and Latin. They had also built libraries, which were mostly attached to major mosques together with the schools of higher learning status called medrese. A number of sultans, starting with Mehmet the Conqueror (1430 - 1481), commissioned translations of books. Sultan Mehmet ordered the translation of the works of Ptolemy from Greek and several books related to medicine, geography and astronomy from Arabic. Suleiman the Magnificent (1494 - 1566) also ordered the translation of several books on geography, astronomy, medicine and mathematics, and had them catalogued in the libraries. With different degree of interest and sporadically all sultans continued to support and sustain the translation efforts. It is most interesting to note, however, that as a state policy translation appears for the first time in the Ottoman Empire in 1718 with the so-called Tulip Era. The Tulip Era started during the reign of Ahmet III (1673 - 1736) and his Grand Vizier İbrahim Pasha, who was a statesman with visions. Step by step he wanted to modernize the Empire. The measures he introduced are historical knowledge. One of these is relevant to this article.

He established a translation bureau and appointed a number of intellectuals, writers, and poets and commissioned them to translate a number of books both from the East and the West. He had them printed by the newly established printing press. Altogether 27 books were translated from Persian and Arabic especially related but not limited to medicine, chemistry. Parallely the Sultan established a library on the palace grounds and had it stacked with translations and original works. İbrahim Pasha also established a külliye (a conglomerate of mosque, medrese and library) in Nevşehir, his hometown. The Tulip Era came to an abrupt end in 1730 with a janissary revolt and the official translation policy was terminated.

Until the end of WWI, and in turn of the Empire, there has been no state policy of this magnitude, though after Tanzimat the state commissioned a number of translations. These however were mostly military books. Some translations, which were mostly from French, were of individual endeavors.

As one of the component of the modernization of the country, the Turkish Republic from the onset had a clear high priority translation policy. The first step coincided with the arrival of the émigré professors. Their contract stipulated that each and every one of them was to write textbooks in their respective field to be used by their students (the translations were to be made by the Turkish staff). The aim was to familiarize the Turkish students as soon as possible with western (mostly German) knowledge and technology. As a result, many books were published in the great array of social sciences, law, medicine, physics, chemistry, philosophy, philology, etc and became accessible to the Turkish students and other interested parties between 1933/34 and 1950 and found their way in the libraries of the country.

In order to facilitate the Ottomans’ descendants’ progress in modern science and medicine, and to satisfy terms of their contracts, the émigré professors were obligated to write Turkish language textbooks in their respective subjects. To do so often required invention of new words and new alphaneumeric symbols and acronyms. The words had to reflect Turkish roots. The symbols would follow. However, they needed to reflect all that was inherited over centuries in the Arabic alphabet. For the German-speaking émigrés who knew no Turkish, this was a daunting task indeed. With Turkish colleagues as wingmates, many of the émigrés stood up to the challenge. Many textbooks resulted and were published. One of the earliest to publish a textbook in Turkish and the most prolific by far was an organic chemist, Fritz Arndt. He was one of the few non-native speakers invited to serve on the government’s official commission on terminology (Terim Komisyonu) and, in this context, dealt personally with Atatürk. His first text book appeared in 1934 and its front cover is reproduced below.

kisa_kimya_tatbikati maliye_kitap_kapagi

Public finance specialist Fritz Neumark published his first edition in 1941. Above (right) is the cover page of his 1951 third edition.

In 1936 ophthalmologist Josef Igersheimer published a text book in his field.

gozhastaliklari_kapak siyaset_kapak

Publications of emigre authored books in Turkish continued well into the 1940 as is shown above.

biokimya_kapak klinik_kapak

The second step of public policy came in 1939/40 during the tenure of Hasan Âli Yücel as Minister of Education. Perhaps the most intellectual and open-minded of all the ministers of education, he made a conscious policy decision to set up a Translation Bureau to which he appointed well-known men of belles lettres and science. The Bureau had two functions; one was to publish the Review of Translation (Tercüme Mecmuası) in which not only the good translations were published, but also the art and of science translation were discussed. The other was to select outstanding classics to be translated into Turkish and commission individual translators, on a competitive basis, to do the translation. At the inauguration of the Review of Translation project, Yücel said the following on May 19, 1940:

Civilization is a single entity, an undivided whole … We Turks, in different periods of history, have contributed to it; at the same time we have benefited from it generously … In its history Turkey had turned to Europe, which was and is the center of civilization …From the time of Tanzimat, or perhaps even earlier, Turkish intellectuals have turned towards the French society in order to come to know the European culture … The acquaintance with different cultures, without exception, is only possible with the knowledge of languages and written works. Translation is no more and no less than an adaptation from cultures … The Ministry of Education takes very seriously the need to translate the great works of civilization into our language and assumes the responsibility of carrying out this endeavor … This it does in order to encourage translation efforts outside the public sector as well … According to us translation is not a mechanical transfer from one language to another … The translator will have to understand the cultural spirit of the original author … In addition to translating the works of the various authors from the East and West, we are setting up the Review of Translation with the aim of establishing the parameters of what the translation means and what it should mean. I call upon all Turkish intellectuals to help us in this endeavor.

Within a period of about 10 years the Translation Bureau managed to publish the Turkish versions of about 1000 world classics. The selection was eclectic, but programmed. The spectrum moved from East to West; from Sa’di, Djelậleddin Rûmi to Shakespeare, from Goethe and Victor Hugo to pre-Moslem Arab poets. The books were marketed to the public at subsidized prices and distributed to all public libraries free of charge. They were also distributed to the students of the Village Institutes. In 1950 People’s Republican Party transferred the helm of the state to the Democratic Party, which was adamantly anti-communist and the activities of translation and the publication of Tercüme came to an abrupt end. Hasan Âli Yücel, his collaborators and the translators, among others, were accused of being leftist and fellow travelers. The Translation Bureau was closed, its employees were fired, the publication of Tercüme ceased. In short, the translation efforts came to a screeching halt. Those who were still in the Ministry of Education were fired and subsequently several lawsuits ensued.

Front cover of a 1956 translation of Victor Hugo’s Hernani

The Arrival of the Émigrés

On January 30, 1933 Hitler came to power. The bill Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums (Law to Reestablish the Civil Service) was passed a few weeks later and with it began the end of the Weimar Republic era. It placed the capstone on a most productive wellspring of western science, technology and culture. Thousands of Jewish and politically suspect professors and medical practitioners were speedily dismissed from their positions at all German universities and institutes.

In the United States restrictive immigration laws were in effect. While an individual professor could circumvent the quota if he had a job offer from a major university, Many American universities and especially the Ivy League members were not hiring Jews. Many did not open their doors to Jewish faculty until the late 1940s. Without question, most private universities suffered budgetary constraints during the 1930s as the result of the Great Depression and most had practiced gender bias and age discrimination. Many of the eminent professors in Germany and Austria were advanced in age and some were women. Although America’s public universities may not have had exclusionary faculty hiring practices written in their charters, de facto a number of them had gentlemen’s agreements. They hired few Jews through the 1940s and there was very little increase in the 1950s.
No matter what one uses as a tool of measurement, the results uniformly show that prior to 1933 premier German universities, such as Heidelberg, Breslau, Frankfurt, Munich, Göttingen, Königsberg, and even the University of Prague in Czechoslovakia employed more Jewish professors than did Harvard, Yale, Brown and Princeton.

Thus, the contrast between Germany, Turkey and the United States during this critical period illuminates the tangible and the intangible gains and losses of these three societies. The welcome mat for fleeing Jewish musicians elevated America’s orchestras to international pre-eminence, while the elite East Coast universities discriminated outright, turned a blind eye, or worse yet openly collaborated with German universities that had already been Nazified.

Historical Background of the Reforms

Up to the 17th century the Ottoman Empire was one of the most powerful countries in the world. Then it gradually began to lose its military power, for it did not keep up with Europe’s scientific and technological improvements, especially during the 18th century. Since development of the Empire’s army was top priority during this period, many French officers, military experts and scientists were brought in to modernize its army, to establish military schools and train officers.

The state of education was similar to that of the military establishment. No formal system of public education existed until the early part of the 19th century. The state trained some of its military and public officials, the clergy instructed some of its own future members; but the education of non-official, non-clerical subjects was not conceived as a public responsibility. The process of modernization in education involved the gradual and grudging acceptance of this responsibility by the Ottoman state.

The creation of a completely modern system of higher education modeled on West European universities came with the new Turkish Republic. The purpose was to upgrade the academic level of Istanbul University to that of Western European universities. Upon the request of the Turkish Government the Swiss educationalist Albert Malche submitted in 1932 his Rapport sur l’Université d’Istanbul (Report on the University of Istanbul). On his recommendations the Darülfunun was closed on July 31, 1933, by a government decree, all existing faculty contracts were cancelled, and the very next day, on August 1, 1933, Istanbul University opened using Darülfunun’s physical plant with a small fraction of the original faculty and over 30 world-renowned émigré German professors.

Introducing Library Science and Contributions to Translation

There is no doubt that the work of the archivist and the librarian is just as important as that of the archeologist. No book or article can be written were it not for a score or more of archivists and librarians who may be spread over several continents. Hence those representing Ankara in Basel, Switzerland, in 1933 did not neglect a modern society’s need for such experts. Philipp Schwartz, as earlier mentioned, did collect expert librarians, archivists and bookbinders in addition to the great number of professors in social sciences, in the medical, legal, chemistry and dentistry fields who became the mainstay of the new university in Istanbul and subsequently in Ankara.

Five Portraits

The German librarians and philologists contributed greatly to the formation of a modern European university system in Turkey. Quantitatively their number was not very large, but qualitatively they were of primary importance for their country of adoption. Junior colleagues, bookbinders and restorers joined the senior librarians, who immigrated to Turkey. These skilled and well-trained refugees constructed corresponding bookbinding and restoration departments, and it is to their credit that many Turkish scholars and pupils could be trained. The émigrés helped to conserve cultural riches accumulated throughout the Ottoman period and preceding it. Their efforts made such documents and artifacts accessible for all future generations.

Walter Gottschalk was born in 1891 in Aachen, Germany. He studied orientalism, philosophy, history and the history of art in Würzburg and Berlin and was granted a Ph.D. in 1914. He was drafted into the German army in 1916 and posted to serve in Turkey, Syria and Palestine. At the end of WWI he was appointed senior librarian for languages and history of the Middle East at the Prussian State Library in Berlin. He established the library’s Oriental Department, organized that Department’s reference library and created the precise Hand Catalogue of the Oriental Department of the State Librarian in Berlin. His work was acknowledged and he was promoted in 1923; but in 1935 he was dismissed summarily because of his Jewish origins and forced into retirement. He managed to find work in the field of science and gave lectures in teaching Arabic. His wife, without telling her husband, approached Albert Einstein and entreated him for assistance in finding an employment suited to his immense knowledge in either Israel or the United States. Einstein’s answer was that he was referring his case to his friend Dr. Hugo Bergmann, former President of the Hebrew University. Neither alternative succeeded.

In February 1939 Gottschalk left Germany for Belgium to stay with relatives. There he served as a personal go-between for Einstein primarily for the purpose of funneling small monthly stipends from America to Einstein’s relatives who remained in Nazi Germany. Such arrangements were possible until Belgium surrendered to Germany on May 28, 1940, when once again Gottschalk sought escape alternatives. He was offered a professorship in Arabic language and culture at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and a librarian’s post at the University of Istanbul. But since the American Consul in Antwerp, for reasons of formalities, created difficulties in granting US visas, he decided to take up the offer from Turkey.

He remained in Belgium until 1941 and then moved to Turkey. At the outset he worked at the University of Istanbul as an expert on library matters, he played a prominent part in the Turkish library system and supervised all the libraries of the various university institutes. From 1949 onwards he held the Chair of Library Science at the University of Istanbul. He retired in 1954 when he returned to Germany and settled in Frankfurt. After Gottschalk’s departure the chair in library science at Istanbul University was awarded to his assistant Dr. Rudolf Juchhoff in 1964. He taught courses and took part in the opening of the general library of the Faculty of Letters of Istanbul University. He held the chair until his death in 1968. He was succeeded by Meral Alpay, a Turkish native and an assistant to Dr Juchhoff.

Joseph Stummvoll was an Austrian who came to Turkey together with the German speaking librarians. He worked as a librarian at the newly founded Yüksek Ziraat Enstitüsü (Institute of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences) in Ankara. He published a number of articles on library systems and conducted many training courses for Turkish librarians.

Max Pfannenstiel was born in Alsace in 1902. After completing his studies in geology and mineralogy he worked at the library of Freiburg University. In 1930 he moved to the Bavarian State Library in Munich where he stayed until 1932. In January 1933 he returned to the Freiburg University library. In August of that year the Nazis deemed him as non-Aryan. Josef Rest, the director of the library, interceded with the Ministry of Education pointing out that he was only part-Jewish (his maternal grandfather was a Jew). Nevertheless, two months later he was dismissed on October 12, 1933. He found a job in a medical bookshop where he worked from January 1934 until March 1935. Thereafter he received a small grant from the Society of German National Scientists and Doctors. But in February 1935 he was granted a Rockefeller scholarship and a modest librarian position with the League of Nations in Geneva where he upgraded and enlarged the library’s medical section.

On January 19, 1938, the Turkish Minister of Education informed his colleague in Baden that the directorship of libraries at the Institute of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences in Ankara was vacant. Through the German embassy the Minister had heard that Pfannenstiel was interested in that position. Despite the embassy’s advice that it would not be in the interest of Germany, for political-cultural reasons, that he be given that post, he became the director on April 15, 1938. It did not take him long to return to his primary interest and begin researching Turkey’s geological formations and writing articles on the subject.In 1940 Pfannenstiel began to work for Türk Tarih Kurumu (Turkish Historical Society) where he catalogued Atatürk’s library which was bequeathed to the Society.

His contract with the Turkish Government ended in August 1941 and, due to political and wartime pressures, was not renewed. Pfannenstiel had never given up his contacts with the library of Freiburg University. Unlike his fellow émigrés he had looked for a way to return to a German library using a loophole in the civil service law. On June 16, 1939, he applied for a position through the German embassy in Ankara. Josef Rest, the director of the Freiburg University library supported his former staff member’s return unconditionally. Other former colleagues reacted similarly, except for Professor Julius Ludwig Wilser, Director of Heidelberg University’s Geological-Paleontology Institute. His reaction was: A Jew remains a Jew! He did succeed in returning to Germany and again became a civil servant. He worked in the library of Erlangen University until 1947 when he was offered a geology chair at Freiburg University, which he accepted. In 1954 he became its chancellor. He died in Freiburg in 1976.

Helmut Ritter was an orientalist. An “outstanding figure in German Oriental studies is Helmut Ritter. He started as a philologist and a scholar of the religion of Islam, but along with his contributions to Arabic and Turkish studies he concentrated particularly on the interface between Persian literature and Sufism. Ritter should be considered, as Walther Hinz is in case of historical studies, as the pioneer and founder of the German “school” for studying Persian mystical literature. The specific concern of this academic community, dating back to Ritter, is the thematic ambiguity of Sufism and literature, mostly poetry. The study of Persian rhetoric as a measure to support Sufi reasoning and the transformation of Sufi ideas into literature was one of the basic projects for Ritter ...... On every page of both books we find incomparable insights into his subjects.”

As president of a reform commission he set up at the University of Istanbul a ‘library expertise’ up at the University of Istanbul As president of a reform commission Ritter set a ‘library expertise.’

Erich Auerbach, German philologist, educator, critic and literary historian, was born in Berlin into an upper-middle class Jewish family in 1892. He studied at the universities of Berlin, Freiburg and Munich. In 1913 He received the Doctor of Law degree from the University of Heidelberg. During WWI he served in the German army. After the war he changed disciplines and in 1921 he received a Ph.D. in Romance philology from the University of Greifswald. Between 1921 and 1929 he was librarian at the Prussian State Library in Berlin and in 1929 he became professor of Romance philology at the University of Marburg where he gained recognition with his work Dante: Poet of the Secular World (1929). Dismissed by the Nazis in 1935, he went to Istanbul where he taught at the University until 1947. During his years in Turkey he wrote his famous work Mimesis, which was published in German in 1946 and seven years later in English. It represents an account of the genesis of the novel and has been among the most widely read scholarly works literary history and criticism. It takes its basis from oriental and non-oriental exile and homelessness. It is a massive reaffirmation of the western cultural tradition, but does not derive its conditions and circumstances from the culture it describes, rather is built on an agonizing distance from it. Regarding the limited European studies collections of Istanbul libraries at the time and not having access to all the literature he needed, Auerbach himself admits that the book owes its existence to the lack of a rich and specialized library and that if he had access to all the work on so many subjects, he might not have written it. Two smaller studies dating from this period appeared in Finland’s Neuphilologische Mitteilungen journal.

In 1947 Auerbach moved to the United States and taught at Pennsylvania State University. He became a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and in 1950 was appointed Professor of Romance philology at Yale University. He died in Wallingford, Connecticut, on October 13, 1957. He was among the saved by the Turks and his works are being taught worldwide to all those who seek a well-rounded education. His work is a strikingly successful combination of philology, history of ideas, sociology, historical imagination and awareness of out own age.

Georg Rohde was born in Berlin in 1899. He had been appointed Privat Dozent at Marburg University in 1931 where he taught classic philology. Relieved of his duties because his wife was Jewish, he came to Turkey in 1935 and was appointed professor of philology of ancient languages at Ankara University. He assisted and advised Hasan Âli Yücel in the establishment and organization of Bureau of Translation 1940.

Concluding Remarks

Thus, well over four centuries after the Jews exiled from Spain introduced the first printing press to the Ottoman Empire, Jewish refugees from fascism were instrumental in introducing philology, making Turkology an Academic Discipline in Turkey, and having a large body of western thought translated into Turkish and printed using the newly created Turkish alphabet.

There is no question that German-speaking émigré professors advanced libraries and librarianship in Turkey and contributed greatly to translation efforts, both directly or indirectly. They achieved this through writing textbooks, donating their own books, arranging for book and document donations from American and British universities, through public lectures, in-residence workshops, expansion of old and creation of new institutes, publication of modern style manuals, and launching scientific journals. These émigré senior librarians, their junior colleagues and the restoration experts created several facilities for document restoration and bookbinding in both Istanbul and Ankara. Not only did they do their job well, but they also taught next generations and generously shared their skills and knowledge. The philologists created new knowledge and organized the translation of classical western wisdom to make it accessible to Turkish nationals. They were eager to help and to enlighten. They were grateful to the Turkish Republic for giving them the possibility to work in their profession. Undoubtedly the translation efforts and the books published served greatly the education of the Turkish students, intellectuals and population as a whole. Since 1950 the Government took no official position with respect to translation, nor in fact was there a reason to do so. In today’s Turkey there is a great deal of translation from all sources that are printed and sold by numerous publishing houses both public and private. In 2006, for instance, the total number of books published in Turkey passed 20,000, more than half of which were translations both from the East and the West. The seeds sown by the Bureau of Translation and the translation of the classics are now bearing fruit.


More on the Lightmillennium.Org by Prof. Arnold REISMAN
- Some Current Ramifications of Turkey’s Alphabet Change in 1928
- Some Current Ramifications of Turkey’s invoking English as the second language
- TRANSFER OF WESTERN KNOWLEDGE TO TURKEY: Institutionalized Policy of Translaiton and Library Building
by Fuat Andic ANDIÇ & Arnold REISMAN
- Are Kurdish and Turkmen minorities more literate in Turkey than in other countries?
by Prof. Arnold REISMAN

- Peace at home, peace in the world, Highlights by Sirin CENGIZALP.

* Fuat Andic received his first degree from the University of Istanbul and his Ph.D in economics from University of Edinburgh and was professor of economics and public finance at the University of Puerto Rico. He now serves international aid organizations as a consultant.
* Arnold Reisman received his PhD in engineering from UCLA and was professor of operations research at Case Western Reserve University. As an independent scholar he authored Turkey's Modernization: Refugees from Nazism and Atatürk's Vision. Washington, DC: New Academia Publishers, 2006.
The authors wish to thank Ms. Aysu Oral for sourcing much of the relevant material emanating from recent Turkish media and translating the same and Dr. Suphan Andic for editorial assistance.

Arnold Reisman PhD. PE
     Author of:
•    My Enemy's Enemy 
•    An Ambassador and A Mensch: The story of a Turkish Diplomat in Vichy France
•    SHOAH: Turkey, the US, and the UK
•    Turkey's Modernization: Refugees from Nazism and Ataturk's Vision
•    Post-Ottoman Turkey: Classical European Music and Opera
•    Arts in Turkey: How Ancient Became Contemporary
•    Refugees and Reforms: Turkey's Republican Journey
•    The Transformation of Istanbul: Art Galleries Reviving Decaying Spaces

This paper was presented by Prof. Arnold Reisman during the Second Annual Ataturk Symposium entitled, "ATATURK: LEADER OF A NATION" (3/4) at the United Nations, New York City on December 7, 2010. We would like to thank to Prof. Arnold Reisman for sharing his speech with The Light Millennium. We also thank to the Istanbul University Alumni Association of U.S.A., and Young Turks Cultural Aid Society, and also sponsors of the Second Annual Ataturk Symposium. B.U.

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