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The Turks in Egypt, Africa and their Cultural Legacy by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Humphrey Davies

The Turks in Egypt and their Cultural Legacy
by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Humphrey Davies | Sep 1, 2012

This work, which is the product of more than forty years of work; It deals with how Ottoman-Turkish culture was developed and built on the previous relatively limited foundation in Egypt during the reign of Mehmed Ali Pasha.

The book tries to show how this culture gained intensity and prevalence compared to the previous period as a result of Mehmed Ali Pasha’s great interest and innovation policies; it also reveals how the ‘Ottoman-Egyptian’ version was formed as a result of this cultural development, which took Istanbul as an example at the beginning, and how the products and influences of this culture have survived to the present day.

Ottoman Turkish culture in Egypt was adopted by the elite group of local people who spoke Arabic, as well as those who came from outside Egypt and spoke Turkish, thanks to the new schools established and the large number of Turkish books produced by the printing house. This led to the emergence of the ‘Ottoman-Egyptian’ version alongside the ‘Ottoman-Turkish’ cultural version in Egypt.

This work, which investigates the Turkish cultural existence that developed with the Turks living in Egypt, the written products and traces of this culture that has survived to the present day, is a first in its field.

Though Egypt was ruled by Turkish-speakers through most of the period from the ninth century until 1952, the impact of Turkish culture there remains under-studied. This book deals with the period from 1805 to 1952, during which Turkish cultural patterns, spread through reforms based on those of Istanbul, may have touched more Egyptians than ever before. An examination of the books, newspapers, and other written materials produced in Turkish, including translations, and of the presses involved, reveals the rise and decline of Turkish culture in government, the military, education, literature, music, and everyday life. The author also describes the upsurge in Turkish writing generated by Young Turk exiles from 1895 to 1909.

Included is a CD containing appendices of extensive bibliographic information concerning books and periodicals printed in Egypt during this period.



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