REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

ALİ SUAVİ

Writer (b. 1839, İstanbul – d. 20 May 1878). He attended the Davutpaşa İskelesi Elementary School. He also attended lessons in mosques during his duty at the Ministry of War for three years. He worked as a teacher at Bursa Elementary School. Afterwards he worked in various offices in Simav, Plovdiv and Sofia. Ali Suavi who went to Mecca when he was twenty, preached at Şehzade Mosque after he returned to İstanbul (1867). His articles were published in Filip Efendi’s newspaper Muhbir. He was exiled to Kastamonu the same year due to one of his articles that annoyed Sultan Abdulaziz. He fled to Paris with the help of a supporter of the Society of Neo Ottomans, Prince Mustafa Fazıl Paşa of Egypt. He published the review Muhbir in London, which he made the official journal of the Society (31 August 1867).

He was criticized by Namık Kemal and Ziya Paşa when he had disagreements with the society so he left and published the newspaper Ulûm in Paris (1870). He returned to İstanbul when Sultan Mehmet V succeeded to throne in 1876. He tried to win the favor of Abdülhamit II when he became sultan and after a short time was appointed as Director of Galatasaray High School. In the following year, when he was investigated and dismissed from his post, he attempted to lead the the famous “Çırağan“ coup to take down Abdülhamit and enthrone Murat V, but subsequently was killed by the Commander of the Beşiktaş Police Station, Hasan Paşa.

Although he wrote about many matters he always changed his ideas and his behavior throughout life was contradictory. Even though he studied Islamic sciences he lived as a westerner and supported Turkism through his articles. He was one of the first supporters of the Latin alphabet, the usage of Latin scientific terms without any change and secularism against the institution of the Caliphate. He was called “Suavi the Protestant” both because of his ideology and his marriage to an English woman. His ideas on the purification of the Turkish language were later reiterated by Ziya Gökalp.

WORKS:

Hive (Hive, Paris 1873, İstanbul 1910), A Propos de L'Herzegovine (Regarding Herzegovina, Paris, 1876), Montenegro (Montenegro, Paris, 1876), Taharriyat-ı Suavi alâ Tarih-i Türk (The Research of Suavi on Turkish History), Saydu'l Mefkûd (The Lost Prey, 2 volumes), Nesayih-i Ebu Hanife Kamusu'l Ulûm ve'l Maârif (Nesayih-i Ebu Hanife, Dictionary of Science and Education, an unfinished essay of encyclopedia, 1870), Hukuku'ş-Şevari (Ways of the Law, translation from Gazali, 1808), Defter-i Âmâl-i Ali Paşa (Defter-i Amal-i* of Ali Paşa, Paris, ?), Ali Paşa'nın Siyaseti (The Politics of Ali Paşa, 1908), Usul-i Fıkıh Nam Risalenin Tercümesi (Translation of the Pamphlet named Methodology of the Canon Law, London, 1868), Devlet Yüz On Altı Buçuk Milyon Borçtan Kurtuluyor (The Government Gets Out of a One Hundred and Sixteen and a Half Million Debt, Paris, 1875).