Evliya Çelebi: Early Modern Travel and Ottoman Sensibilities | Madeleine Elfenbein

63.   Adventure: Brought to You By the Ottoman State

While there are many travel narratives from the early modern era, few match Evliya Çelebi's Seyahatnâme in terms of richness and detail. As an Ottoman gentleman or çelebi, Evliya was able to travel throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East and record his observations, leaving historians a rich archive of material about Ottoman society during the seventeenth century. Yet, Evliya's own sensibilities and mentality as reflected in his narratives may tell us even more about the time and place that he inhabited. In this episode, Madeleine Elfenbein gives us some clues regarding the mentality of this celebrated figure through excerpts from the Seyahatnâme.

Madeleine Elfenbein is a PhD student at University of Chicago studying Ottoman history (see academia.edu)
Chris Gratien is a PhD candidate studying the history of the modern Middle East at Georgetown University (see academia.edu)
Elçin Arabacı is a PhD student at Georgetown University studying the urban and social history of the Ottoman Empire (see academia.edu)

Citation: "Evliya Çelebi: Early Modern Travel and Ottoman Sensibilities," Madeleine Elfenbein, Chris Gratien and Elçin Arabacı. Ottoman History Podcast, No. 63 (August 7, 2012) http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2012/08/evliya-celebi-early-modern-travel-and.html.

Note for the listener: Although this podcast is based in part on primary source research, it is also a synthesis of publicly available information and draws extensively from the following works below, which are also mentioned during the course of the episode. For the purposes of academic citation, we encourage you to consult these works.

Select Bibliography

Robert Dankoff and Sooyoung Kim, An Ottoman Traveler: Selections From the Book of Travels of Evliya Çelebi (London: Eland Publishing Ltd., 2011).

Dankoff, An Ottoman Mentality: The World of Evliya Çelebi (Leiden: Brill, 2006).

Nuran Tezcan and Semih Tezcan, eds. Evliya Çelebi ( Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı Yayınları, 2012).

Hakan Karateke and Hatice Aynur, eds. Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnamesi'nin Yazılı Kaynakları (AnkaraTürk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, Ankara, 2012).

Hasan Javadi and Willem Floor, Travels in Iran and the Caucasus in 1647 and 1654 (Washington, D.C.: Mage Publishers, 2010).

Virginia H. Aksan and Daniel Goffman, eds., The Early Modern Ottomans: Remapping the Empire (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).


What was the song for this episode?
Chris said…
Elçin Arabacı said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elçin Arabacı said…
the lyrics are about medieval Turcoman nomadic spirit Nick, and the song is from the soundtrack of the film "Hacivat ve Karagöz Neden öldürüldü? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485510/. Here are the lyrics of the song, if you are interested:

Yörürün (I walk)

yüklenüp karanluğu, ışıklara yörürün, (Loading up darkness, I walk to the light)
yıldızlaru aş edüp, rüyalara yörürün, (Feeding myself on stars, I walk into dreams/)
göç dedüğün heç bitmez, bilünmeze yörürün, (Migration never ends, I walk into the unknown)
gurbettür memleketüm, yanluzluğa yörürün, (Foreign lands are my fatherland, I walk into the loneliness)
Yörüü... (Walk....)

uyurkene yörürün, gülerkene yörürün, (I walk when sleeping, I walk while laughing)
yağmurlarla yörürün, özlerkene yörürün, (I walk into the rains, I walk while missing)
doğarkene başladu, büyürkene yörürün, (All started when I was born, I walked while growing up)
çaruklarun aşındu, ölürkene yörürün, (My shoes, got worn, I still walk while dieing)
Yörüü... (walk....!)

kalmak istedü yaşlu, eksülerek yörürün, (the elders wanted to stay, -leaving them behind- I kept walking, getting fewer/)
bübek istedü gelmek, çoğalarak yörürün, (the baby wanted to come, I walked reproducing.../
göç dedüğün heç bitmez, bilünmeze yörürün, (Whatever you call migration never ends, I walk into the unknown)
ev dedüğün heç durmaz, yol sırtunda yörürün, (Whatever is called "home", never stops, I walk on the back of roads)
Yörüü bee... (walk beeee!)

gözel kızlar gülüştü, gülücükle yörürün, (beautiful girls giggled, I walked with smiles)
durmak isterün elbet, dururkene yörürün, (of course, I wanted stop, I still walk while stopping)
canum istedi memüş, özlerkene yörürün, (I long for breasts, yet..I walk while missing)
çaruklarun aşındu, ölürkene yörürün, (My shoes worn out, I walk while I am dieing:/ aşınmak: to get worn out)
Yörüüü.... (walk....!)



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