THE CULTURE NURTURED BY THE FATIH SULTAN MEHMET

       

      There is no doubt that while he was making plans fort he future he put to the fore not only  the conquest of Constantinople and the establishment of a Muslim Turkish state ,at the same time he was aiming to be the ruler of the Christian Roman Empire.It was to this end that he became interested in positive sciences ,with philosophy and mathematics taking the lead ,followed by the history of mankind ,world geography and military sciences.

 

      His desire to learn was so great that he was be able to become specialized in a number of different scientces to such a degree that he could discuss them in detail with experts.This desire was some sort of compelling force which allowed  him to take pleasure from learning.All of these studies in positive sciences ,which began when he was still a child,comprising religious studies.Qur’anic sciences ,hadiths,Islamic philosophy ,Islamic jurisprudence ,logic,etc,prepared him so that he could take the world in his hands like an apple and play with it.

 

      After conquering Constantinople and becoming the Emperor of the East and the West ,whenever he heard of a scholar ,anywhere in the world,Faith would send expensive and valuable  presents,inviting the scholar to the palace int the desire to use the possibilities presented by that person’s knowledge int he service of the state .His efforts in this matter-according to all historians,all of whom are in agreement on this matter-were to such an incredible degree that no other ruler can be compared to him.When bringing the famous Turkestan mathematician and astronomer Ali Kuşçu to İstanbul , he gave him 1000 akçe

for the journey ; it is known that he set a value on the famous poets and scholars in the Molla Mosque of 1000 akçe per head.

 

     Fatih saw himself ,after the conquest of Constantinople ,as the sovereign of both Muslims and Christians,granting the Christian Orthodox and other non – Muslim populations as many special privileges as the Muslim subjects.He interacted with many leading Christian subjects in order to become beter acquanted with the culture of the groups that made up the state as well as to guide the administration in a multicultural direction.He read and studied the Bible an deven entered into debates with Patriarch Maxium Manuel and Patriarch Georgios Gennadius Scholarius ; he ordered that the results from such discussions be written up.In fact in the work “TurcoGraecia” by Martin Curusius,the text written bye Scholarius is recorded in Latin and Greek scripts.

 

    In Fatih’s palace there were clerks who wrote Greek (Dimitrios Apocaucas Kiritsiz),scholars who held lessons in Arabic (Hocazade ,Molla Yegan ,etc.),doctors who had been educated in Greek and Latin (Jacopo de Gacta),master poets who wrote in Turkish (Ahmet Pahsa,Mahmut Pahsa,etc.)and finally people like Molla Gürani ,Molla Hüsrev and Sinan Pasha.Faith would discuss theology with some of these people , with others he would talk about politics ,while giving his opinion to yet others on philosophy or astronomy.If he felt the need for more he would have books brought to him,studying from them and learning.

 

    There were not just books of the Orient among the books he read or those his courtiers read to him;to the same degree that were Eastern Islamic treatises,there were the  works  of Laertius,Quintus Curtis ,Herodotus Livy and Works of other Western writers.His courtier ,Kritovulos,who wrote about Fatih’s life in Greek ,recorded that:”he was interested in the history of Alexander ,Pompey and Julius Caesar ; he read works on Greek philosophy and was especially interested in Aristotle and the philosophy of Stoicism.

 

    Sixteen Works in Greek were written at the palace ,some works from the West were translated into Arabic ,maps were collected of different areas of the world and new maps were drawn up.Bellinin was invited to the palaced to paint,binding and illumination workshops were set up ;these are onlye a few of many such activities.All of these were the result of Fatih’s Outlook as a world conqueror .According to his perception,only  after a nation had imbibed lofty aspects of science and culture was it possible for it to rule the world.It was purely fort his reason that ,if onlye for a short period ,the entire cultural acumulation of his personality was reflected first in the palace organization and the medrese which he had established ,before leaving its mark on the scholarly world of the Ottomans.In fact , the same high culture that we can see in his actions,in the civilzation he established and in his historical achievements also shows itself from time to time in his poems.

 

    Couplet

 

    Many commanders who came in former years were not able to habe the chance to conquer Constantinople.Only Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered Constantinople and commemorated the conquest by saying “Âhirün”.

 

The word Âhirün (the later ones)gives the number 857 when calculated according to the ebced  calculations .This number is the year of the conquest of İstanbul according to the Islamic calendar;that is 1453.

 

İskender Pala Sultans of Poems

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