Turkey. – The modern Turkey has its historical identification with the proclamation of the republic of Turkey (29 October 1923) which marked the end of the sultanate and the caliphate of the Ottoman Empire which lasted about 500 years. The Turkish state was born in Anatolia precisely at the time of D. who nevertheless never mentions it. The territories already belonging to the Arabs passed largely under the dominion of the Turks, but the Arab influence had been very strong from a religious and cultural point of view. In particular, the question of Muslim precedents of the Comedy is recalled here, for which v. the voice ISLÀM; Book of the Scala. For Turkey 2012, please check oxfordastronomy.com.
The knowledge that D. and his contemporaries could have of this oriental world, and in particular of the Turkish nation that was in the heart of Anatolia, is very approximate and derived mainly from the echo of the Crusades, as well as from the accounts of travelers (see ASIA) and merchants: we know in particular that Florence had commercial relations with Turkey for the import of colored woolen cloths. And it is precisely to this world of merchants that D. brings us back with the memory of the Turkish and Tartar drapes (If XVII 17) which he, together with the canvases of Arachne, compares to the colored phantasmagoria of the back of Geryon.
During the centuries that followed the age of D. the Muslim world, except for the brief parentheses of Muhammad II and Suleiman the Magnificent, was not very receptive to Western culture and it is no wonder that not only D., but all literature and the art of the West were almost ignored. It will be necessary to arrive at modern times to find different orientations and living traces of the cult for D.; in fact, only the Turkey created by Ataturk bent decisively towards the West and our local culture. The first translations of Dante’s poem into Turkish prose are from those years, translations without any real literary value. One of these, the work of an Italianist, Hamdi Varoglu, has had a lot of diffusion in the past decades. But the most important Turkish translation of the Comedy is by Feridum Timur, in three volumes (Ilâhi Komedya, Ankara 1955-1956). Timur, a professor at the University of Istanbul, had already published a book on D., Hayati, Sanati, Eserleri … (“The life, work and art of D.”).
The celebration of the seventh centenary of the poet’s birth also gave rise to various events in his honor in Turkey A cycle of lectures held at the Italian Study Center in Istanbul adequately illustrated Dante’s thought and art. Pierre Gauthier and Ziya Umur spoke effectively of Dante’s religious and political thought.
The official celebration of the seventh centenary was held by G. Getto, followed by Alessandro Bausoni with a lecture on the Islamic sources of the Comedy, and Guido Rispoli, who recalled the life and work of D., thus closing the cycle of Dante’s manifestations. There is also an exhibition of illustrative drawings of the Comedy by contemporary Italian artists: from Carrà to De Chirico to Guttuso to Greco to Fazzini to Omiccioli to Tamburi to Levi to Purificato to Saetti.
It can certainly be said that the celebrations of the seventh centenary, which took place in Istanbul and in Ankara, to which both the Turkish and foreign press have echoed, aroused in Turkey a certain fervor of Dante studies, a fervor that found its salient point in the excellent monograph by Gül Iyik and Vaifro Sabatelli, Yeni Cağin Esiginde Dante, Istanbul 1966.