The Self-Fashioning of an Ottoman Urban Notable: Ahmad Efendi Tahazâde (d. 1773)

18. yüzyıl Osmanlı taşrasındaki seçkinlerin (âyânlar) siyasî, sosyal ve iktisadî rollerine dair bir çok araştırma mevcut olsa da söz konusu ayanların kültürel yönelimleri ve kişisel ilgileri hakkındaki bilgilerimiz hâlâ sınırlıdır. Merkezî Osmanlı hükümeti ile taşradaki tebaa arasında siyasî arabulucu işlevi görmekte olan âyânların bir çoğu, Osmanlı memuru olmaları hasebiyle de kendilerinden yapmaları beklenen muhtelif görevler ile içinde bulundukları ya da kök saldıkları taşra toplumlarının kültürel hususiyetçiliği (particularism) arasında kalan grift bir yerde bulunmaktaydılar. Bu çalışmada, yukarıda tasvir edilen seçkinlerden birinin, hem kadılık hem de tüccarlık yapan Tahazâde Ahmed Efendi'nin, 18. yüzyıl ortalarında Halep'te kurduğu bir medresenin vakfiyesi incelenmiştir. Vakfiye metni, bilhassa kütüphane envanteri, istihdam stratejisi, müfredat şartı ve seçilen dualar incelenmiş, ve Tahazâde Ahmed Efendi'nin hesaplı ve incelikli bir şekilde kendine has ve muhtar bir sosyal statü ve kültürel kimlik tasarladığı tespit edilmiştir. Ahmed Efendi'nin medrese müfredatında Hanefî fıkhına yer vermesi, kütüphanesinde ekseriyetle Hanefî mezhebiyle ilgili eserlerin olması ve Edeb-i Osmanî geleneği dairesinde Türk ve Fars şiiri ile ilgilenmesi, kendisini Osmanlı adli ve içtimai düzeni ile özdeşleştirdiğini göstermektedir. Öte taraftan Ahmed Efendi'nin kendi kültürel ve entelektüel yönelimini ortaya koyduğu bir alanı da inşa etmekten kaçınmadığı tespit edilebilmektedir. Bu husus özellikle kendi şerif liğini öne çıkarması ve nakibüleşrafa liderlik yapmak istemesinde açıkça fark edilebilmektedir. Yine kütüphanesinde önemli şecere metinlere sahip olması, Osmanlı öncesine dair farkındalığı (örneğin Memluk Sultanlığı dönemine ait kronikleri ve biyografik sözlükleri edinmeye özellikle gayret sarfetmesi, Osmanlı öncesi saygın ve mahalli olarak köklü bir çok Sufî tarikatine mensubiyeti), muvakkitlerin eğitimine verdiği büyük mali ve teknik destek sağlaması, ve belki de en dikkat çekici olanı ağırlıklı olarak Musul civarından gelen Kürtlere medresesinde müderris ve talebe olmaları için açıkça ve kapsamlı bir şekilde hamilik etmesi de bu fikri, - kendi özbiçimini inşa ettiği fikrini- desteklemektedir.

Kentli bir Osmanlı Seçkininin Kendine Öz-Biçim Vermesi: Tahazâde Ahmad Efendi (ö. 1773) Örneğ

While historians have learned much about the political, social, and economic roles of the Ottoman provincial elites (a'y?n) in the 18th century, little is known about their cultural orientations and personal interests. Functioning as political intermediaries between the Ottoman central government and local populations, the majority of the a'y?n were effectively placed in an ambiguous position between the cosmopolitan demands of service as Ottoman officials and the cultural particularism of the local society in which they were or had become rooted. This study takes in hand the foundation document of a college (madrasa) built in mid-18th century Aleppo by a Muslim judge (qadi) and merchant, Tahazâde Ahmad Efendi. Examining together the document's constituent elements, primarily the library inventory, personnel recruitment strategy, curriculum stipulations, and prayer supplications, this study discerns a calculated and fine-tuned effort on the part of the founder to fashion a distinct and autonomous social status and cultural identity. On the one hand, Ahmad Efendi identifies with the Ottoman legal and social establishment as through the prescribed teaching of Hanafi jurisprudence in the curriculum of the madrasa, the plurality of Hanafi texts in his library, and his cultivation of Turkish and Persian poetry in the Edeb-i Osmani tradition. On the other hand, Ahmad Efendi carves out a space within which he asserts his own cultural and intellectual orientation. This is seen most notably through promotion of his shar?f lineage and pursuit of group leadership as naq?b al-ashr?f, which is reinforced by ownership of prestigious genealogical texts in his library; the cultivation of an pre-Ottoman awareness tied primarily to the Mamluk Sultanate as seen in his concentrated acquisition of chronicles and biographical dictionaries of that era and his affiliation with multiple pre-Ottoman Sufî orders with proud but temporally remote local histories; his extensive financial and technical support for the training of timekeepers (muwaqqits); and, perhaps most strikingly, his explicit and extensive patronage of Kurds, primarily from the area of Mosul, as teachers and students in his madrasa.

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