Evliya Çelebi

Evliya Çelebi

Evliya Çelebi (March 25(?), 1611 – 1682) (Ottoman Turkish:اوليا چلبى) was an Ottoman traveler who journeyed through the territory of the Ottoman Empire and neighboring lands over a period of forty years.[1]



Evliya Çelebi was born in Constantinople [2][3](present day Istanbul) in 1611 to a family from Kütahya. His father was Derviş Mehmed Zilli, a jeweller for the Ottoman court. His mother was a tribeswoman, a relative of the later grand vizier Melek Ahmed Pasha.[4] Coming from a wealthy family, he received an excellent education.[citation needed] He may have joined the Gülşenî sufi order; evidence for this claim comes from his intimate knowledge of its lodge in Cairo and from a graffito referring to himself as "Evliya-yı Gülşenî" (Evliya of the Gülşenî)[citation needed]. He began his travels in Constantinople, taking notes on buildings, markets, customs and culture; in 1640, he started his first journey outside the city. His collection of notes from all of his travels formed a ten-volume work called the Seyahatname (Book of Travels).

He died sometime after 1682; it is unclear whether he was in Constantinople or Cairo at the time.

The Seyahatname

Although many of the descriptions in this book were written in an exaggerated manner or were plainly inventive fiction or 3rd-source misinterpretation, his notes are widely accepted as a useful guide to the cultural aspects and lifestyle of 17th-century Ottoman Empire. The first volume deals exclusively with Constantinople, the final volume with Egypt. Despite being characterized as unreliable, the work is valued as both a study of Turkish culture and the lands he reports on.

Currently, there is no English translation of the entire work. There are translations of various parts of the Seyahatname, but not the whole. The longest single English translation was published in 1834 by Ritter Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, an Austrian Orientalist; it may be found under the name "Evliya Efendi." Von Hammer's work covers the first two volumes: Constantinople and Anatolia, but is antiquated[clarification needed][citation needed]. Other translations include Erich Prokosch's nearly complete German translations of the tenth volume, the 2004 introductory work entitled The World of Evliya Çelebi: An Ottoman Mentality written by University of Chicago professor Robert Dankoff, and Dankoff and Sooyong Kim's 2010 translation of select excerpts of the ten volumes An Ottoman Traveller: Selections from the Book of Travels of Evliya Çelebi.

Evliya is noted for having collected specimens from language he traveled in each region. There are some thirty Turkic dialects and languages cataloged in the Travelogue cataloged. Çelebi notes the similarities between several words from the German and Persian, though he denies any common Indo-European heritage. The Travelogue also contains the first transcriptions of many Caucasian languages and Tsakonian, and the only extant specimens of written Ubykh outside the linguistic literature.

In the ten volumes of his Seyahatname he describes the following journeys:

  1. Istanbul and surrounding areas (1630)
  2. Anatolia, the Caucasus, Crete and Azerbaijan (1640)
  3. Syria, Palestine, Armenia and Rumelia (1648)
  4. Eastern Anatolia, Iraq, and Iran (1655)
  5. Russia and the Balkans (1656)
  6. Military Campaigns in Hungary (1663/64)
  7. Austria, the Crimea, and the Caucasus for the second time (1664)
  8. Greece and then the Crimea and Rumelia for the second time (1667–1670)
  9. the Hajj to Mecca (1671)
  10. Egypt and the Sudan (1672)

Popular culture

İstanbul Kanatlarımın Altında (Istanbul Under My Wings, 1996) is a film about the lives of Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, his brother Lagari Hasan Çelebi, and the Ottoman society in the early 17th century, during the reign of Murad IV, as witnessed and narrated by Evliya Çelebi.

Çelebi appears in Orhan Pamuk's novel The White Castle.

Çelebi is one of main characters in novel Capitan Bathory's Adventures (Dobrodružství kapitána Báthoryho) by Slovak writer Juraj Červenák.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO included the 400th anniversary of Ottoman traveler and scholar Evliya Celebi's birth to its timetable for celebration of anniversaries.[5]


For a recently published bibliography of about 700 titles see: Robert Dankoff: An Evliya Çelebi Bibliography (PDF, 852 KB)

In Turkish

  • Evliya Çelebi. Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnâmesi. Beyoğlu, İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları Ltd. Şti., 1996-. 10 vols.
  • Evliya Çelebi: Seyahatnamesi. 2 Vol. Cocuk Klasikleri Dizisi. Berlin 2005. ISBN 975-379-160-7 (A selection translated into modern Turkish for children)

In English

  • Robert Dankoff: An Ottoman Mentality. The World of Evliya Çelebi. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2004.
  • Klaus Kreiser, "Evliya Çelebi," http://www.ottomanhistorians.com; eds. C. Kafadar, H. Karateke, C. Fleischer. October 2005.
  • Evliya Çelebi’s Book of Travels. Evliya Çelebi in Albania and Adjacent Regions (Kosovo, Montenegro). The Relevant Sections of the Seyahatname. Trans. and Ed. Robert Dankoff. Leiden and Boston 2000. ISBN 90-04-11624-9
  • Evliya Çelebi in Diyarbekir: The Relevant Section of The Seyahatname. Trans. and Ed. Martin van Bruinessen and Hendrik Boeschoten. New York : E.J. Brill, 1988.
  • The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Statesman: Melek Ahmed Pasha (1588-1662) as Portrayed in Evliya Çelebi's Book of Travels. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991.
  • Narrative of travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the seventeenth century, by Evliyá Efendí. Trans. Ritter Joseph von Hammer. London: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland, 1846.
  • Çelebi, Evliya (1834): Narrative of travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the seventeenth century (1834), vol 1
  • Çelebi, Evliya (1834): Narrative of travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the seventeenth century (1834), vol 2
  • Evliya Çelebi: Selected Stories by Evliya Çelebi, edited by Zeynep Üstün, translated by Havva Aslan, Profil Yayıncılık, Istanbul 2007 ISBN 978-975-996-072-8

In German

  • Im Reiche des Goldenen Apfels. Des türkischen Weltenbummlers Evliâ Çelebis denkwürdige Reise in das Giaurenland und die Stadt und Festung Wien anno 1665. Trans. R. Kreutel, Graz, et al. 1987.
  • Kairo in der zweiten Hälfte des 17. Jahrhunderts. Beschrieben von Evliya Çelebi. Trans. Erich Prokosch. Istanbul 2000. ISBN 975-7172-35-9
  • Ins Land der geheimnisvollen Func: des türkischen Weltenbummlers, Evliyā Çelebi, Reise durch Oberägypten und den Sudan nebst der osmanischen Provinz Habes in den Jahren 1672/73. Trans. Erich Prokosch. Graz: Styria, 1994.
  • Evliya Çelebis Reise von Bitlis nach Van: ein Auszug aus dem Seyahatname. Trans. Christiane Bulut. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1997.
  • Manisa nach Evliyā Çelebi: aus dem neunten Band des Seyāḥat-nāme. Trans. Nuran Tezcan. Boston: Brill, 1999.
  • Evliyā Çelebis Anatolienreise aus dem dritten Band des Seyāḥatnāme. Trans. Korkut M. Buğday. New York: E.J. Brill, 1996.
  • Klaus Kreiser: Edirne im 17. Jahrhundert nach Evliyâ Çelebî. Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der osmanischen Stadt. Freiburg 1975. ISBN 3-87997-045-9
  • Helena Turková: Die Reisen und Streifzüge Evliyâ Çelebîs in Dalmatien und Bosnien in den Jahren 1659/61. Prag 1965.

See also


  1. ^ http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/201102/the.unread.masterpiece.of.evliya.elebi.htm
  2. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, Edited by Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire...
  3. ^ Britannica, Istanbul:When the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923, the capital was moved to Ankara, and Constantinople was officially renamed Istanbul in 1930.
  4. ^ Robert Dankoff, An Ottoman Mentality: The World of Evliya Çelebi, BRILL, 2004, ISBN 9789004137158, p. xii.
  5. ^ http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=47164&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Evliya Çelebi — (osman. ‏اوليا چلبي‎; * 25. März 1611 im Stadtteil Unkapanı in İstanbul; † nach 1683 auf Reisen, vermutlich in Ägypten) war ein osmanischer Schriftsteller, der in seinem Reisebuch (Seyahatnâme) über seine zahlreichen Reisen im Osmanischen Reich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Evliya Celebi — Evliya Çelebi (* 25. März 1611 im Stadtteil Unkapanı in İstanbul, † nach 1683 auf Reisen, vermutlich in Ägypten) war ein türkischer Schriftsteller, der über seine zahlreichen Reisen im Osmanischen Reich und in den Nachbarländern berichtete.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Evliya Çelebi — (25 mars 1611 1682) est le plus célèbre voyageur de l Empire ottoman. Il en parcourut les territoires pendant plus de 40 ans. Biographie Il naît en 1611 à Istanbul d un père orfèvre à la cour impériale, Derviş Mehmed Zılli, et reçoit… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Evliya Çelebi — Archivo:Evliya.jpg Evliya Çelebi. Archivo:Evliya Çelebi.jpg Evliya Çelebi. Ibn Darwish Mehmed Zilli (Estambul, 25 de marzo de 1611 id., 1684), conocido como Evliya Çelebi, escritor y viajero otomano. Viajó a través de los territorios del Imperio… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Evliya Çelebi — ▪ Turkish traveler and writer also called  Derviş Mehmed Zilli   born March 1611, Constantinople [now Istanbul, Turkey] died c. 1684, , Constantinople       one of the most celebrated Ottoman travelers, who journeyed for more than 40 years… …   Universalium

  • EVLİYA ÇELEBİ — Kütahya lı olup, Mi: 25 Mart 1611 de doğmuştur. Meşhur eseri; Seyahatnâme sidir …   Yeni Lügat Türkçe Sözlük

  • Evliya Çelebi's Seyahatname — The Seyahatname (English Itinerary , Macedonian: Патепис/Patepis , Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian Putopis ) by Evliya Çelebi is a documentation of the author s travels through the Ottoman ruled Balkans. He recorded his travels through conquered Europe… …   Wikipedia

  • Çelebi (disambiguation) — Çelebi (also rendered as Čelebi in Bosnian and Chalabi in some Arabic transliterations) is a traditional Turkish honorific, used in the Ottoman period after the given name of a male person and roughly meaning gentleman , originally indicating… …   Wikipedia

  • Çelebi — Das Wort Çelebi (sprich: Tschelebi) bezeichnet: einen Ehrentitel aus der Osmanischen Periode (ursprünglich auf edle oder auf Herkunft von Dschalal ad Din Rumi hinweisend, später schlicht ein gebildeter Ehrenmann), einen Ortsnamen in der Provinz… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi — was a legendary Ottoman aviator of 17th century Istanbul.Legendary FlightThe 17th century writings of Evliyâ Çelebi relate this story of Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi, circa 1630 1632: First he practiced by flying over the pulpit of Okmeydani eight or… …   Wikipedia

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