Tehran (IQNA)- Persian literature professor at Ataturk University in Turkey considers Persian the best language for poetry and literature, emphasizing the role of Iranian thinkers and men of letters in the development of mystical literature and the formation of Islamic civilization.
In an interview with the Iranian Quranic News Agency (IQNA), Nemat Yildirim, a professor at Erzurum University in Turkey, said: “I am very grateful to you for inviting me and introducing me to the Quranic Academic Organization . I come from Erzurum, in eastern Anatolia. I graduated from the Faculty of Literature of Ataturk University. I obtained my master’s degree at the Persian department of Istanbul University, then I became an assistant professor at Atatürk University. In the same year, I became responsible for the Persian language and literature group. I am now the head of the Persian language and literature department. Atatürk University is one of the largest universities in Turkey with 85,000 full-time students and 250,000 virtual students.
The first book I wrote was a grammar of Persian into Turkish which was well received and reprinted 11 times with around 2000 copies. This book is taught in all Turkish universities, not only in Persian language faculties, but also in theology, history and philosophy faculties, as an optional subject.
I am very happy to have helped many students to learn Persian language and familiarize themselves with great Iranian literature, Roudaki, Shahriyar and Parvin Etesami.
My 41st book was published two weeks ago, which is a complete translation of Saadi’s works, in one of the biggest publishing houses in our country, and won the second Book of the Year Award and the Ferdowsi Medal in Mashhad.
I translated the poetry collections of Roudaki, Parvin Etesami and Saadi Shirazi. Before translating the Shahnameh, I wrote a dictionary of Iranian mythology in 4 volumes and 1000 pages. I also translated into Turkish a very important book for Zoroastrians on the study of Pahlavi and pre-Islamic Persian, “The Book of Ardā Vīrāz”. I have written a six-volume book on the history of Iranian literature, which is a first in this field in Turkey. The first volume has been published 4 times and the second volume was published a few months ago, I started the third volume on the Ghaznavids and subsequent eras. I have also written Persian textbooks including excerpts from classical Persian texts, Persian poetry and an ontology of Persian poetry which are taught in universities.
The Muslim nations made a combination of the culture of old and new Iran, and the culture of Islam and their own culture, the center of which was Islam and from which came the literature that we call Islamic literature.
In Anatolia, Persian was so influential in Sufi literature that for example, Rumi wrote the Masnavi in Persian in Konya, and although the people were Turkic speakers, Persian was spoken in literary gatherings. The Masnavi was translated for ordinary people at that time, and the mysticism originating in Islam thus spread among the people.
In my opinion, as Abdul Qadir Golpinarli (famous Turkish scholar) said, Persian was the first language of Anatolia during the Seljuk period, that is, it was both the literary language and the official language. We didn’t have an official Turkish language until the time of the Ottomans. It can be said that the literary language of Islam was Persian and its religious language was Arabic.
For four years, I studied Arabic grammar, interpretation, jurisprudence and hadith. Learning Arabic made it much easier for me to learn Persian, I owe this to the Imam of the mosque who encouraged me to learn the Koran and Arabic in my youth”
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Contribution of Iranian literature and thinkers to the formation of mysticism and Islamic civilization
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