Ömer Lütfi Barkan, a outstanding Ottomanist scholar of the Republican interval in Turkey, was one of many founders of the science of economic historical past within the nation.
Barkan was born in 1902 in a neighborhood known as Kıyık within the northwestern metropolis of Edirne. His father, Ismail Efendi, was initially from the Stara Zagora province of Bulgaria and his mom’s identify was Gülsüm. Barkan had just one sibling, a sister named Fatma. Fatma Hanım was a schoolteacher. His maternal uncle, Mustafa Bey, was additionally a geography trainer on the Kuleli Military High School.
Barkan was first schooled at Edirne Numune Mektebi (Secondary Education School) earlier than he enrolled on the Muallim Mektebi (Teachers’ School). After his commencement in 1920, Barkan labored as an elementary faculty trainer for 3 years in Edirne, after which, he moved to Istanbul and enrolled on the Yüksek Muallim Mektebi (Teachers’ College). He then studied philosophy on the Darülfünun (home of sciences), which was the one greater schooling establishment in Turkey earlier than 1933, later turning into Istanbul University.
In 1927, Barkan moved to Strasbourg, located on the japanese border of France subsequent to Germany, to enhance his French and research regulation and literature. Indeed, Albert Gabriel, the pinnacle of the French Archeology Institute in Istanbul, satisfied him to review in Europe, which Lucien Febvre, the founding father of the Annales History School known as “a contented coincidence.” In Strasbourg, Barkan studied with nice historians like Marc Bloch, Maurice Halbwchs and Henri Baulig. According to Febvre, Barkan’s alternative of profession was closely influenced by his schooling on the Annales History School, and he determined to commit his life to economic historical past.
Four years later, Barkan returned to Turkey and have become a philosophy trainer at Eskişehir High School. He then started to work as an affiliate professor of revolutionary historical past, although and not using a doctorate diploma, at what had change into Istanbul University because of the University Reform of 1933. His supervisor was professor Yusuf Kemal Tengirşenk.
Barkan joined the military to finish his obligatory navy service in 1934 and 1935, after which he was assigned to do economic historical past and geography lectures for the Faculty of Economics. Meanwhile, he wrote his early articles on Ottoman economic historical past, which have been printed in outstanding journals like Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Mecmuası (the Journal of Faculty of Political Sciences). Those articles impressed the dean of the Faculty of Economics, Ömer Celal Sarç, to take Barkan underneath his wing. In his official request, Sarç famous the college’s must have a nationwide affiliate professor to work with Alexander Rüstow, an exiled German professor.
Barkan stored his place on the Revolutionary History Department but additionally continued to offer lessons on the artwork and science colleges, too, for years. Meanwhile, in 1938, he handed the overseas language take a look at required for affiliate professors. Ali Fuat Başgil and Hüseyin Şükrü Baban, outstanding full professors on the Faculty of Economics, have been the jurists of Barkan’s overseas language take a look at. As part of necessities to change into an official affiliate professor, he submitted the dissertation “Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Kuruluş Devrinde Toprak Meseleleri” (“Land Issues on the Initial Period of the Ottoman Empire”) in 1939. His panel was made up of outstanding authors, together with sociologist Mehmet Fuat Köprülü and Rüstow. Barkan grew to become a full professor simply two years after his dissertation.
Barkan grew to become the pinnacle of the economic historical past division in 1950. He married Süreyya Meriç, who was a professor of physics, a yr later. They had three sons, Ziya Budak, Ismail Özdal and Ömer Erçin. Barkan labored because the dean of the Faculty of Economics from 1950 to 1952. In 1955, he based the Turkish Economic History Institute and directed it till his retirement in 1972.
Barkan is taken into account one of many sport changers in Turkish historiography. As a follower of the Annales History School, he targeted on economical paperwork and inventories in archives, which helped him reestablish the Ottoman classical historical past with a up to date methodology. His main focus was the land regime of the Ottoman state, for which he wrote about 150 articles. Many of his writings are very lengthy and embrace associated historic paperwork. He penned quite a few articles in publications resembling İktisat Fakültesi Mecmuası (the Journal of Faculty of Economics), Belleten (the Scientific Journal) and Vakıflar Dergisi (the Journal of Foundations).
Barkan based the historiography of the Ottoman land regulation, however he didn’t restrict himself to the 16th-century classical interval. He additionally wrote concerning the land regulation of the Tanzimat interval within the 19th century. In reality, he in contrast Ottoman historical past to adjustments in economic and political regimes. He wrote on faith’s relations to the economic system, together with the function of sultans as legislators, the Islamic boundaries of Ottoman regulation, the disorganization of written regulation and extra.
Barkan additionally studied Ottoman monetary foundations, which have been the grounds of their economic system. Using historic paperwork, he confirmed how their organizations truly labored. He primarily used the foundations’ accounting books to understand the fabric continuation and its adjustments.
As an economic historian, Barkan was realist, even positivist to some extent, which left an awesome impression on all who adopted, together with Halil Inalcık.
‘Colonizer Turkish dervishes’
Barkan adopted Köprülü in explaining the monetary organizations of the Ottoman state by means of historiography. In his well-known guide “Kolonizatör Türk Dervişleri” (“Colonizer Turkish Dervishes”), he stated that he accepts Köprülü’s thesis that the Sufis helped warriors set up a brand new Turkish state on the borders of the Seljuk and Byzantine empires. Barkan’s brilliance was that he submitted written proof for such a thesis that included 225 archived paperwork on the land and inhabitants of the 16th century.
What can be new in Barkan’s strategy is that he thought-about Sufi lodges, which had been utilized in multifunctional methods, to be economic establishments. At occasions, the lodges have been used as navy posts, caravanserais or just as farms.
Another originality of Barkan’s institution thesis is that he criticizes the heterodoxy strategy, which means that the weather of the early Ottoman inhabitants have been non-Sunni teams that have been then reworked right into a Sunni nation. Barkan thought that we can’t have a look at these heterodox teams as a harmonious block as a result of they have been divided and scattered. Among them, many have been dealing with Sunni customs whereas nonetheless utilizing nontraditional ideas and praxis.
Barkan was a member of Türk Tarih Kurumu (the Turkish Historical Society), the UNESCO National Committee, İnkılap Tarihi Enstitüsü (the Revolutionary History Institute), the Serbian Science Academy, and the Ottoman and pre-Ottoman Studies Committee of the International Congress of the Orientalists. Strasbourg University granted him an honorary doctorate. He died on Aug. 23, 1979, in Istanbul.