Two of Theodore Bent’s articles relating to western Turkey have recently been translated into Turkish.
The author has provided some additional information, which we reproduce with permission:
a.) Küçük Asya’nın Yörükleri/The Yourouks of Asia Minor: This study, in which Bent’s article “The Yououks of Asia Minor” was translated into Turkish, is a pioneering attempt at Qizilbash-Alevi historiography. For this reason, it aims to introduce Bent to intellectuals living in Turkey. Bent’s work in question is one of the pioneers of works prepared in Europe related to the Qizilbash/Alevi belief system. In addition, this work is a vivid contemporary projection of the Turcoman (in other words, Yörük) lifestyle reflected in the 19th century. In his travels, Bent wrote travel notes on Sunni Turcoman in general and Shiite Tahtacı communities with Qizilbash-Alevi faith in particular, living in the Aidin (Aydın) and Teke [today ‘Antalya’] provinces, which he came across. As such, the data he produced contains valuable information for the peripheral communities of the late 19th century Ottoman Empire.
b.) Gizemli Bir Din/A Secret Religion: This translation work is about Bent’s field research on the Nusayri-Alawites of Ottoman Çukurova (Cilicia) in 1890/1891. Bent carried out a pioneering study in the 19th century on the Nusayri belief, which he described as a “mysterious religion.” In this work, he also presented information about the Ali-Ilahis he encountered while he was in Qajar Iran in 1890. In his travel note, he compared Nusayri and Ali-Ilahi beliefs and made inferences that these belief groups could come from a common origin based on various similarities. Just like the information he revealed about the Qizilbash-Alevi Tahtacı Turcomans, the Nusayri/Ali-İlahi data he mentioned in this article is also very valuable. Naturally, Bent’s article A Secret Religion is also descriptive of the peripheral societies in the 19th century Ottoman Mediterranean.
‘Küçük Asya’nın Yörükleri’ (‘The Yourouks of Asia Minor’), by Theodore Bent, from The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 20, 269-76, a modern Turkish translation with commentary by Ufuk Ali Kaftanlı (Alevilik-Bektaşilik Araştırmaları Dergisi / 2021 / 23, 221-254)
‘Gizemli Bir Din’ (‘A Secret Religion’, by Theodore Bent, from Cornhill Magazine, Vol. 63 (16) (Jan), 65-74), a modern Turkish translation with commentary by Ufuk Ali Kaftanli (Alevilik-Bektaşilik Araştırmaları Dergisi / 2021 / 24, 173-207)