Zeki Velidi Togan
akademisyen, siyaset adamı
10 Aralık 1890 tarihinde Başkurt ilinde İsterlitamak'a bağlı Küzen köyünde doğdu. Daha ilk mederse tahsilini yaparken bir yandan da özel Rusça dersleri alıyordu. Öğretmen olan annesinden Farsça öğrenmeyi de ihmal etmiyordu. 1902 yılında orta tahsil için Ütek'e bulunan dayısı Habib Neccar'ın medresesine gitti. Buradaki öğrenimi sırasında Arapça dersler alarak dil bilgisini geliştirdi.
1908'de köyünden kaçarak Kazan'a gelip burada özel dersler aldı. Bu arada Katanov ve Aşmarin gibi bilginlerle tanıştı. 1909 yılında mezun olduğu Kasımiye medresesine “Türk Tarihi ve Arap Edebiyatı Tarihi Muallimi” oldu. 4 yıl süren bu öğretmenliği sırasında 1911 sonlarında yayınladığı Türk ve Tatar Tarihi adlı kitabı sayesinde meşhur olmaya başladı. Bu eserin iyi yankıları sayesinde Kazan Üniversitesi Arkeoloji ve Tarih Cemiyeti'ne Aza seçildi.
1913'te Fergane'ye, 1914'te Buhara'ya araştırmalar yapmak için gönderildi. Bu seyahat neticelerine ait hazırlamış olduğu raporlar başta Petersburg Arkeoloji Cemiyeti olmak üzere Kazan ve Taşkent Arkeoloji cemiyetleri mecmualarında yayınlandı. Bu arada Prof. Katanov'un şimdi İstanbul Üniversitesi Türkiyat Enstitüsü'nün esas nüvesini teşkil edecek olan kitaplarının Türkiye'ye gönderilmesine vesile oldu.
Daha sonra Rus Millet Meclisi Duma'da Ufa Müslümanlarının temsilcisi olarak bulunmak üzere Petersburg'a gitti. Bilimsel çalışmalarına siyasî çalışmalarını da eklemiş oluyordu. Bu sırada Bolşevik ihtilâli patlak verince o da Türklerin durumunun düzelmesi için mücadeleye girişti.
Bolşevik İhtilâli'nden 22 gün sonra 29 Kasım 1917'de Başkurt ilinin muhtariyeti ilan edildi. Örenburg'u 18 Şubat 1918'de işgal eden Sovyetler onu tutukladılarsa da 7 Haziran'da hapisten kaçtı. Başkurt hükümeti kurulduğunda Togan, Harbiye Nazırı oldu. Bundan sonra Lenin, Stalin ve Troçki ile defalarca görüşütü fakat olumlu sonuç alamayınca Türkistan'a çekilip orada mücadeleye karar verdi.
1920-23 yıllarında Türkistan'da amansız bir mücadeleye girişti ise de başarılı olamadı. Basmacı Hareketi'nin içinde bulundu. Türkistan Millî Birliği'nin kurucusu ve ilk başkanıdır.
Paris, Londra ve Berlin'deki bir çok Orta-Asya tarihçisi onunla çalışmak istemesine rağmen, devrin Türkiye Milli Eğitim Bakanı Hamdullah Suphi, Fuat Köprülü, Rıza Nur, Yusuf Akçura'nın istekleri sayesinde Türkiye'den davet aldı.
20 Mayıs 1925'te geldiği Türkiye'de Maarif Vekâleti Telif ve Tercüme Encümeni'ne tayin edilmiştir. O zamanki Ankara'nın kitap açısından yetersiz olması yüzünden kendi isteği ile İstanbul Darülfünun'u Türk Tarihi Müderris Muavinliği'ne tayin edildi.
Bundan sonra İstanbul ve Anadolu kütüphanelerinde hummalı çalışmalarına başladı. Fakat, 1932'de I. Türk Tarih Kongresi'nde tıp doktoru Reşit Galip'in sunduğu Orta Asya'da iç deniz olduğu ve bunun sonradan kuruduğu konusu hakkındaki tebliğini eleştirince, Togan aleyhine bir kamuoyu oluştu. Kendisine takınılan bu kötü tutum üzerine ülkeyi terk etme kararını verdi. 8 Temmuz 1932'de istifa ederek Viyana'ya gitti.
1935'te doktora çalışmalarını bitirdikten sonra Bonn Üniversitesi'nde, 1938'de Göttingen Üniversitesi'nde ders verdi. 1939'da Millî Eğitim Bakanı'nın daveti üzerine tekrar Türkiye'ye geldi. İstanbul Üniversitesi'nde Umumî Türk Tarihi Kürsüsü'nü kurdu.
İkinci Dünya Savaşı'nın sonlarına doğru Türkiye'de Sovyetler aleyhine faaliyet ve Turancılık suçundan tutuklanıp mahkeme edildi. 10 yıl hapse mahkum edildiyse de Askerî Mahkeme kararı bozdu ve Togan beraat etti.
1948'de yeniden döndüğü üniversitedeki görevine ölümüne kadar devam etti. 1951'de İstanbul'da toplanan XXI. Müsteşrikler Kongresi'ne Başkanlık etti. Bu onun bilimsel alandaki şöhretini çok daha artırdı.
Zeki Velidi Togan 26 Temmuz 1970'te İstanbul'da vefat etti.
ORD. PROF. DR. ZEKİ VELIDI TOGAN
Zeki Velidi Togan was born in Kuzen Village of Isterlitamak of Başkurt province on 10 December 1890. His surname, Togan, derives from his fifth generation ancestor Is Togan. His father was Ahmet Şah, his mother was Ummu'l-Hayat. He received private Russian lessons while he was studying in primary school. He also learned Persian from his mother, who was a teacher. He went to the school of his maternal uncle Habib Neccar in Utek for secondary education in 1902. He received Arabic lessons during his education there, and improved his language knowledge.
In 1908, he escaped his village and went to Kazan and received private lessons. In the meantime, he met scientists such as Katanov and Asmarin. In 1909, he became the "Turkish history and Arabic Literature History Instructor" of Kasimiye school he had graduated from. During his four-year teacher period, he became famous with his book named Türk ve Tatar Tarihi (Turkish and Tatar History) he published in late 1911. He was elected as a member to the Archeology and History Community of Kazan University thanks to the good repercussions of the book.
He was sent to Fergane in 1913 and Buhara in 1914 to conduct investigations. The reports he prepared on the outcomes of these travels were published in magazines of Archeological Communities of Kazan and Tashkent, and Petersburg Archeological Community, in particular. He also caused sending of books of Prof. Katanov, which constituted the main core of Turkology institute of Istanbul University, to Turkey.Then he went to Petersburg as the representative of Ufa Muslims in Russian Parliament Duma. Thus, he added political efforts to his scientific investigations. He began to struggle for correction of the conditions of the Turks when Bolshevik revolution took place. 22 days after Bolshevik Revolution, autonomy of Baskurt province was proclaimed on 29 November 1917. Although Soviets who occupied Orenburg on 18 February 1918 arrested him, he escaped from prison on 7 June. When Baskurt government was established, Togan became the Minister of War. He decided to go to Turkistan and struggle there after he had talked to Lenin, Stalin and Trocki several times and understood their betrayal.
Between 1920-23, although he started a cruel struggle in Turkistan, he could not succeed. He took part in Basmaci Movement. He is the founder and first president of Turkistan National Union. After the three-year struggle he could not conclude, he and his gun friend Abdulkadir Inan went to Iran in 1923. When they arrived in Meşhed, they discovered important books in Ravza Library, which no Orientalist had seen before. İbn-i Fadlan Seyahatnamesi, which is one of the most valuable books of Turkish cultural history, was among the books found. Then he went to Kabul university of Afghanistan and conducted investigations.
Although they went to Istanbul in November 1923 from India Bombay, since they were not allowed to enter because of English intolerance, turned back like they had come on ship to Marseille and from there, Paris. He established both scientific and political relations in Europe as from late 1923. He met many famous orientalists in this period. He established a community named "Turkistan National Union" in Berlin. Although many Middle Asia historian in Paris, London and Berlin wanted to work with him, he was invited from Turkey due to the wills of Turkish National Education Minister of the day, Hamdullah Suphi, Fuat Koprulu, Rıza Nur, and Yusuf Akçura.
He was appointed to Publication and Translation Council of Ministry of Education in Turkey, where he came on 20 May 1925. He was appointed to Istanbul University Turkish History Instructor Assistant with his own will because Ankara in that day was not sufficient in books. Then he started working hard in Istanbul and Ankara libraries. However, on his criticizing the speech presented by medical doctor Reşit Galip in 1st Turkish History Congress in 1932 that there had been an inner sea in Middle Asia and that it dried later on, public opinion turned against him. He decided to leave the country on such bad attitude against him. He resigned on 8 July 1932and went to Vienna.
After he finished his master degree studies in 1935, he gave lectures in Bonn University and Göttingen University in 1938. In 1939, he went to Turkey on invitation of National Education Minister. He established General Turkish History Professorship in Istanbul University.
On 8 April 1940, he married Nazmiye Hanim, daughter of Omer Bey from Romania. He had two children, his daughter Isenbike and his son Sübidey... Toward the end of 2nd World War he was arrested and tried on accusation of Turanism and activities against Soviets in Turkey. Although he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the military court quashed the decision and acquitted Togan. He continued his service in the university he turned back in 1948. He chaired 21th Müsteşrikler Congress which gathered in Istanbul in 1951. This increased his scientific reputation much more. He passed away on 26 July 1970 in Istanbul.
Zeki Velidi Togan continued his publication activities which he started first in 1911 until his death with great speed and much efforts. Zeki Velidi Togan has more than 337 published studies. It was one of his habits to introduce to world scientific environments any historical source he found in his scientific investigations and travels (documents, handwritten book, miniature, etc.).
He has approximately 40 volumes of published individual books. 12 of them are bulky ones, and more than 10 of hem are the published notes of the lessons he taught in the university. Others are characterized as booklets. His first published book, Turk ve Tatar Tarihi made him famous in Kazan and Russia, but his book which introduced him to world scientific environments is undoubtedly İbn-i Fadlan Seyahatnamesi.
On the other hand, Tarihte Usul, is the first methodical book written in Turkey for history science. Another book, Umumi Türk Tarihine Giriş, is not only the only one in its field, but also important in terms of its outlining the general framework of Turkish History. Horezmce Tercümeli Mukaddemetü'l-Edep, Bugünkü Türk İli Türkistan ve Yakın Tarihi, On The Miniatures In Istanbul Libraries, Hatıralar, Oğuz Destanı, Kur'an ve Türkler are the best evidences showing his high level in science.
His memorials he wrote one year before his death contains not only his struggles which lasted his whole life but important documents for our close history. It is doubtless that publication of a cultural treasury such as Oghuz Epic, which is one of our greatest national epics, was a great gain for Turkish scientific environments. In his book named Bugünkü Türk İli Türkistan ve Yakın Tarihi, he told close history of Turkish provinces in Middle Asia and their losing their independence. He explained his opinions on today's situation of world Turks and their future in his book named Türklüğün Mukadderatı Üzerine. The published notes of lessons he taught in the universities contain in general Turkish Hıstory in Mongol period, Mongol Invasion, Genghis Khan and Timur periods, however, they are also related to subjects such as Karahanli Period, Başkırtlar History, Asia History and opinion and cultural life in Middle and Near Asia in 19th and 20th century.
Togan, who published 91 articles in domestic and foreign scientific investigation magazines, conducted subject investigation in approximately 20 of them. In the majority of his articles, he dealt with source identification which is his most evident feature. His reputation among orientalists in particular rose due to his such features. In his critics more than 14, he aimed at promotion of studies conducted in Western science environments to Turkey, and did not refrain from criticizing them as necessary. Nearly half of his articles in scientific magazines are in foreign language. There are also ones written in Russian and Persian besides ones written in popular western languages such as English, German and French. It is seen that 9 of his speeches the deceased teacher delivered in international congresses were published in congress minutes. All of those speeches are in relation with the field of expertise of the teacher and contain identification of documents which is his method of study. It is notable that all of the delivered speeches were in international congresses and were published in popular western languages such as English, German and French.
39 articles in 4 encyclopedias with international scientific importance were issued by Togan. Most of them were also in foreign language and others were in Turkish. 12 articles are about biography, two are about Turkish tribes such as Başkurt and Hazar, and others are about geographical location (city, river etc.) He made use of western literature about the relevant articles written under the light of Arabic and Persian historical sources written under the light of Arabic and Persian historical sources. All of the subjects are very important with regard to Middle Asian History.
He wrote approximately 109 articles in monthly and weekly magazines. Togan, who tried to handle scientific subjects in such magazines until years of 1940, then wrote his political ideas on some issues, his replies to some people and his memorials. It is understood that deceased teacher wrote 48 articles in daily newspapers. He wanted to illuminate the future in his letters which contained his ideas in majority by dealing with historical issues sometimes. He worked out the international congresses in his newspaper articles and tried to inform Turkish public vote about them. He did not refrain from disclosing the truths be believed in some issues mis-reflected to the society.
The deceased teacher also had books on Islamic Scholars he prepared but could not find the opportunity to publish, apart from his books on his field of expertise Islam and Turkish and Mongol History. Some of them are: Timur ve Oğulları Tarihi (History of Timur and his Sons), El-Birunî'ye dair (On El-Biruni), Başkırt Tarihi (Başkırt History), Ali Şir Nevaî: Hayatı ve Eserleri (Ali Şir Nevai: Life and Works), Reşideddin: Hayatı ve Eserleri (Reşideddin: Life and Works), Sakaların Tarihi (History of Sakas), Türklerin Menşe Efsaneleri (Myths on Turks' Origin), Resimlerle Türkistan (Turkistan with Pictures).
Zeki Velidi unutulmadı
Zaman 7 Temmuz 2001
20. yüzyılın önemli şarkiyatçılarından Ord. Prof. Zeki Velidi Togan (1891-1970), doğduğu topraklarda unutulmadı. Başkortostan Cumhurbaşkanı Danışmanı Emir Yoldaşbayev, uzun bir süredir yürüttüğü Zeki Velidi çalışmalarını kitaplaştırdı.
Yoldaşbayev’in kaleme aldığı, “Çağdaşlarının Hatıralarında Bilinen ve Bilinmeyen Yönleriyle Zeki Velidi” isimli kitap, Başkortostan ve Rusya’da piyasaya sürüldü.