Turks of Central Asia had been taking Islam as their faith starting in 8th Century. A rapid change happened in world history, thousands of fresh Muslims served in the name of their God. It was not only a religious or military change, but also was a cultural shift for the new world. Arabic alphabet was being used from Al Andalusia to the borders of China. A universal language of magnificent civilizations such as Arabic, Persian, Indian, Turkish, Egyptian, Spanish, Moroccoean, Mongolian, &c. had formed a new civilivation: Islamic Civilization. The name coined “Islamic” is derived from the name of religion because, Islam offers all the ways of life: If human establishes a civilization, it must be in accordance with Islam. From social structure to urbanization; from mental to religious; from legislation to judgement; from philosophy to art, &c.. All these segments of a civilization must be formed under the upmost umbrella of Islam.
What is written in this frame of a manuscript:
Why the increase and decrease of the light of the moon is settled while other stars don’t behave so,
observing these and not understanding the spirit of these is a misdeed that the light of the stars is of their own..
This universal language I mentioned above is coded with Arabic letters. In 10th Century, Alberonius (Al Biruni) wrote his book about lunar eclipse in Persian, but with Arabic Letters. Avicenna (Ibn Sina) was Turkish, yet wrote in Arabic. Through 20th Century by these letters, Muslims have cumulated a vast literature of philosophy, science, art and technology.
In 1928, last days of the fall: November.. Five years after the Declaration of Turkish Republic.. A revolutionary change happened in Turkey: Arabic letters converted into Latin Letters just in a day! Without any preparation, announcement, education! A Big percent of Turkey became ignorant!
I am not criticizing the revolution here. I have an argument about the way it was imposed. Changing the alphabet is not a small case to cover in three months. It must be done with cooperation by academic and intellectuals of society.. A generation is needed to establish the new language of the new alphabet. Because when you change a nation’s way of recording, you also change the way of remembering: You change a historical perception.
It might not sound as a critiqal issue for some. Even writing habits can change a nation’s profile. Arabic is written from right to left; in opposite, Latin is left to right. These two writing methods can be considered as a reflection to the matter: What is the meaning of man and knowledge? Writing from a human body and writing towards a human body.. Where does knowledge come from? Who stores it? There are several questions to mention by here, nevertheless a blog post is not a proper platform to discuss it..
I see that in Turkey, there are several congresses, conferences and saminars on Typography and Calligraphy; particularly in Istanbul. My foresight displays me that all these meetings will give Turkey a better perspective on memoirs of hands..
For the generation born after mids of twentieth century, being literate is not a hard issue to overcome. However birthgivers of these generations had a great obstacle surrounding them. They needed to become literate by the posters hanged in the small markets of their neighbourhood as in the left photo. Think about one who has a great history of his/her ancestors, and then once a day s/he become an orphan of this great history.. Even hard to think about it.
Frankly, in my opinion, Latin alphabet is technically more developed and skillful medium for liteacy. Phonetically more suitable for Turkish language. I know how to read Ottoman Turkish, and I can see the difficulty of reading it. Anglo-saxon languages, such as English has similiar problems of course. Phonetics can not be dictated perfectly in English. A “c” can be read as “k” or “c”, &c..
For those who know Turkish language, above the cover page of a newspaper from alphabet revolution is a good example of catastrophic effects on mass communication mediums. Spelling and punctuation is completely wrong, still there was no certain rules of writing and reading. Some parts are in Arab letters, others in Latin. Even the transcoding of letters were not decided yet. Can you think about 2 years of literacy on this ignorence?