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Enlightenment in the Ottoman Context: İbrahim Müteferrika and His Intellectual Landscape

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Chapter Summary

İbrahіm Müteferrika is known as the person who introduced the printing press to the Ottoman Empire in the early eighteenth century, though "printer" was only one of the many roles one can attribute to him. He was a polymath in the truest sense of the word: an intellectual, an editor, a physicist, a geographer, a map-maker, a soldier, and a historian. İbrahіm Müteferrika as the polymath and complete intellectual has not been investigated in detail: his intellectual contributions to and the impact of his intellectual endeavour on Ottoman scholarship have not been scrutinised. This chapter attempts to put İbrahіm Müteferrika's intellectual persona in its proper context. Being encouraged by the new trends in Enlightenment studies, the author presents him as a figure of the early Ottoman Enlightenment. The Ottoman Empire's early Enlightenment venture resembles in some ways those in Greece and Russia.

Keywords: İbrahіm Müteferrika; Müteferrika's printing press; Ottoman Empire



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