Ünlü fikir adamı ve şairlerimizden olan Ziya Gökalp, 1876'da Diyarbakır'da doğdu. II. Meşrutiyet'ten başlayarak Türkçülük akımının en büyük temsilcisi sıfatıyla Türk düşünce ve siyaset hayatını kuvvetle etkilemiş, Milli Edebiyat akımı içinde verdiği eserlerle Türk edebiyatının biçim ve dil yönünden yenileşmesini sağlamıştır.
Öğrenimine Diyarbakır'da başlayan Ziya Gökalp, aynı şehirde Askeri Rüştiye'yi (1890) ve Askeri İdadi'yi bitirdi (1894). Ziya Gökalp, tıbbiyelilerin istibdata son vermek için kurdukları İhtilal Komitesine girmiş, okuldaki faaliyetleri ve okuduğu Fransızca kitapların zararlı sayılması yüzünden hapsedilmiştir. Diyarbakır Valisi Halit Bey'in yolsuzluklarına karşı mücadeleye girişen arkadaşlarıyla birlikte yasak yayın okudukları gerekçesiyle tutuklandı (1898). İstanbul'a döndükten sonra da okuldan uzaklaştırıldı.
Ziya Gökalp, hükümlülük süresi dolunca "Zaptiye Nezareti altında bulundurulmak üzere" Diyarbakır'a gönderildi. Burada Siyaset, felsefe ve tarih üstüne incelemeler yaparken, istibdat aleyhine gizli faaliyetlere de katıldı. Bölgede güvenliği sağlamak için kurulmuş Hamidiye alaylarının başındaki Milli aşiret reisi İbrahim Paşa'nın adının karıştığı soygun ve baskın olayları karşısında halkı direnmeğe ve eyleme yöneltti. Halk 3 gün süreyle telgrafhaneyi işgal etti (1905). İbrahim Paşa ve adamlarının cezalandırılması için saraya telgraflar çekildi. Üstelik, Avrupa ve Asya ülkeleri arasındaki haberleşmenin bağlantı noktası olan Diyarbakır telgrafhanesinin bu bağlantıyı kesmesi olayın daha da büyümesine yol açmış ve yabancı ülkeler saraya baskı yapmaya başlamıştı. Konuyu incelemek üzere İstanbul'dan Diyarbakır'a gönderilen soruşturma kurulu Hamidiye alaylarının bir süre sinmesini ve yolsuzluklara son vermesini sağladı. Ancak halkın yakınmasına yol açan yeni olaylar patlak verince, Ziya Gökalp ve arkadaşlarının önderliğinde halk yeniden telgrafhaneyi ele geçirdi. 11 gün süren bu ikinci işgal halkın kesin zaferiyle sonuçlanmış, hükümet İbrahim Paşa ve alaylarını bölgeden uzaklaştırmak zorunda kalmıştır (1907). Gökalp, ilk eseri olan Şaki İbrahim destanında bu olayı anlatır.
II. Meşrutiyetin ilanından sonra, Ziya Gökalp'ın kurduğu gizli cemiyetin yerini Osmanlı İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti Diyarbakır Şubesi aldı. Partinin Diyarbakır, Van ve Bitlis örgütlerinin denetimiyle görevlendirilen Ziya Gökalp, bu dönemde Diyarbakır ve Peyman gazetelerine yazıyordu. 1909'da partinin Selanik'teki kongresine il temsilcisi olarak katıldı. Bir yıl İstanbul Darülfünunda psikoloji okuttuktan ve Diyarbakır maarif müfettişliği yaptıktan sonra, yeniden Selanik'e gitti. Katıldığı parti kongresinden sonra genel merkez üyeliğine seçildi. Burada Genç Kalemler, Yeni Felsefe, Rumeli gibi dergi ve gazetelerdeki yazılarıyla Türkçülük ve dilde sadeleşme hareketlerinin öncüleri arasında yer alan Gökalp, milli duyguları, tarih bilincini, bilime ve tekniğe değer veren düşünceyi her şeyin üstünde tutan şiirleriyle çevresini geniş ölçüde etkiliyordu. İttihat ve Terakki Genel Merkezi İstanbul'a taşınınca (1912), Gökalp da İstanbul'a yerleşti. O yıl Ergani madeninden Milletvekili seçildi.
Türk Ocağı çevresindeki çalışmaları, Türk Yurdu ve kendi çıkardığı Yeni Mecmua (1917) gibi dergilerdeki yazıları, Türkçülük akımının ilkelerini saptayan ve çağdaş uygarlık karşısında yerli bir senteze varılmasını şart koşan önerileri (Türkleşmek, İslamlaşmak, Muasırlaşmak 1918), Darülfünun'da okuttuğu toplumbilim dersleri, İttihat ve Terakki'nin yönetici kadrosu üzerindeki etkisiyle Ziya Gökalp, Mütarekeye (1919) kadar uzanan dönemin düşünce ve siyaset hayatına yön veren etkenlerin başında yer aldı. İstanbul'un işgali üzerine tutuklanarak iki yıl Malta'da sürgün kaldı (1919-1921). Döndükten sonra, Uelif ve Tercüme Heyeti başkanlığına getirileceği tarihe (1923) kadar Diyarbakır'da kaldı ve küçük Mecmuayı yayımladı.
1923'te Diyarbakır'dan milletvekili seçildi. Hakimiyeti Milliye, Yeni Gün, Cumhuriyet gazetelerinde makaleleri çıkıyordu. Altın ışık (1923), Türkçülüğün Esasları (1923), Türk Töresi (1923) gibi kitapları birbirini izliyordu. Cumhuriyet Halk Partisinin programını inceleyen ve yorumunu yapan Doğru Yol (1923) adlı incelemesini de yine bu dönemde kaleme aldı. O sıralar yazdığı Türk Medeniyet Tarihi ise ölümünden sonra yayımlandı (1926). Yine ölümünden sonra çeşitli gazete ve dergilerde çıkmış yazılarıyla mektupları çeşitli kitaplarda derlendi. Çınaraltı (1939), Fırka Nedir? (1947), Ziya Gökalp Diyor ki (1950). Ziya Gökalp'ın neşredilmemiş yedi eseri ve aile mektupları (1956), Ziya Gökalp'ın Yazarlık Hayatı (1956), Ziya Gökalp Külliyatı (1. Kitap şiirler ve halk masalları;1952, 2. kitap Limni ve Malta Mektupları;1965), Terbiyenin Sosyal ve Kültürel Temelleri (1973). 1924'te İstanbul'da öldü.
Thinker and artist, poet. He was born in Diyarbakir in 1876. He died in Istanbul in 1924. He was arrested in last class of Veterinary school because of establishing secret society. He was sent to exile to Diyarbakir after 9 months in prison, he opened a branch of Ittihat ve Terakki party there after proclamation of second Constitutional Monarchy. Then he went to Salonika, he wrote articles for Genç Kalemler magazine. He became a member of general central committee of the party after constitutional monarchy. He entered Turkish Parliament in 1924. He died the same year. He was a great Turkist. Ziya Gokalp is one of the greatest Turkish thinkers of contemporary Turkish thought history. He is a sociologist and instructor who thought the philosophy of Turkism trend and ensured development of national literature in Turkey.
He was born in Diyarbakir, which bore many monuments of various civilizations. This city is the oldest cultural center of Anatolia with its libraries and schools. A visitor named Çolu Hodja came on 23 March 1876 while Ziya Gokalp's father Provincial Director of Documents Tevfik Effendi sat and waited for the news of birth of her wife at his house's selamlik and gave the good news: "You will have a son in this hour, name him Mehmet Ziya...".
Tevfik Effendi had a son indeed some time later, and they named him Mehmet Ziya. The mother and father took much care of his being brought up. Young Ziya read about Shah Ismail, Asik Kerem even when he was only seven or eight. He enjoyed Ziya Pasha and Namik Kemal when he was fourteen. His father Tevfik Effendi was a foreseeing person. He gave him the taste of reading, and fed him with great ideals. He said to his son on the day when Namik Kemal died: This is a day of big mourning, because the greatest personage of this nation Namik Kemal died. You will follow him, and will be a patriot and independence lover like him". Such inculcation with a psychological understanding turned to be a will of his father, and guided him.
While Ziya studied in Secondary School, his father died. He was replaced by his uncle Hasib Effendi. Hasib effendi was an intellectual who knew Islamic philosophy well. He taught him great Islamic philosophers such as Ibni Sina, Ibni Rusd, Imam Gazzali. He taught him Arabic, Persian and scientific investigation methods.
Afterwards, Ziya married his uncles daughter in line with his last will. Ziya entered College toward 1890. He studied Theology, physics and biology. Two opposing trends brought about a deep skepticism in his mind instead of lightning of truth. He could not perceive that this wise existence called "Human" who was the only spring of heart was a machine made of "matter". He thought how Turkish nation being threatened with thousands of dangers but was not even aware of that could be saved from despotism. A miracle was needed for this. He looked for a philosophy of hope. Mysticism and theology sciences not dealing with the problems of Turkish society of the day came out inadequate in providing such philosophy.
But he was determined to reach the ideals in his mind. He went to Istanbul without informing his uncle. He was enrolled with Veterinary School, which was one of the priceless schools of the day. He also entered a secret society established my medical faculty students of the day. He gave to secret societies as contribution the monies they sent him as pocket money. He even sometimes remained moneyless for days. He was arrested because he took part in secret movements against despotism in last class of Veterinary school. After being imprisoned in Taşkışla in 1900, he was sent to Diyarbakir into exile.
Ziya Gokalp always lived a simple life. He was not engaged in any work other than a few temporary civil service duties until proclamation of constitutional monarchy. He spent most of the wealth bequeathed by his uncle for independence fighters banished to Diyarbakir, and sold more than half of the properties and precious goods. He did not like money. He read, wrote and thought without rest; and lived in his thought world. In 1908 when Constitutional Monarchy was proclaimed, he opened Diyarbakir branch of Ittihat ve Terakki. After some time, he attended 1910 Congress of this community gathered in Salonika as the Diyarbakir delegate and was elected as the General Center member. He taught sociology in Ittihat ve Terakki school.
He started to write articles to Genç Kalemler magazine published by Ali Canip and Omer Seyfettin. One of his pennames was Gokalp.Ziya Gokalp turned into a pole attracting the press and intellectuals even in his thirty five as a young thinker. His outer appearance did not promise much too. He was a hermit-spirited, shy and humble person. Because he was a plump, roundish faced person with low moustache and almond-eyed person. He was like Uygur miniatures.
But when he started to talk, it was immediately recognized that he was an instructor with his thought and struggling power as well as his extraordinary convincing skills, delicate intelligence and deep knowledge. His way of speaking was slow and calm. He spoke thinking, but certainly influenced the person he talked to. Because, every word he said was in line with not only wisdom and logical thought, but also scientific facts. His lessons were open for everyone and were followed with great interest.
He was writing articles on language, philosophy and sociology in Genç Kalemler magazine. He investigated the ideal of simplification of Turkish language dealt with by this magazine. The same ideal had been put forward by Reforms writers before, but only within the framework of hope and remarks, had been applied within a narrow scale, and writing language and oral language could not be united.
Ziya Gokalp, by defending simple languge trend, wanted to save Turkism which lost its identity among Islamic culture. For him, simple language was a scientific and national necessity. Ottoman language lost Turkish. Because, language is the basis of nationalism. All values such as law, morals and good feelings are expressed via language. Spreading of national culture occurs with simplification of language.
It was necessary not to admit words from other Turkish dialects, and not to let dead words even of Turkish origin into Turkish.
Eski köke tapmayız.
For Ziya Gokalp, admitting dead words into the language contradicts to the natural development and own rules of language. All words Turkish people know are national. His ideas also illuminated writers and poets such as Omer Seyfettin, Falih Rıfkı Atay, Orhan Seyfi Orhan, Halit Fahri Ozansoy, and brought about development of national literature trend.
Ziya Gokalp is a thinker who showed the right path to follow in the idea anarchy of the period of collapsing of Ottoman Empire. He is a sociologist who investigated the bases of Turkism with Western scientific understanding. In the period he lived, non-Turk people under Ottoman rule felt their national identities and wanted to separate from Turks. However, Turks could not have reached a national understanding about which of the three trends f Turkism, Ottomanism and Islamism to choose.
Ziya Gokalp is the first to reconcile those three trends. For Gokalp, the most important thing for Turkey is awakening of national awareness and conciliation to the course of the century. Being modern meant admittance of science and technique of the west. Coexistence of two sciences and two understandings such as both eastern and western is impossible. The University should be arranged in accordance with western understanding. Islamic Law courts should be lifted. Religion is a subject of conscience. We needed a secular state organization.
He wanted establishment of modern Turkish family instead of paternal family model which collapsed in a unrecoverable manner. For this, he scientifically investigated old Turkish family. He put forward correction of civil code for establishment of family in terms of law, economy and morals. His ideas on modern family, marriage, divorce and inheritance are principles accepted in today's Turkish community.
For Gokalp, improvement of nationalism idea could be accomplished by examining not only Ottoman history but also Turkish history. The source of literature should not be west but Turkish folk and Turkish nation's life. Idea Turkism was necessary for awakening of national awareness. Because, civilization is international, common. However, mortar (culture) was national.
He defined nationalism as "Turkism is to raise Turkish nation"; and explained Turkism with regard to language, religion, law, morals and family. For him, nationalism was not racism.
Ziya Gokalp wrote works with simple and natural language which were strong with regard to their educational aspect. He dealt with folk stories and poetized them with a clear style in a way everybody, and children in particular, could understand. He said:
Vatan ne Türkiye'dir Türklere, ne Türkistan
Vatan büyük ve müebbet bir ülkedir: Turan
and after the Sevres rag, Mondros and Losan, he understood that way was not the solution and began to write Türk Medeniyeti Tarihi (Turkish Civilization History).
He understood Turan as an ideal of Ottoman unity at the same time. He accepted it as a formation brought about by historical determinism. In his book named Turkculugun Esaslari, he said "Nation is neither a racial, nor a tribal, nor geographic nor political group...". The Turks should have three ideals for today. Turkeyism is the most accurate one of all...". He said the second ideal was Oghuzism, and the third and most distant one was Turanism, that is, unification of all Turks.
Ziya Gokalp was known as the founder of modern sociology science in our country and was reputed for applying and teaching the principles of French scientist Emile Durkheim. This is his scientific aspect. His view to history complies with his unifying opinion. In this unifying opinion which starts Turkish history from not Osman Bey but from before Christ, contains the belief as the most important property of his idea that all Turkish states were established by people speaking the same language and from the same generation, living within the framework of the same traditions, and changes in the state title governed by other communities would not change the integrity in truth. The only limping point was the idea which contradicted with the contemporary reality to gather under the same flag those communities which separated from each other distinctly with language, dialect differences and more importantly, with traditions and rules above all. Poets who advocated panturanist ideal such as "Red Apple" and "New Turan" could not succeed therefore. In fact, the only bitter end was Enver Pasha's being killed in a rebel in Turkistan Deserts.
Gokalp was banished to Malta by English upon occupation of Istanbul by Trio Entente States after Mondros armistice (1919-1921). He saw the danger of losing Anatolia during his exile in Malta, and wrote Çoban ile Bülbül, as a realist Turkist.
Çoban dedi: -Ülkeler hep gitse de,
Kopmaz benden Anadolu ülkesi.
Bülbül dedi: -Düşman haset etse de,
İstanbul'da şakıyacak Türk sesi.
Sürgün bitince tekrar Diyarbakır'a dönüyor.
The famous Thinker went to Ankara in 1923 being appointed to Ministry of Education, Issuance and translation Department Chairmanship. Gokalp was elected as Diyarbakir deputy in second election period of Turkish parliament in 1924. However, he was tired and sick despite his ager 48. His indisposition increased an dwent to Istanbul for recovery. Ziya Gokalp, being admitted to French Hospital, died in the same year, that is in 1924, despite all efforts of the physicians. He was buried in the graveyard around Sultan Mahmut Tomb in Çemberlitaş. His house in Diyarbakir was turned into a museum in his name. Now, this museum is a home for culture and ideas which visitors of Diyarbakir visit.
Ziya Gokalp caused bringing up of a watchful generation no matter how little, and their pursuing university education after him. His articles in magazines such as Yeni Mecmua, Türk Yurdu show his efforts toreach a system. He showed the ways of liberation by taking Turk and Turkish as a basis in language, economy, fine arts, morals, politics and philosophy. The influence of Ziya Gokalp's efforts was visible in language which headed towards a great simplification within ten years. It was seen in art and literature, national music, national art trends developed. Writers such as Omer Seyfettin, Halide Edip, Resat Nuri, and poets like Yahya Kemal were empowered by his Türkçülüğün Esasları book.
Ziya Gokalp weighed much Turk Medeniyeti Tarihi in particular, and wanted to complete this book definitely. But he passed away before he could do... Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu describes his high morals as follows: His calm head over humanly passions is like high hills close to clear sky over clouds and lightning, so he never engaged himself in the malarial waves we call daily politics even in his times he served as general center member. He always looked high, thought high. He was a high person above all." "A torch in our temple went out, but only after thousands of hands lit their own torches from his!".