SELCUK UNIVERSITESI TURKIYAT ARASTIRMALARI DERGISI-SELCUK UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF STUDIES IN TURCOLOGY, no.41, pp.179-194, 2017 (ESCI)
Sinasi, who went to Paris in 1849, was in a philosophical world where positivism prevailed during his stay there. As he predicted correctly the difficulties of making Ottoman society accept Western positivism as it is, he defended a type of rationalism inspired by Islamic rationalist schools such as Mu'tazila instead of the Western positivism which radically challenged theology and metaphysics. Sinasi's interpretation of the concepts of civilization, law, justice and liberty represent an Enlightenment breakthrough in Ottoman thought. In the light of all this, Sinasi can be seen as the founder of rationalist tradition in Turkish literature as well as the spokesman of it in Turkish literature and cultural world. The transfer of values of Enlightenment and the idea of law and order based on Western values to the Ottomans was a problematic and contradictory process; because the historical developments and social structure that produced these values were very different from Ottoman's. Sinasi wants to reach a synthesis rather than directly copying the end result of this process and tries to connect these values to the roots of Islamic tradition so that they won't be automatically refused but be embraced. At this point, he refers to the rationalist tradition in Islam in order to reconcile Islamic belief with rationality. In this article, Mu'tazila and Maturidism which are of rationalist schools in Islam are presented in terms of their approach to the themes such as ration, destiny, justice that are also treated in Sinasi's poetry. Sinasi's poems in Muntehebat-i Es'arim are analysed and the parts in which the rationalist tradition is accentuated are evaluated. Poems are analysed in order to show the traces of this tradition.