Ottoman Turkish Historiography in the Universities in Egypt

Egypt remained as one of the most important domains of the Ottoman Empire for about four centuries (1517-1914). The historians of Egypt have looked into the history of the Ottoman Empire as an imperial center as well as to the history of Egypt as a province of the Ottoman period. This study is an attempt to disclose the academic role played by Egyptian universities in the development of general Turkish history and especially the Ottoman-Turkish historiography. Moreover, it identifies the obstacles ahead of academic research related to the understanding of the Ottoman state in Egypt. The history of Egypt, in this period, makes up also a significant portion of the central history of the Ottoman Empire. It is also regarded as the beginning of the history of modern Egypt. The graduate theses conducted in the Egyptian universities related to the modern history of the nation usually focus on Kavalali Muhammed Ali Pasha and his dynasty. In the last few decades, however, some studies have started to cover the social, economic and administrative history of the 16th to 18th centuries. The first pioneers of modern Egyptian and Ottoman history in Egyptian universities such as Şefîk Ğurbal, İzzet Abdulkerim, Fuad Şükrü and Muhammed Enis have played very active roles in both Egypt and other Arab countries. They have also supervised many theses about Turkish historiography in Egypt based on archival sources. Nevertheless, Turkish historiography in Egypt needs to be studied in much greater depth. The departments of history, art history, archives, librarianship and Turkology at the universities have to work in better coordination to provide the necessary material for a proper historiography. Hence unpublished manuscripts and documents have to be meticulously prepared for publishing and Turkish sources have to be translated into Arabic. In this manner, we can rewrite Ottoman history that constitutes an important segment of our national history through references to sound and original sources and cleanse it off former distortions


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