On the Translations of the Qur'an From the Early Republican Times Until Today

The Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, was revealed in Arabic between the years, 610-632. The first partial translations of the Qur'an began in the seventh century in parallel to the beginning of religious invitation during the time of Prophet Muhammad. Despite the lack of an absolute consensus, the common view holds that the first translation of the Qur'an was completed in the eighth century. Since then, the Qur'an has been translated for numerous times into hundreds of languages including Turkish. There are different views on the timing of the first completed translation of the Qur'an into Turkish as well. Some scholars argue that it was in the tenth century, while others, with reference to the first interlinear translation into Turkic languages, claim that it can be dated to the thirteenth century. Translations in the Ottoman Empire, on the other hand, seem to have greatly increased with the Tanzimat (Reform) period. This article deals with the translations of the Qur'an into Turkish after the Declaration of the Republic in 1923. Since then, more than five hundred translations have been produced in Turkish. This number includes retranslations, re-editions, facsimiles as well as new translations. Within the scope of this study, different terms used to classify these translations such as tercüme (translation), tefsir (exegesis), te'vil (explanation), meâl (synopsis of meaning) and simplification will be briefly visited, but tercüme (interpretation) will be used as an umbrella term to refer to all kinds of translationrelated writing practices. The aim of this literature review is to present secondary works on Turkish Qur'an translations that have been carried out on several aspects of the issue including methodological approaches, translation criticisms, and the profiles of translators.


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