[EARLY TURKISH SHAKESPEARIANA - THE FIRST TURKISH TRANSLATION of 'MACBETH' in the OTTOMAN / TURKISH LITERATURE] Makbes (Kütübhane-i Ictihad 23). Translated by Abdullah Cevdet [Karlidag], (1869-1932).

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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, (1564-1616)., Kütübhane-i Içtihad, Cairo / Egypt, 1909.

In modern, handsome full brown morocco. Foolscap 8vo. (18 x 12,5 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 159 p.

Extremely rare first Turkish translation of Macbeth, printed in Ottoman Cairo.

Macbeth reflected Abdullah Cevdet's reaction against Hamidian despotism and his love and advocacy of liberty. One must also remember him as one of the founding members of the Party of Union and Progress - a secret organization that conspired to overthrow Abdülhamid's absolutist regime. The argument that Abdullah Cevdet's translation of Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth reflected his opposition to Abdülhamid II's absolute monarchy could be justified with the fact that the themes of the translated plays were perceived by the political authorities as threatening since they were about the murder of kings and heads of state. In Abdullah Cevdet's view, Macbeth is famous as the drama of "ambition for status" (hirs-i cah). Abdullah Cevdet was an Ottoman-born Turkish intellectual and physician of Kurdish ethnic descent. He was one of the founders of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). In 1908, he joined the Democratic Party that merged with the Freedom and Accord Party later in 1911. He was also a translator, radical free-thinker, and ideologist of the Young Turks until 1908. The son of a physician, and himself a graduate from the Military College in Constantinople as an ophthalmologist, Cevdet, initially a pious Muslim, was influenced by Western materialistic philosophies and was against institutionalized religion but thought that "although the Muslim God was of no use in the modern era, Islamic society must preserve Islamic principles." He published the periodical İçtihat from 1904 to 1932, of which articles he used to promote his modernist thoughts. He was arrested and expelled from his country several times due to his political activities and lived in European cities including Vienna, Geneva, and Paris. His poetry was linked with the Symbolist movement in France and he received accolades from leading French authors like Gustave Kahn. (Source: DR. ABDULLAH CEVDET'S TRANSLATIONS (1908-1910): THE MAKING OF A WESTERNIST AND MATERIALIST "CULTURE REPERTOIRE" IN A "RESISTANT" OTTOMAN CONTEXT; Ayluçtarhan, Sevda).

"Between 1908 and 1910, Abdullah Cevdet produced a large oeuvre of translations, including four translations of Shakespeare's tragedies: The translations of Hamlet and Julius Caesar (translated by Cevdet as Jül Sezar) were published in 1908, the same year as the declaration of the Second Constitution. Macbeth, translated by Cevdet as Makbes, was published in the following year. [.] Nonetheless, Abdülhamid II seemed to be even less tolerant of the dissemination of Hamlet, Macbeth, and Julius Caesar, since they were all about unjust rulers who were executed at the end. It is not surprising that the performances of these plays became subject to strict censorship in the Ottoman lands and were banned (Paker 1986: 91). This could be shown as a reason why Abdullah Cevdet was able to publish the translations of these plays only after 1908, though he had finished translating Hamlet in 1902, Julius Caesar and Macbeth in 1904, and Romeo and Juliet in 1905 (Süssheim 1987). As Abdullah Cevdet was a planner of culture, his literary translations cannot merely be judged on an "aesthetic" level. It will be discussed in this chapter that Abdullah Cevdet's translations of Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth could be read as critical texts directed against Abdülhamid II's absolutist regime. [.] Due to the fact that the selection of source language and culture is an important factor in accounting for any kind of "translation policy", Abdullah Cevdet's selection of both these instruments needs to be taken into account (Toury 2000: 202).

Özege 12009. Only one copy in OCLC: 949612474 (Bogaziçi University Library of Turkey).