[SWEDISH GYMNASTICS AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION SYSTEM IN TURKEY / FINE OTTOMAN BINDING] Bize meçhûl hayatlar: Isveç'te gördüklerim. [i.e. What I saw in Sweden].
SELIM SIRRI TARCAN, (1874-1957).
Sant Matbaasi [Chant Printinghouse]., Ist., [AR 1327] = 1911.
Fine red leather reward binding with art-nouveau decorations and Sultan Mehmed Resad tughra. 'Mükâfât' [i.e. Reward] written on board in very calligraphic Turkish with Arabic letters. Title gilt on spine. Light chipped on extremities of binding. Marbled endpapers. Blindstamped colophon. A finely printed book, a special paper. Cr. 8vo. (20 x 14 cm). In Ottoman script. (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 181,  p., 1 errata, richly illustrated. The reverse side of the first pages including the portrait of Gustav V has a letter by Selim Sirri Tarcan bilingual in Swedish and Ottoman Turkish sent to Gustaf V, The King of Sweden, written in Pangalti, Constantinople. The book has a brilliant travel account to Sweden from a Turkish perspective. Only three institutional copies in Turkey (2) and Netherlands (1, Leiden) libraries in OCLC: 949541692.; Özege 2474. First and Only Edition. Swedish gymnastics gained institutional structure by the courtesy of Ling in the early 19th century and forced the dominance areas of German, French, and British systems, which were used in school physical education in Europe from the middle of the century, due to their fully defined and justified pedagogical, psychological, military and medical functions, and increased its impact in a short time. Civil or military personnel sent by European governments received education in Stockholm's Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics, which provided Swedish gymnastics education from 1813, and proved to be the most important, leading, and exemplary institution of its genre. On their return to their homelands, they pioneered and tried to introduce Swedish gymnastics in/into their own countries. Military and political conditions in his country would turn a soldier-engineer into a physical educator and pave the way for Selim Sirri Tarcan's travel to Sweden in 1909. German Gymnastics (Turnen) based French Amoros Gymnastics is one of the physical education movements which Turkey met after political reforms of 1839 (Tanzimat) and it was incorporated into first military school then civil school curricula as from mid-19th century. Selim Sirri Tarcan encountered this apparatus gymnastics course at Mekteb-i Sultani (today Galatasaray High School), whose curriculum was created according to the French system and came to the forefront with his skills. After his graduation from Military Engineering School, he put effort into teaching and promotion via media of this gymnastics, rather than dealing with his military duties. However, the posture caused by his muscular body he developed by strength exercises and liked to show on every occasion, and his general health problems would make him question the gymnastics system he was governed by. The problem was also in Europe's agenda, and physical education entered the area of interest of public health policies, and the opinion that it is the most convenient and economical means to improve individual and public health became widespread, which popularized Swedish gymnastics appealing to this field. As of the late-19th century, Swedish-style gymnastics began to be promoted by medical-gymnastics institutes founded in the Ottoman capital as well as by published articles on this system by physicians and intellectuals knowledgeable on a sport-health relationship. Selim Sirri Bey, who was also attracted by Swedish gymnastics, turned his penalty of being sent abroad due to his active participation as a soldier in the constitutional movement of 1908 to opportunity and asked authorities to send him to Stockholm's Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics. During his higher education on gymnastics, he was also impressed by Sweden's healthy social structure into which physical education was integrated, heard of Zander, whose therapeutic gymnastics exercises were being applied in clinics opened on his behalf in European cities, and took medical gymnastics and massage classes at Zander's clinic in Stockholm. Selim Sirri Bey recognized pedagogical and scientific principles of gymnastics and became familiar with modernizing and socializing effects of folk dances and returned from Sweden in May 1910, taking with him a composition of a Swedish song to be later adapted as a youth march. From then on, he was aware that Turkish gymnastics teachers were totally incompetent both qualitatively and quantitatively, teaching methods were wrong and deprived of scientific basis. New social, political, and military conditions in Turkey revealed Selim Sırrı Bey and Swedish gymnastics as the most appropriate actor and tool of the solution. The Second Constitutional Period (1908-1918), during which efforts were increased to search for and execute a new model in education, became the scene of reformation of traditional education institutions, which were known to be inadequate despite improvement and modernization initiatives launched after political reforms. Physical education, known to be the primary tool for the realization of policies aiming at raising paramilitary and healthy generations, stipulated pursuant to the conditions of that period, became almost the core of reform movements. Immediately after his return from Sweden, Selim Sırrı Bey resigned from military duty and was assigned to the General Inspectorate of Physical Education to introduce physical education into schools and make relevant inspections. This meant that "mass-oriented" "Swedish gymnastics" would replace the "individual-oriented" process which lasted until Second Constitutional Period and during which gymnastics was applied according to the "Jahn-Amoros" style. During the new process which aimed to integrate physical education into the Turkish education system, many factors in pedagogical, medical, military, social, and economic fields played a role in the preference for Swedish gymnastics. Primary reasons for making such a preference include the fact that it could be applied to many people at the same time and it was suitable for curricula; that its applicability to any gender, at any age and health status, was seen as the most effective means of raising a society weakened both physically and morally; that due to political developments, it became necessary for young people to be ready for war before military service in a short time and massively; that it was a tool whose benefits in raising healthy generations by women were proven and that it was an important opportunity for them to appear in public areas and that it can be applied in any area, indoors or outdoors, without requiring any tools. It was seen that in accordance with these purposes, during the Second Constitutional Period, while physical education course was incorporated into the curricula of educational institutions of all levels, efforts were made to establish institutions which would train teachers, and it was increasingly sought to inform people and raise awareness. Selim Sırrı Bey prepared a series of books to provide guidance on the application of the Swedish system at schools, published articles on meaning, importance, and application methods of physical education for any age and gender in newspapers and magazines, reproduced copyright and translated works, and gave a series of conferences. For schooled young people to present their acquired skills and dynamism, he began to organize training festivals in which samples of Swedish gymnastics were shown from 1916 to 1918, and during the festival in 1918, female students attended physical education shows for the first time. However, it is seen that traditional structures continued to resist radical changes. It is understood that the resolution of problems became easier when he responded to the resistance of religious circles by introducing physical education course into the curriculum of Medrese'tül Vaizin so that religious circles could experience positive effects of physical education on themselves, after he was assigned as a permanent member of Meclis-i Kebir-i Maarif, which had the task to specify education and teaching p