As diplomat, poet and author, Fuat Bayramoğlu (1912-1996) who was descended from a 14th century Turkish Sufi, and the founder of the Bayrami Sufi order, Hacı Bayram Veli. His father, Şeyh Tayyip Efendi, served also as deputy in the First Parliament. Bayramoğlu graduated from Ankara and Liege Universities. After 1939, he played important roles in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in different stages of bureaucracy through many years and he represented Turkey as an ambassador in several countries. Lastly, he served as the Presidential Secretariat between 1972 and 1977. In addition to his brilliant bureaucratic career, Bayramoğlu was an extremely cultured and artistic man with his poetry written in the form of rubai or rubaie as well as many books. His work titled Hacı Bayramı-ı Veli Yaşamı-Soyu-Vakfı first published in 1983 must be mentioned as the most comprehensive work in the field based on original information and documents on Hacı Bayram-ı Veli or Haji Bayram Veli.
Fuat Bayramoğlu was also a relative of the Koç family because his wife Nesteren is Vehbi Koç’s nephew, and he donated a rich collection of books and personal archive of 5158 works to Koç University Suna Kıraç Library shortly before his death in 1996. At the time of this donation, the 53 volumes of manuscripts constitutes the cornerstone of the SKL Manuscript collection. Some of the writings of Bayramoğlu, as predicted, are the works he inherited from his family members. Nevertheless, Fuat Bayramoğlu, a researcher and a bibliophile, undoubtedly shaped a significant portion of his library in the direction of his interest and research. The manuscript collection of Fuat Bayramoğlu consists of works on Ottoman Sufism (Bayrami, Melami and Mevlevi orders, evrâd and ilahi majmuas (miscellaneous), Menkıbenames (Epic Story) and the works which directly or indirectly concern the city history and social life of Ankara.
One of the most important features of Fuat Bayramoğlu’s manuscripts are the fact that they have seals and tamalluk notes (ownership statement). Examining the names on the seals shows that Fuat Bayramoğlu received these manuscripts from his father, Mehmet Tayyib and the Müderriszâde family. The Muradriszâde family, a different descendant of the great Haci Bayram sultanate, is also known to Ankara’s long-established ulema families; and Sadberk Hanim, Vehbi Koç’s wife, was a member of this family. The Leme’ât Transcription (No.62), which was written by Fahreddin-i Iraqi from the basic mystical texts and translated into Turkish with the request of Hacı Bayram, contains a very rare gigantic tarikat (religious order) seal. All these seals as the artistic and fitting signs used to identify the belongings of the great families and reminder of cultural and intellectual background of these families which descended from the founder of the Bayrami Sufi order, Hacı Bayram Veli.
Josephine Powell who was a photographer, collector and ethnologist [New York, 1919 – 2007], lived in Rome for a while after she left Rome to work at various international organizations in the United States where she completed his higher education. She traveled around the world as a traveler and in 1973 she came to Turkey to work on rugs. For many years, Powell, who traveled through the villages in Anatolia, especially in the areas where the nomadic population lived, accumulated countless objects belonging to local life as kilims, Anatolian rugs woven products. By writing books on these countless objects and local art and opening exhibitions, she presented these local art products all around the world. Powell has recently donated enormous weaving and handcraft collection with the archive of tens of thousands of photographs taken in Anatolia to the Koç Foundation, which is still part of the donations of Sadberk Hanım Museum and the SKL. This nine volume manuscript in the collection of 1,500 books that were transferred to the library during the donation which makes a small part of the manuscript collection in the Suna Kıraç Library.The Manuscript collection of Josephine Powell has same characteristic with the manuscript collection of Şinasi Tekin. In the same manner, Powell collected these manuscript through her professional interest and personal taste.Especially, she collected manuscripts such as Dua (prayer) and Evrād mejmuas (Pamphlets), popular works written on Fikhi (canon law) issues, Qur’anic suras and commentaries, publicized and anonymized Sufistic works and Islamic divine compilations.
Mithat Sertoğlu [Istanbul, 1913 – 1995] originally was a member of a family from Sarajevo who came to Istanbul as a refugee. After graduating from Istanbul University Faculty of Literature, he started working at a young age as a journalist as well as in the Directorate General of the Archive. Sertoğlu was appointed as manager to the office of this institution in 1960. Sertoğlu, known for his efforts in cataloging, organizing and opening the Ottoman archives in particular, lectured at the İstanbul University where he graduated at the same time, conducted journalism and magazine activities, and received numerous permanent works on Ottoman history. To name an example, “The six volume Mufassal Ottoman History” written together with Mustafa Cezar, was one of the most important works of him. 354 volumes of Mithat Sertoğlu’s personal books were donated to Koç University by his successor in 2008 after his death, and 18 of them are written works in this catalog.
Just looking at the manuscript collection of Sertoğlu quickly, various works of Elif Efendi attracts attention. Mehmed Elif Efendi (d. 1927), who was the last sheikh of Hasîrîzâde Tekkesi in Sütlüce, served as the chairman of the Meclis-i Meşâyih for a short time and produced a lot of works both in the last period of the Ottoman period and the first years of the Republic. As we examine donated manuscripts of Fuat Bayramoğlu, Mithat Sertoğlu also received many manuscripts through the kinship. By the marriage with Elif Efendi’s granddaughter, he became the owner of the naturally selected collection of Elif Efendi. Thus, we can say that both manuscript collections of Bayramoğlu and Sertoğlu are part of familial culture which has passed down from generation to generation and been shared between the family members.
Şinasi Tekin who was a professor of Turcology [Dursunbey (Balıkesir), 1933 – 2004] started his education life at the İstanbul University and completed at the University of Hamburg. Between 1958 -1965 he gave lectures at the newly founded Atatürk University and received his professorship title. Tekin continued his studies at Harvard University in 1965. Since 1977, Tekin has both published book series entitled “Sources of Oriental Languages and Literatures” and journal entitled “Journal of Turkish Studies” with his wife Gönül Alpay, who was also a professor of Turcology .These ongoing publications have a privileged place among the long-standing and respectable academic publications of the field of Turcology. Şinasi Tekin is one of the expert of the Old Uyghur language and Old Anatolian Turkish.Şinasi Tekin also gave many lectures as the founder and manager of the Ottoman Summer School, which has continued its activities as the joint organization of Harvard University and Koç University in Cunda, Balıkesir from 1997 until his death. Following the death of Şinasi Tekin, his personal books, which consisted of the manuscript collection were included the collection of SKL through his family.
Şinasi Tekin primarily focused on works that he thought were important in terms of the history of the Turkish language. Therefore, the fundamental characteristic of Tekin manuscripts is that they should be written and copied Turkish words in the early periods of Anatolian Turkish. His collection mostly consists of books in written Mevlid genre which have a wide audience among the people, Tefsir (interpretation), translations among the Qur’an, early medical books which are very important for the historical development of the old Turkish language, folk tales and dictionaries which are the part of his research. All this makes the manuscripts collection of Şinasi Tekin part of his cultural capital which is shaped by the level of his education, cultural background and his professional interest.
Born in 1929 in Ereğli, Salim Erel graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Agriculture in 1953. He continued his education in the United States between 1956-1957 and returned to Turkey in 1958 as he began to work in Konya State Hydraulic Works. He was elected as the mayor of Ereğli in 1973 and carried his title until 1977. He served as a Konya representation in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1983.
*Koç University Suna Kıraç Library Manuscripts Catalog 1, prep. by Ali Emre Özyıldırım, Koç University Suna Kıraç Library, İstanbul, 2018