ERZİ, ADNAN SADIK (b. Hasan Halik, 2 February 1923; d. Istanbul, 5 June 1990), Turkish historian who carried out major research on Persian manuscripts, historical texts, and enšāʾ literature (FIGURE 1). He was born in the village of Hasan Halik, near the town of Fatih in Istanbul. His real name was Hasan Adnan. His father was Sadık Bey, an imam at the Mosque of Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) in Istanbul. His mother was Ulviye Hanım. He attended Kabataş Erkek Lisesi High School until 1943 and then enrolled in the Department of History of the Faculty of Literature at the University of Istanbul.
After graduating in 1947, he started to work for the Society of Turkish History as a library and publications specialist. In April 1947 he was appointed the Library Manager of the Faculty of Language and History/Geography at the University of Ankara. In 1950 he began working as the research assistant for the Chair of Ottoman History at the same institution, where he worked together with Professor Bekir Sıtkı Baykal. He finished his Ph.D. thesis, titled Selçuklu Tarihinin Kaynakları (The Sources of Saljuq History), in March 1950 at the Faculty of Literature of the University of Istanbul. In 1952 he traveled to Italy and Austria for research. In 1954 he made further research trips to England, Italy, The Netherlands and Germany. In 1957 he was appointed an Associate Professor and started teaching at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Ankara.
He visited the United States on a research trip from 1957 to 1958. After his return to Turkey, he taught from 1959 to 1960 at the University of Atatürk in Erzurum as the Chair of Medieval History. In late 1960 he returned to the University of Ankara as the Chair of Modern History at the Faculty of Language and History/Geography. That same year he became Deputy Director of the Turkish Religions Society (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlıǧı). After 1962 he traveled extensively for research, attending conferences and giving lectures. He was in Iran, Iraq and Syria from September to December 1962 and went to Dakar and Lahore in July 1963 to do research on Islamic manuscripts. From 15 September to 15 November 1964 he did research at the National Library of Vienna. In 1965 he went to England and France, in 1968-69 to Tabriz in Iran, in 1970 to Baghdad and Moscow, in 1971 to India, in 1972 to Cyprus, in 1973 to Islamabad, in 1974-75 to Iran and Germany. In 1975-76 he was sent to teach at the University of Fırat in Elazıǧ. In 1977 and 1979 he worked and did research at Bonyād-e Farhang-e Irān in Tehran. He returned to Tehran in 1981 and also to traveled to Madrid, Tunis and Vienna in the next couple of years. On 4 March 1986 he was made Professor Emeritus. He died on 5 June 1990 in Istanbul, survived by his two children.
Works. Dr. Erzi was an expert on Persian manuscripts. His main achievement was to discover and make known such manuscripts. In 1950 he finished his Ph.D. thesis on sources of Saljuq history, which has not been published. After 1948 he did research in Anatolian libraries and wrote two articles: “Notes and Documents from Turkish libraries” parts I and II (“Türkiye kütüphanelerinden notlar ve vesikalar I,” Belleten 14(53), 1950, pp. 85-105; “Türkiye Kütüphanelerinden notlar ve vesikalar II,” Belleten 14(56), 1950, pp. 595-647). Erzi’s talent and immense knowledge was evident in his article on the rather obscure history of Āq Qoyunlu (q.v.) and Qara Qoyunlu (“Akkoyunlu ve Karakoyunlu tarihi hakkında araştırmalar,” Belleten 18(70), 1954, pp. 179-223), in which he not only introduced new sources from this period but also presented the history of Āq Qoyunlu and Qara Qoyunlu in a new light.
His review essays generally identified new material and sources for research. His most important reviews appeared in Belleten 13(49), 1949, pp. 163-80 (a review and critique of Ahmed Ateş’s article “Burdur-Antalya ve havalisi kütüphanelerinde bulunan Türkçe, Arapça ve Farsça bazı mühim eserler,” İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı Dergisi 2(3-4), 1948, pp. 171-91), and in Belleten 13(49), 1949, pp. 181-87, 188-94 (reviews and critique of İ. Hikmet Ertaylan’s works).
Beside his research on manuscripts, Erzi published some Persian historical texts on the Middle Ages in facsimile form and as critical editions. The al-Awāmer al-ʿalāʾiya fi’l-omur al-ʿalāʾiyya by Ebn Bibi (q.v.) was published as a facsimile (Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara, 1956). The first part of this work was published in collaboration with Prof. Necati Lugal as a critical edition (Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara, 1957). The Iranian scholar Mojtabā Minovi from Iran had also worked on this edition, but his name did not appear in the publication.
Erzi conducted major work on Saljuq and classic Ottoman insha literature. In 1956, together with Prof. Necati Lugal he published two Turkish-Persian insha collections written in the 15th century: Fatih devrine âit münşeat mecmuası, (Wien, Nationalbibliothek, H. O. 161, eds. Necati Lugal and Adnan Erzi, İstanbul Fetih Derneǧi, Istanbul, 1956; and Tāji-zāda Sa‘di Çelebi, Monšaʾāt, eds. Necati Lugal and Adnan Erzi, İstanbul Fetih Derneǧi, Istanbul, 1956). The sources/material in both collections had been important in the emergence and the development of Ottoman insha literature and Persian loanwords and insha style in Ottoman diplomatic correspondence. In 1962 Erzi published a Persian insha collection on the Saljuq period as a critical edition under the title of Selçukîler devrine âit inşâ eserleri: Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Ḥāleq al-Mayhani, Dastur-e dabiri (ed. Adnan Erzi, Ankara Üniversitesi İlâhiyat Fakültesi, Ankara, 1962. For a new revised edition, see al-Mayhani, Dastur-e dabiri, ed. ʿAli Reżewi Behābādi, Tehran, 1996). In the following year he published two works by Ḥasan b. ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen al-Ḵoʾi as a critical edition: Ḡonyat al-kāteb wa monyat al-ṭāleb, Rosum al-rasāʾel wa nojum al-fażāʾel (ed. Adnan Erzi, Ankara Üniversitesi İlâhiyat Fakültesi, Ankara, 1963). Erzi’s studies opened the door to Saljuq insha literature for other scholars.
Erzi’s other important studies include “Osmanlı Devleti’nin kurucusunun ismi meselesi” (Türkiyat Mecmuası 7-8(1), 1942, pp. 323-26), “Bursa’da İshakî dervişlerine mahsus zâviyenin vakfiyesi” (Vakıflar Dergisi 2, 1942, pp. 423-431), Belleten dizini, 1-100 (Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara, 1971 ), Belleten dizini, 101-140 (Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara, 1972, ), “Ord. Prof. Dr. İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı’nın yayımları” (in Ord. Prof. İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı’ya Armaǧan, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara, 1976, pp. XXI-XLIV).
In addition, Erzi prepared the Ḡāzā-nāma-ye Rum by Kāšefi and the anonymous Saljuq-nāma in Persian to be published by the Turkish Historical Society (Türk Tarih Kurumu), and Ẓaheri-ye Nišaburi’s Saljuq-nāma to be published by the Iranian Cultural Foundation. However, these manuscripts have not yet been published.
See also Prof. Dr. Adnan Sadık Erzi’s personal file at the Faculty of Language and History/Geography at the University of Ankara (Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Coǧrafya Fakültesi).
Iraj Afšār, Nādere kārān, ed. Maḥmud Nikuye, Tehran, 2004.
Iraj Afšār, “Doktur Sādeq ‘Adnān Arzi,” Āyanda 17(1-4), 1991, pp. 189-191.
Fahri Çöker, Türk Tarih Kurumu’nun kuruluş amacı ve çalışmaları, Ankara, 1983.
Ḥasan Anuša, ed., Dāneš-nāma-ye adab-e fārsi. Adab-e fārsi dar Ānātuli wa Bālkān, vol. 6, Tehran, 2005.
Kıymet Giray-Hakan Kaderoǧlu, Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Coǧrafya Fakültesi, 66. kuruluş yıldönümü anı kitabı, Ankara, 2003.
Atatürk Kültür Merkezi, Atatürk Kültür, Dil ve Tarih Yüksek Kurumu albümü, Ankara, 1989.
Elhāma Meftāḥ and Wahhāb Wali, Negāhi ba ravand-e nofud˚ wa gostareš-e zabān o adab-e Fārsi dar Torkiya, Tehran, 1995.
Osman G. Özgüdenli, Turco-Iranica: Ortaçaǧ Türk-İran tarihi araştırmaları, Istanbul, 2006.
Türkiye Yazarlar Ansiklopedisi, Ankara, 2002.
(Osman G. Özgüdenlı and Mustafa Uyar)