GENÇOSMAN, MEHMED NURÎ, Turkish poet and translator of Persian works (b. 1897 in the Ağın district of Elazığ; d. Istanbul, 1976). Gençosman was educated in Diyarbakır, Elazığ, and Konya, and became official clerk of Elazığ before being called up for military service in World War I. At the end of the war, he was given the task of accompanying back to their homeland German soldiers who had been taken prisoner in Turkey by the victorious allies. After returning, he began writing for periodicals and newspapers such as Osmanlı, Ocak, Bahalık, and Yeni Fikir in Konya and Donanma and Servet-i Fünun in Istanbul.
Gençosman became a member of the Translation Bureau (Tercüme Bürosu) established in 1938, and was responsible for preparing a number of Turkish translations of Persian texts. These included: the Bahārestān of Jāmī (Ankara, 1945); the Pand-nāma attributed to ʿAṭṭār (Öğüt Kitabı, Ankara, 1946); the quatrains and ḡazals of Saʿdī (Rubâîler ve Gazeller, Ankara, 1947); selected quatrains of Ḵayyām (Hayyam’dan Rubâîler, Ankara, 1963); the quatrains and early ḡazals of Jāmī (Rubâîler ve İlk Gazeller, Ankara, 1965); the quatrains of Rūmī (Mevlânâ’dan Rubâîler: Seçmeler, 2 vols., Ankara, 1965-71); and the discourses of Šams Tabrīzī (Makalat, Istanbul, 1974). He also translated two works on Saljuq history. The first was a translation of the Saljūq-nāma, an anonymous recension of the history of the Saljūqs of Anatolia by Ebn Bībī (q.v.), which had been published by M. Th. Houtsma (Recueil IV: Histoire des Seldjoucides d’Asie Mineure d’apres l’abrégé du Seldjoukname d’Ibn Bibi, Leiden, 1902; tr. as Anadolu Selçukî Develeti Tarihi: Ibn Bibi Farsça Muhtasar Selçuknamesinden, Ankara, 1941). The other was the Mosāmarat al-aḵbār wa mosāyarat al-aḵyār of Karīm-al-Dīn Maḥmūd Āqsarāʾī (tr. as Selçukî Devletleri Tarihi, Ankara, 1943). In recognition of these services to Persian culture, Gençosman was invited to the ceremonies marking the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian monarchy, held at Persepolis in 1971.
Among his other works, mention should also be made of his translation of Ebn ʿArabī’s Foṣūṣ al-ḥekam (Istanbul, 1952). His original compositions include the satirical Nükteler Bahçesi (Istanbul, 1969) and two collections of poetry, Kırkından Sonra: Gönül Sazı (Istanbul, 1939) and Dağlardan Dağlara (unpublished).
Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı Ansiklopedisi, Istanbul, 1979, III, p. 323.
Originally Published: December 15, 2000
Last Updated: February 7, 2012
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