GOLŠAHRI (GÜLŞEHRÎ), SOLAYMĀN, Ottoman Sufi and poet who wrote in Persian and Turkish. He was from the city of Golšahri, the name of which appears on his works in Persian, and which is known today as Kırşehir. Next to nothing is known about his life; it, however, can be deduced from the dates of his works that he flourished during the second half of the 13th century and was alive until 717/1317, the year when he completed his Mantık’t-tayr (Manṭeq al-ṭayr). Even his name is not known for certain, although it can be surmised that the name Solaymān, which is mentioned on two occasions in his Mantık’t-tayr (pp. 113, 297), refers to the poet himself. Despite the fact that there is no extant information regarding his family or the manner in which he was brought up, it is clear from his works that he received an excellent education. His praises of Bahāʾ-al-Din Solṭān Walad indicate that he probably was a follower of either Solṭān Walad or of the semi-legendary Turkish saint Aḵi Evrān (Levend, in Gülşehrî, 1957, p. 12). Golšahri admired the Persian poets Sanāʾi, Farid-al-Din ʿAṭṭār, Jalāl-al-Din Moḥammad Balḵi Rumi, Saʿdi, and Solṭān Walad.
Works in Persian: 1) The Sufi treatise Falak-nāma, a maṯnawi of about four thousand verses in ramal meter, which is influenced by Sanāʾi’s Sayr al-ʿebād ela’l-maʿād. It differs, however, from the works of Sanāʾi, Aṭṭār, and Rumi, by the fact that here the intellect (ʿaql) is treated as being superior to love (ʿešq). It was completed in 701/1329 and was dedicated to the Il-khanid ruler of Persia, Ḡāzān Khan (r. 694-703 /1295-1304, q.v.). A critical edition of the Persian text has been published by Sadettin Kocatürk, who is also the author of the Turkish translation of the work. 2) ʿAruż-e Golšahri, a short treatise on Persian prosody (ʿaruż, q.v.), the only manuscript of which is preserved at Istanbul Millet Kütüphanesi, Farsça yazmalar (Istanbul National Library, Persian Writings, no. 517, pp. 46b-61b).
Works in Turkish: 1) Mantiku’t-tayr, an adaptation of ʿAṭṭār’s Manṭeq al-ṭayr in the same meter (ramal) used by ʿAṭṭār, which, however, clearly bears the influence of the Maṯnawi of Rumi (672/1273) as well as those of ʿAṭṭār’s Asrār-nāma, Kalila wa Demna,and Keykāvus b. Eskandar’s Andarz-nāma (q.v.), known also as Qābus-nāma. A facsimile edition of this work, several manuscripts of which are found in several libraries in Istanbul, was published by Agâh Sırrı Levend (Levend, p. 31) from a manuscript owned by the collector Raif Yelkenci. 2) A Turkish translation of Abu’l-Ḥosayn Aḥmad b. Moḥammad Qoduri’s legal manual, Moḵtaṣar, of which no copies are known to exist. Our only information concerning this work is a reference in the Mantiku’t-tayr (ed. Levend, p. 296, v. 12). 3) A short treatise of 167 couplets titled Karāmāt-e Aḵi Evrān ṭāba ṯarāh, whose attribution to Golšahri is doubtful, since it contains certain stylistic points that call its authenticity into question (Levend, in Gülşehri, 1957, pp. 13-14). Franz Taeschner made a German translation of the work that was published in 1955. 4) It is likely Golšahri’s Persian poems contain five or six qaṣidas and ḡazals in Turkish that have not yet been found in their entirety. Two of these ḡazals were published by Taeschner in 1953.
Gülşehri/Golšahri, Mantiku’l-Tayr, facs. ed. Agâh Sırrı Levend, Ankara, 1957.
Idem, Falak-nāma, ed. Sadettin Kocatürk, Ankara, 1984; tr. Sadettin Kocatürk as Gülşehrî ve Feleknâme, Ministry of Culture and Tourism Publications 511, Ankara, 1982.
Walther Björkman, Die Altosmanische Litterature, Wiesbaden, 1965, pp. 413 ff.
Fuad Köprülü, Türk edebiyatinda ilk mutasavviflar, 2nd ed., Ankara, 1966, p. 205, n. 84.
Müjgan Cunbur, “Gülšehri ve Mantıku’t-tayr,” Ph.D. diss., Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi (Ankara), 1952.
Mustafa Özkan, “Gülşehrî,” in Türkiye diyanet vakfi İslâm ansiklopedisi XIV, Istanbul, 1966, pp. 250-52.
Vanessa Margaret Shepherd, The Turkish Mystical Poet Gülşehri with Particular Reference to His Manṭiq al-Ṭayr, Cambridge, 1979.
Franz Taeschner, “Gülshehri,” in EI2 II, p. 1138.
Idem, Das Futuvvetkapital in Gulšehris Altosmanischer Bearbeitung von Aṭṭārs Manṭiq ut-Ṭayr, Berlin, 1932, p. 5.
Idem, “Zwei Gazels von Gülşehri,” in Fuad Köprülü Armağanı, Istanbul, 1953, pp. 479-85.
Idem, Gülschehris Mesnevi auf Achi Ervan, den Heiligen von Kirschehir und Patron der türkischen zünfte, Wiesbaden, 1955.
Idem, “Des Altrumtürkischen Dichters Gülşehri Werk Manṭiḳ ut-ṭayr und seine Vorlage, das gleichnamige Werk des persischen Dichters Fariduddin ʿAṭṭār,” in Németh Armağanı, Ankara, 1962, pp. 359-71.
Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı Ansiklopedisi III, Istanbul, 1975, p. 397.
Originally Published: December 15, 2001
Last Updated: February 14, 2012
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Vol. XI, Fasc. 1, pp. 101-102