JEVRI, EBRĀHIM ČELEBI (CEVRİ İBRAHİM ÇELEBİ, d. 1654), Ottoman poet and calligrapher. Some of his poems seem to suggest that he was born some time between 1595 and 1600 in Edirne. He was brought up in the Mowlawi-ḵāna of Ḡalaṭa and in other Mowlawi-ḵānas. He studied with Shaikh Esmāʿil Ankarāvi (d. 1631) who practiced conversational education. Jevri studied calligraphy with Derviš ʿAbdi Mowlawi (d. 1647), who was a very famous calligrapher at that time. For some time Jevri worked as official scribe at the Imperial Council (divān-e homāyun), but after a while he left that post and started working as a freelance calligrapher and copier of manuscripts. He transcribed many copies of such voluminous and important works as the Šāh-nāma, Tāriḵ-e Waṣṣāf, Maṯnawi-e maʿnawi, and Konh al-aḵbār. Since he was a very famous nastaʿliq calligrapher, the manuscripts he copied were of great importance and value for statesmen and intellectuals. It is said that he was a member of the Mowlawiyya Sufi order. He died in 1654 in Istanbul.
Works. Jevri produced a voluminous divān which contains not only Turkish poems, but also 37 Persian quatrains (robāʿi) and two chronograms (taʾriḵ). Many manuscripts of his divān are found in libraries, among them two autographs dated 1641 and 1645 (Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Library, Emanet Hazinesi, MS 1623; Kayseri, Râşid Efendi Library, MS 1286; see Karatay, II, p. 153, no. 2417; Karabulut, 1982, p. 62, no. 57). Jevri’s divān was published in a critical edition by Hüseyin Ayan (Erzurum, 1981).
In 1627 Jevri reworked the Selim-nāma, which was originally composed in 1523 by Šokri-ye Bedlisi (d. after 1530) and which is a biography of Sultan Selim I (r. 1512-20). The only manuscript of Jevri’s work (under the same title) is preserved in the Millet Library in Istanbul (Ali Emiri, MS Manzum 1310). Another work of his, a small maṯnawi entitled Ḥelya-ye čahār yār-e gozin, contains 145 couplets and was published three times (Istanbul, 1876-77, 1891-92, and 1899-1900). In 1635 Jevri rewrote the Šamsiya, composed in 1408 by Yazıcı Ṣalāḥ-al-Din, and entitled his work Malḥama. Like its original, the Malḥama is in verse; it contains 3,617 couplets and was several times published in Istanbul (1855-56, 1877-78, 1888-89, and 1906-7). Another poetic work of Jevri is entitled Naẓm-e neyāz and comprises 200 couplets; it deals with the characteristics of the various months of the year. The only available manuscript of it is preserved in the Istanbul University Library (MS TY 714, fols. 98a-100a). Jevri’s Dastur al-ansāb fi al-adab contains various letters as samples of literary writing (Istanbul, Nurosmaniye Library, MSS 4204 and 4205).
Jevri also made some translations and wrote several commentaries. In his Ḥall-e taḥqiqāt, the first 18 couplets as well as 40 further selected couplets from the Maṯnawi of Jalāl-al-Din Rumi are commented on in verse form. This work was written in 1647 and contains 415 couplets altogether. It was printed in Istanbul in 1852-53. The ʿAyn al-foyuż is Jevri’s commentary to the Jazira-ye Maṯnawi by Yosuf Sinečāk Dede, who chose 366 couplets in Persian from the Maṯnawi of Rumi. Jevri made a verse translation of Dede’s work into Ottoman Turkish and provided a commentary. It was written in 1647 and published in Istanbul in 1852-53.
The Tarjoma-ye aḥwāl-e Ḵᵛāja Ḥāfeẓ-e Širāzi was published in Istanbul in 1869-70. It was believed to be Jevri’s work, but his name is not mentioned in the manuscripts (Istanbul, Süleymaniye Library, MS Turhan Hatice Sultan 287; Ayan, 1993, p. 461). Some researchers also believe that the Bayān-e aʿdād-e ṣefathā-ye nafs-e ensāni and the Tāriḵ-e Jevri Čelebi, the latter being published in two volumes in Istanbul in 1874-75, were also written by Jevri. However, there is sufficient doubt about Jevri being their author (Ayan, 1993, p. 461). It is known that Jevri wrote two more books under the titles Mu’ammâ risâlesi (Moʿammā resālesi) and Mufredât-i tıbb manzumesi (Mofradāt-e ṭebb manẓumesi), but these works have not been recorded in printed catalogues (Ayan, 1993, p. 461).
Mustafa Aslan, “Cevrî divanında mûsikî,” Türk Kültürü 36/422, 1998, pp. 361-71.
Hüseyin Ayan, “Cevri İbrahim Çelebi,” Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı Ansiklopedisi II, Istanbul, 1977, pp. 58-59.
Idem, Cevrî: Hayatı, edebî kişiliği, eserleri ve divanının tenkidli metni, Erzurum, 1981, pp. 4-52.
Idem, “Cevri İbrahim Çelebi,” Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi VII, 1993, pp. 460-61.
Bursalı Meḥmed Ṭāhir, Osmanlı mü’ellifleri, 3 vols., Istanbul, 1914-24, vol. II, pp. 126-28.
M. Cunbur, “Cevrî,” Türk Dünyası Edebiyatçıları Ansiklopedisi II, Ankara, 2002, pp. 455-56.
Dāneš-nāma-ye adab-e fārsi, vol. VI: Adab-e fārsi dar Ānātuli wa Bālkān, ed. Ḥasan Anuša, Tehran, 2005, pp. 290-91.
Uğur Derman, “Derviş Abdî-i Mevlevî,” Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi IX, 1994, pp. 190-91.
N. Sadeddin Ergun, Türk şairleri, 3 vols., Istanbul, 1936-45, vol. I, pp. 104-6.
Abdulkadir Erkal, “Türk Edebiyatında hilye ve Cevrî’nin ‘Hilye-i Çâr Yâr-ı Güzin’i,” Atatürk Üniversitesi Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Dergisi 12, 1999, pp. 111-31.
ʿAli-Reżā Qarāboluṭ [Ali Rıza Karabulut], Moʿjam al-maḵṭuṭāt al-mowjuda fi maktabāt Estānbul wa Ānāṭuli, n.p., n.d., pp. 55-56.
Idem, Kayseri Râşid Efendi Kütüphanesi Türkçe, Farsça, Arapça yazmalar kataloğu, Kayseri, 1982, p. 62, no. 57.
Fehmi Edhem Karatay, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi Türkçe yazmalar kataloğu, vol. II, Istanbul, 1961, p. 153, no. 2417.
M. Fatih Köksal, “Bir kaside iki şair: Nef’î-Cevrî,” Türklük Bilimi Araştırmaları 4, 1997, pp. 69-80.
Taḥsin Yāziji [Tahsin Yazıcı], Pārsinevisān-e Āsiā-ye Ṣaḡir, Tehran, 1992, pp. 29-30.
(Osman G. Özgüdenli)
Originally Published: December 15, 2008
Last Updated: April 17, 2012
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