Ismail Gaspirali

Ismail Gaspirali (also written as Gasprinskiy and Gasprinskii: Crimean Tatar: İsmail Gaspıralı, Russian: Исмаил Гаспринский; 20 March [O.S. 8 March] 1851 – 24 September [O.S. 11 September] 1914) was a Crimean Tatar intellectual, educator, publisher and Pan-Turkist politician who inspired the Jadidist movement in Central Asia. He was one of the first Muslim intellectuals in the Russian Empire, who realized the need for education and cultural reform and modernization of the Turkic and Islamic communities. His last name comes from the town of Gaspra in Crimea.

Ismail Gasprinski
Ismail Gasprinskiy.jpg
Born20 March [O.S. 8 March] 1851
Died24 September [O.S. 11 September] 1914 (aged 63)
NationalityCrimean Tatar
Occupationintellectual, educator, publisher and politician


Gasprinski monument in Bakhchisaray.

Ismail communicated his ideas mainly through the newspaper Tercüman he founded in 1883,[1] which existed till 1918. In his publications he called for unity and solidarity among the Turkic peoples and advocated their modernization through Europeanization. Ismail believed that the only way for modernization was through education. He widely advocated for the introduction of an education reform,[1] and criticized the traditional education system in Muslim schools focusing much on religion and devised a new method of teaching children how to read effectively in their mother tongue and introduced curricular reforms.

He supported the creation of a common literary language[1] and therefore developed a "pan-Turkic" language, a simplified form of Turkish omitting words imported from Arabic and Persian, which was intended to be understood by "the boatman of the Bosphorus and by the camel driver of Kashgar." [2] The Tercümen had suscriptors in the Caucasus, amongst Muslims in the Russian Empire, Egypt and Iran.[1]

In his 1881 book Russian Muslims he wrote:[3]

"Our ignorance is the main reason for our backward condition. We have no access at all to what has been discovered and to what is going on in Europe. We must be able to read in order to overcome our isolation; we must learn European ideas from European sources. We must introduce into our primary and secondary schools subjects that will permit our pupils to have such access".

Ismail also initiated a new journal for women, Alem-i Nisvan (World of Women), edited by his daughter Şefiqa, as well as a publication for children, Alem-i Subyan (World of Children). Ismail was one of the founders of Union of Muslims (İttifaq-i Müslimin), created in St.Petersburg in January 1906 and uniting members of intelligentsia from various Muslim Turkic peoples of the Russian Empire.[4] He was also one of the main organizers of the first All-Russian Muslim congresses, aimed at introducing social and religious reforms among the Muslim peoples of Russia.[4]

He also inspired the movement known as Jadidism.[5] In 1912, Gasprinski visited British India.[6]


See alsoEdit


  • Kirimli, H. (1993). The "Young Tatar" Movement in the Crimea, 1905-1909. Cahiers Du Monde Russe Et Soviétique, 34(4), 529-560.[7]
  • Kuttner, Thomas (1975). "Russian Jadīdism and the Islamic world: Ismail Gasprinskii in Cairo, 1908. A call to the Arabs for the rejuvenation of the Islamic world". Cahiers du Monde Russe et Soviétique. 16 (3): 383–424. doi:10.3406/cmr.1975.1247.


  1. ^ a b c d Shissler, Ada Holland (2003). Between Two Empires: Ahmet Agaoglu and the New Turkey. London: I.B.Tauris. p. 130. ISBN 186064855X.
  2. ^ Shissler, Ada Holland (2003). Between Two Empires: Ahmet Agaoglu and the New Turkey. London: I.B.Tauris. pp. 43–45. ISBN 186064855X.
  3. ^ ""Ismail Bey Gasprinski" by Rizaeddin Fahreddin". Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b Landau, Jacob M.; Landau, Gersten Professor of Political Science Jacob M.; Landau, Yaʻaqov M. (1995). Pan-Turkism: From Irredentism to Cooperation. Indiana University Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 9780253328694.
  5. ^ "Gasprinski, Ismail Bey - Oxford Islamic Studies Online". Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  6. ^ DEVLET, NADİR (2004). "STUDIES IN THE POLITICS, HISTORY AND CULTURE OF TURKIC PEOPLES". India from Turkish/Turkic Perspective in the beginning of 20th Century. Istanbul: Yeditepe University. p. 186. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  7. ^ Kirimli, Hakan (17 December 1993). "The "Young Tatar" Movement in the Crimea, 1905-1909". Cahiers du Monde Russe et Soviétique. 34 (4): 529–560. doi:10.3406/cmr.1993.2368. hdl:11693/48504. JSTOR 20170880.

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