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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.
|Born||20 March [O.S. 8 March] 1851|
|Died||24 September [O.S. 11 September] 1914 (aged 63)|
|Occupation||intellectual, educator, publisher and politician|
Ismail communicated his ideas mainly through the newspaper Tercüman he founded in 1883, 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, 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 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."  The Tercümen had suscriptors in the Caucasus, amongst Muslims in the Russian Empire, Egypt and Iran.
In his 1881 book Russian Muslims he wrote:
"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. 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.
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- 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.
- Zaynabidin, Abdirashidov (July 2015). "Gasprinski (Gaspıralı), İsmail". Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
- Essays on life and activity of İsmail Gaspıralı Presented by the International Committee for Crimea, Washington, D.C.
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