Seyyid Lokman’s Manzume Concerning the Opening of the Gazanfer Agha Madrasa and the Appointment of Seyfizade Ahmed Efendi as Instructor: A New Manuscript Copy and TextGünhan Börekçi, Uğur Öztürk
This article examines the newly found manuscript copy of a manzume (poetic composition) by Seyyid Lokman written on the occasion of the opening of a madrasa in Istanbul by Kapu Ağası Gazanfer Agha (d. 1603), a prominent political figure in 16th-century Ottoman history. Lokman’s work was first introduced to the scholarly community by Müserret Diriöz in 1978. Since then, this work has been utilized by numerous researchers in reference to Diriöz’s studies which were based on a single copy, but it has neither been subject to any other individual study, nor published in full transcription. Lokman’s composition is rich in content. In his work, there are several details which are not found in other contemporary sources, especially regarding the personality and architectural sponsorship of Gazanfer Agha; his relations with the sultan of the time, Murad III (r. 1574-1595), as well as the statesmen and ulama of that era; the appointment of Seyfîzâde Ahmed Efendi as the first instructor to his madrasa, which was opened immediately following the long Ottoman-Safavid War of 1578-1590; and the first lectures delievered in the new madrasa and the ceremonies and feasts organized upon this appointment. The chief goal of this article is to reevaluate this important historical source based on its second copy and provide a full transcription. Accordingly, we have compared the Süleymaniye Library Ayasofya 4787/1 copy utilized by Diriöz, and the Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi Esad Efendi 3376 copy which we have identified as the second copy. The result of this comparision reveals that the Esad Efendi copy differs in certain respects from the Ayasofya copy, most importantly in that it includes the full text of Lokman’s work. In the remaining parts of our article, we give a summary of this work based on its second copy, and provide the text’s transcription in Latin alphabet as an addendum.
Gazanfer Ağa Medresesi’nin Açılışı ve Seyfîzâde Ahmed Efendi’nin Müderris Atanmasına Dair Seyyid Lokman’ın Manzumesi: Yeni Nüsha ve MetinGünhan Börekçi, Uğur Öztürk
Bu makalede 16. yüzyıl Osmanlı tarihinin meşhur siyasi figürlerinden Kapu Ağası Gazanfer Ağa’nın (öl. 1603) İstanbul’da kurduğu medresesinin açılışı ve ilk müderrisinin atanmasıyla ilgili olarak Şehnâmeci Seyyid Lokman’ın kaleme aldığı manzume yeni bir nüshası eşliğinde incelenmektedir. İlk kez Meserret Diriöz tarafından 1978 yılında ilim dünyasına tanıtılmış söz konusu manzume, bugüne kadar birçok araştırmacı tarafından Diriöz’ün çalışmalarına ve incelediği tek nüshaya referansla kullanılagelmiş fakat ne herhangi başka bir müstakil çalışmaya konu olmuş ne de tam metin olarak yayımlanmıştır. Seyyid Lokman’ın ikinci bir nüshasını bulduğumuz bu eseri oldukça zengin bir içeriğe sahiptir. Manzumede bilhassa Gazanfer Ağa’nın kişiliği ve baniliği ile devrin padişahı III. Murad (1574-1595), devlet erkânı ve ulemasıyla olan ilişkilerine dair birçok kıssa mevcuttur. Kezâ Osmanlı-Safevî (1578-1590) savaşının hemen ardından açılmış bu medresesine ilk müderrisi olarak Seyfîzâde Ahmed Efendi’nin nasıl atandığı, bu atamanın ardından medresede verilmiş ilk dersler ile bu vesilelerle düzenlenmiş törenler ve ziyafetler hakkında dönemin diğer kaynaklarında rastlanmayan pek çok ayrıntı yer almaktadır. Bu bakımdan makalemizin temel amacı, bu önemli ve nadir tarihsel kaynağın ikinci nüshası üzerinden yeni bir değerlendirmesini yapmak ve transkripsiyonlu tam metnini sunmaktır. Çalışmamızda Diriöz’ün kullandığı Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi Ayasofya 4787/1 numaradaki nüsha ile tarafımızca tespit edilen Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi Esad Efendi 3376 numaradaki yeni nüsha karşılaştırılmıştır. Bu karşılaştırmanın sonucunda Esad Efendi nüshasının Ayasofya nüshasından ayrışan bazı özellikleri olduğu, en önemlisi Seyyid Lokman’ın manzumesinin tam metnini kapsadığı ortaya çıkmıştır. Çalışmamızın geri kalan kısmında bu yeni nüshanın üzerinden manzumenin geniş bir özeti verilerek Latin harflerine aktarılmış biçimi de makaleye eklenmiştir.
Gazanfer Agha has an exceptional place and significance among the 16th-century Ottoman ruling elite. During the reigns of Sultan Murad III (1574-1595) and Sultan Mehmed III (1595- 1603), he held both the offices of the chief eunuch of the Ottoman imperial court (kapu ağası) and the head of the sultan’s privy chamber (hâsodabaşı) for an uninterrupted period of 22 years from 1581 to 1603. This period was marked by the long Ottoman-Safavid (1578-1590) and the Ottoman-Habsburg (1593-1606) Wars, which led to major military insurrection, financial crisis, social unrest and factional struggles in the Ottoman realms. Throughout these years, Gazanfer Agha remained as one of the most powerful and influential political actors at the Ottoman imperial court in Istanbul thanks to the royal favor and trust he continuously received from the sultans and queen mothers, his wide personal network of patronage, and his unique combination of official duties which gave him regular and direct access to the person of the Ottoman ruler who became increasingly secluded at the time. In 1590, with the death of Habeşî Mehmed Agha, the first chief eunuch of the imperial harem in Ottoman history, Gazanfer further consolidated his power and position in contemporary dynastic and court politics, which eventually led to his tragic end. In January 1603, during the revolt of the imperial cavalrymen, he was accused of taking bribes, intervening in government decisions, and misinforming the sultan of the time, Mehmed III. Accordingly, he was brutally executed alongside Osman Agha, the chief eunuch at the time, who was accused of similar wrongdoings by the mutinous soldiers.
Throughout his long career, which has been examined and discussed in different respects by several scholars, Gazanfer Agha was also known to be a great patron of the arts and architecture. Indeed, he constructed several public foundations and charities, particularly in and around Istanbul, and sponsored many manuscripts both for himself and the Ottoman palace library. Gazanfer Agha’s madrasa in Istanbul was inaugurated immediately following the end of the Ottoman-Safavid Wars of 1578-1590 and was granted the status of ‘fifty’ (ellilik), which was traditionally given to the madrasas established by the Ottoman sultans. The opening of and the first instructor appointment to this ‘special’ madrasa was narrated in a unique manzume (poetic composition) written by Seyyid Lokman, the famous royal chronicler of the time.
Seyyid Lokman’s composition in question was first discovered and examined by Müserret Diriöz in 1978. In her three publications about Lokman’s work, Diriöz used the manuscript copy preserved at the Süleymaniye Library under the catalogue number Ayasofya 4787/1. However, during our investigations in the Süleymaniye Library, we discovered another copy of this important work under the catalogue number Esad Efendi 3376. Upon close examination and comparison, we also discovered that the second copy of Seyyid Lokman’s manzume differs from the copy studied by Diriöz in certain important respects. Most notably, the second copy includes the full text of Lokman’s composition, as well as a few other poems absent in the Ayasofya copy. Moreover, at the beginning of the Esad Efendi copy, Seyyid Lokman records şehâdetnâmes (reference/support letters) written by members of the Ottoman ulama on Seyfîzâde Ahmed Efendi’s behalf for his appointment to the madrasa of Gazanfer Agha as its first instructor. Overall, in this study, we analyze the two aforementioned extant copies of Lokman’s work and map out the similarities and differences in terms of their poetic form and content. Finally, a transcription of the Esad Efendi copy in the Latin alphabet is provided at the end of our study.