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Adana and Its Nature from The Viewpoint of an Ottoman intellectual
Ali Ekrem Bolayır (2nd August,1867-27th August, 1937), one of the prominent figures of Turkish literature, visited his brother-in-law Menemenlizade Rifat Bey (1856/1932) who worked as provincial treasurer and his older sister Feride Hanım (1864-1896); here he met many poets as well. He got to know the miserable state and poor people of Anatolia during his fifteen-day visit to the province of Adana; in his poem, Mektep (School), which he had written at a young age, he wrote the couplet of “Yüzler siyah, büyût siyah, cebheler siyah/Bir ahter inmemiş beşeriyet semâsına (Faces black, homes black, fronts black / no light on sky)” with inspiration from this visit. As can be seen, the information that Ali Ekrem paid a visit to Adana is not new. However, the letter we found in the Taha Toros Archive of İstanbul Şehir University, addressed to Ali Nihat Tarlan in 1930, is important to shed light on the content of this visit. This letter in which Ali Ekrem, as an Ottoman intellectual, described his impressions of 1886’s Adana, its nature and of its authentic nature after fourty four years, has a pastoral characteristic beyond its communication function. Having focused firstly on the center of Adana and then on Müftüyurdu, which is now known as the Bürücek Plateau in his letter, Ali Ekrem sees the greatness of the homeland in the fascinating beauty of Adana and its nature, which he sublimes by interpreting it from an exotic overview. In this article, we will try to evaluate how Adana looks from the eyes of an Ottoman intellectual in the light of the letter which was put into the Latin letters of Ali Ekrem.

Ali Ekrem Bolayır, Ali Nihat Tarlan, Adana, Müftüyurdu, Bürücek Yaylası (Bürücek Plateau)

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