Biography writer, historian, poet (B. 1857, Diyarbekir – D. January 23, 1923, Istanbul). He is the son of Seyyid Mehmed Şerif Effendi, one of the grandsons of Poet Saim Seyyid Mehmet Emiri Chelebi. He was firstly trained at Diyarbakir Sülükiyye Madrasah. He learned Persian from his uncle Fethullah Feyzi Effendi. Then, he went to Mardin while his uncles were correspondence and accounting directors in that city, and received courses from several professors such as Ahmed Hilmi Effendi for three years; he advanced in Arabic and Persian. During his childhood, he wrote poems in old style. He participated in telegraphy courses in 1875 and became a telegrapher. He wrote an enthronement book for the enthronement of V. Murad in 1876. He worked as a script next to Abidin Pasha who came to Diyarbakir with Adjustment Committee in 1878; and he traveled to Harput, Sivas and Thessaloniki with him. He then worked as Sis (Kozan) sanjak Tax director and as Adana Tax Ministry head clerk. He worked as accountant in Leskovik, Kirsehir and Trablussam sanjaks; in the revenue offices of Elazig and Erzurum; in the financial inspection units for Yanya and Iskodra, and as Halep revenue office director and Yemen financial inspector. He was honored by high class ranking order during this period. He was retired upon his own request after the declaration of Second Constitutional Monarchy in 1908.
After his retirement, he worked as the President of National Examinations Council, Historical Documents’ Ordering Council and as a member of Ottoman History Council. During his presidency at Prime Ministry Ottoman Archives Office Sorting Commission; he created the Ali Emiri Sorting, which is named after him. He has also written long letters of conscience to the Ministry of Endowments. He mentioned about the neglecting of old works and represented the conscience of public.
Ali Emiri Effendi has collected books wherever he went during his life; and his scientific and literature activities were accelerated after his retirement. He went to a former Oguz city, Cend, where he collected several valuable works and documents; and he has made the Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli Order repaired while he was the accountant of Kirsehir; of which the costs were covered by him and the labor by dervishes. Ali Amiri Effendi was an intermediate poet and a master critic; and he donated his invaluable library with invaluable books to the Millet Library, which he established at Feyzullah Effendi Madrasah in Fatih. He has donated 16.000 volumes of work to this library, most of which are unique and single copies; and he worked as the director of this institution until his death.
Another important contribution by Ali Amiri Effendi was to discover the famous work of Kasgarli Mahmud, Divân-ı Lügâti’t-Türk; and to provide it for the scholastic world. He wrote several works such as biography and collection of biographies. He published some old works under the title “Nevâdir-i Eslâf”. Ali Emiri Effendi has also published journals such as Osmanlı Tarih ve Edebiyat Mecmuası (March 31, 1334- September 1336 31 issues; Tarih ve Edebiyat, August 31, 1338 – November 31, 1338, 5 issues) and Âmid-i Sevdâ (1908-1909, 6 issues); and he published his articles in these journals along with others.
Along with his researches, he also has an important spot in Turkish literature with his poems and collection of biographies in which he introduced the poets of different cities and regions. His tomb is in Fatih Mosque, Istanbul.
“He has devoted his life to his books, and during his retirement years he used to visit Used-Book Bazaar where he discovered the famous book of Kaşgarlı Mahmud, Divan-ı Lûgat’it Türk, which was known but never discovered until that day. This unique work with the single copy in the world was then published with the support of Grand Vizier Talat Pasha. The important point in here is the realization of Ali Emiri Effendi of this unique writing , purchasing it and offering it for the utilization of everyone. The “novel” of finding this book is explained in all the resources.” (Şevket Beysanoğlu)
“Ali Emirî is not a strong Divan poet, but he is a successful and productive author. It is obvious that he has written any writing very fast. Basically, the real value of Ali Emiri is not in his skills as a poet, but in his superior knowledge on literature. Ali Emiri never liked self-praise and did not compose very valuable works when compared with his great knowledge. His greatest contribution is the library he endowed to our country, which includes valuable books and writings. Today, the section of Millet Library that consists of books by Ali Emiri are so valuable in terms of history, Divan and journals. He has purchased any valuable work he has seen during his life and tried to enrich his library. Many valuable works, including Divan-ı Lügat-it Türk, which is a very important source of Turkish language, were obtained by him and some of them were published.” (Sadeddin Nüzhet Ergun)
Famous Turkish poet Yahya Kemal Beyatlı has written a lyric for Ali Emiri Effendi, named Ali Emirî Efendi‘ye Gazel where he said the following about him:
“Muhtâc isen füyuzuna eslâf pendinin
Diz çök önünde şimdi Emirî Efendi‘nin
Âmid o şehr-i nur öğünsün ilelebed
Fazl ü faziletiyle bu necl-i bülendinin”
PRINTED WORKS: Tezkire-i Şuârâ-i Âmid (vol. 1. 1910), Cevahir-ül Mülûk (Osmanlı padişahlarının şiirleri, 1901), Yavuz Sultan Selim’in Türkçe Eş’arının Tahmisatı, Osmanlı Vilayat-ı Şarkıyyesi (1918), Osmanlı Şairleri Tezkiresi (16 vol,) (First volume in the collection of Muzaffer Esen, and other volumes are in Millet Library), Divan, Levami-ül Hamdiyye (Hamdedenlerin Nurları, 1911), Ezhar-ı Hakîkat (Hakîkat Çiçekleri, 1918; in Kızılırmak jpurnal by Assist. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Arslan, Issue: 9, September 1992, Sivas), Emin-i Tokadî Hazretlerinin Terceme-i Hâli (1950), Sivani (3 vol, Millet Kütüphanesi Emiri kitapları, Seen No: 37, 38, 39).
HAND WRITTEN MANUSCRIPTS: İşkodra Şairleri, Yanya Şairleri, Esâmi-i Şuarâ-i Âmid, Diyarbekirli Bazı Zevatın Tercüme-i Halleri, Tunus Tarihi, Teselya Osmanlı Şairleri, Yemen Hâtırâtı, Divan.
PREPARED FOR PUBLICATION (under the general heading of Nevâdir-i Eslaf): Câm-ı Cem-âyîn’i (Selimnâme-i Osmani, Bayâtî Hasan b. Mahmûd’un, 1331), Mardin Mülûk-i Artukıyye Tarihi ve Kitâbeleri ve Sâir Vesâik-i Mühimme (Ferdi Kâtib, 1331), Âsafnâme (Lütfi Pasha’s, 1326), Nizâmü’d-Düvel, Acaibü’l Letâif (Gıyâseddin Nakkâş’s, 1331).
LOST WORKS: Tuhfetü’l- Leyliyye (satires, jokes), Mir’âtü’l-Fevâid fi Teracim-i Şuarâ-i Âmid, Abâü’l Akvam, Kitâbü’l- Egâni Tercümesi.
REFERENCE: Agâh Sırrı Levend / Türk Edebiyatı Tarihi (c. 1, 1973), Yurt Ansiklopedisi (c. IV, 1982), TDV İslam Ansiklopedisi (c. 2, 1989), Prof. Dr. Aykut Kazancıgil - Doç. Dr. Bekir Karlıga / Louis Massignon’dan Ali Emîrî Efendi’ye İki Mektup (Yedi İklim dergisi, c. 4, sayı: Şubat 1993), Şevket Beysanoğlu / Diyarbakırlı Fikir ve Sanat Adamları (c. 2, 1997, s. 59-62, 66-68), İbnülemin Mahmud Kemal İnal / Son Asır Türk Şairleri (c. I, 1999), Ali Birinci / Tarihin Gölgesinde Meşâhir-i Meçhuleden Birkaç Zat (2001), Mehmet Serhan Tayşi / Ali Emiri’nin İzinde (2009), İhsan Işık / Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006, gen. 2. bas. 2007) - "Ünlü Bilim Adamları" (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, c. 2, 2013) - Diyarbakır Ansiklopedisi (2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013) - Geçmişten Günümüze Diyarbakırlı İlim Adamları Yazarlar ve Sanatçılar (2014).