One of the Ottoman's last period intellectuals (B.
1869, Ankara - D. ?) His father was Çerkes
Şeyhizade Ahmet Refi Efendi, her mother was
Hacı Refika Sıdıka Hanım. Halil Halid, who was very active and adventurous,
lost his father at a very young age. When he was at his school age, he
struggled with his mother not to go to the local school which required some
discipline. Therefore, his mother called out one of their relatives and he
started the local school with this old man's pressure. Halil Halid attended to rüştiye
(secondary school) a year later and he continued his education here until he
was fourteen. After graduating from the rüştiye, her mother sent him to Istanbul with his uncle Mehmet Tevfik Efendi who was in Ankara for some time due
to the Assembly being repealed by the Sultan. Although he wanted to attend a
military school, he started at Küçük Ayasofya Madrasah upon his uncle request.
He went to madrasah for five years; for two years he stayed with his uncle and
for three years he was a boarding student.
Halid, who went to see his mother one day, met the British consulate living
very close to their town and he got his first information about England
and the British people. After the vacation he turned back to Istanbul and had lessons on fiqh (Islamic law)
and made a progress in this field. When he went to a relative in Beirut for vacation, he
saw that those who had been attending the school had been appointed to
different posts. Returning from this journey, he decided to attend the Mekteb-i
Hukuk (Faculty of Law) and accomplished his education there. He was grown with Eastern and Islamic culture.
But he ran to Paris and Geneva,
and to London
which was the shelter for some Turkish intellectuals of that period. There, he
started to write articles to Hürriyet which was published by Salim Faris
by using nicknames. Upon Abdülhak Hamid's recommendation and the invitation of the
Palace, he returned Istanbul
and assigned to a post in the courthouse. But, he changed his mind eighteen
days later and went back to London.
Halid Bey was appointed as the vice consul to the Ottoman embassy in London in 1897. He
submitted a report on March 7th, 1898 to AbdülHamid on the
Persian Gulf in the capacity of deputy London
consul. This report was important in terms of showing the proximity of Halil
Halid Bey to the political matters and of his great determination regarding England's
goals about the region. After having prepared the report, he published a paper
against the Ottoman ambassador and consul in London and he was dismissed from his post in
a short time.
E.J. Gibb was lecturing
Turkish Literature at the Cambridge
University in those
years. Halil Halid, who was introduced to Gibb by Abdülhak Hamid, was appointed as the assistant
Turkish lecturer at Cambridge
University. Later, he was
appointed to Mumbai Consulate General. However, the British government didn't
want Halil Halid to be in India
as his signature was recognized a little in the British media. Therefore, he
was called back by Sait Halim Pasha who sent him there. During the years of
truce, he went to Switzerland.
In the middle of the truce period he returned to Turkey. He worked as an English
Teacher at the Harbiye Mektebi (War
Academy) and teacher Islamic
nations’ history at the Faculty of Theology.
Some of his articles
were against Adbülhamid, II and regarding the literature of Young Turks and
some were defending the Turkish law against the West. He wrote in Servet-i Fünûn
magazine. His book named “Hilâl
ve Salip Münâzaası” was translated
into Arabic and Hindi. All his works written to defend the existence and the
law of Turkishness were translated into Arabic, Hindi and Urdu languages. As
well as having written many articles in Turkish and in foreign newspapers, he
was one of the authors whose books and booklets were translated into foreign
languages or written directly in those languages. During the Second World War
he went to Germany
and continued writing. In 1918 he published an article magazine called “Bazı
Berlin Makalâtı”. Although
Halil Halid Bey was not well known in Turkey,
he was famous in North Africa and in England,
because he achieved important business in North Africa and in England on behalf of the Ottoman
Empire. Sometime he opposed Abdülhamid, but once he saw the
betrayal of the Young Turks he took the Sultan's side. He was known with his scientific side in the Islamic world
as well as this political identity.
During his teaching in England,
he reprehended the policies of England
towards the Ottoman Empire and warned the
Muslims regarding the imperialist goals. He was one of those who showed the strongest
response to the invasion of Egypt
by England and the takeover
of Bosnia Herzegovina by Austria
with his articles. One of the subjects he was sensitive about was the Islamic
societies' falling for Westernization and starting to move away from the
Islamic civilization. Halil Halid Bey, who said that nationalism was a
dangerous trend for the Muslims, highlighted that the Muslims should have acted
in unity in their fight with West. He believed that the Ottoman
Empire should have lived at any cost. He used to say that the only
way to fight against imperialism was to gather the Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Circassian,
Bosnian, and Albanian Muslims under this umbrella or otherwise a society named
as the Muslim society would not exist anymore, and Mecca,
Istanbul, Kosovo, Meşhed and Mosul would become colony lands... Halil
Halid was interested closely in the Muslim students going to Europe
and submitted a project to the government of the time to protect them from
alienation, but the project was rejected by the İttihat (T.N. Confederation) Government
pretending that it promoted reactionary.
The Diary of a Turk (Bir Türk’ün Jurnali, 1903), A
Study in English Turcophobia (İngiltere’de Türk Düşmanlığı Üzerine Bir
Araştırma, 1904), Cezayir Hâtırâtı (1906), Hilâle Karşı Salip (1907,
the same work was published in 1907 in English with the name The Crescent
Versus the Cross ), Hilâl ve Salip Münâzaası (1907), İslâm ile Nasrâniyetin Münâsebat-ı
Asliyyesi (1326/1908), Arap ve Türk, Fusûl-i Mütenevvia (4 booklets,
1326/1908), Şehzade Cem Vak’asında Mesele-i Hamiyyet (1327/1909), Panislâmizm
Tehlikesi (1918, German), La Turcophobie des İmpérialistes Anglais
(1919, French-English), İngiliz Mesâi Fırkası ve Şark (1919, English), Türk
Hâkimiyeti ve İngiliz Cihangirliği (1341/1922), İslâm Tarihi (Translation
from English, 1343/1924), Her Günkü Hayatın İktisadiyatı (from H.
Penson, 1926), Tacirliğin Mübadisi (from M. Clark, 1926).
REFERENCE: Abdülhak Şinasi Hisar / Haftalık Edebî Muhasebe-Halil Hâlid’in Hayatı ve Eseri (Milliyet, 7.4.1931), Türk Ansiklopedisi (c. 18, 1943-1986), TDE Ansiklopedisi (c. 4, 1976), TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi (c. 15, 1996), TDOE - TDE Ansiklopedisi 4 (2004), İhsan Işık / Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006) - Ünlü Fikir ve Kültür Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 3, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Halil Halid kime cevap verdi (dunyabizim.com, 29.07.2010), Tarık Yalçın / Sıradışı bir Osmanlı aydını; Halil Halid Bey (Dünya Bülteni / Tarih Servisi, dünyabizim.com, erişim 22.12.2010).