Hoca Tahsin Efendi

Düşünür, Eğitimci, Şair

Diğer İsimler
Hasan Tahsini, Hoxha Tahsin, Hoca Hasan Tahsin

Educator, poet and philosopher (B. 1811, Fileta / Ioannina / Ottoman Empire (Greece) – D. 1881, Eyüp / Istanbul). He is known as Hodja Hasan Tahsin Efendi or Hoca Hasan Tahsin. He was the son of teacher and mufti Osman Efendi. After having received his primary religious and literary information from his father, he came to Istanbul for madrasah education and he attended lectures of Hodja Mustafa Efendi, who was known as Vidinli Hodja there. After having graduated from madrasah in Istanbul, he was sent to Paris with Selim Sabit Efendi in 1857 to be trained to give the natural sciences and mathematics courses in the institution of higher education with European-style, in the Darülfünun (Istanbul University), of which the founding was planned by the management of the period. In addition, he would serve in the Mekteb-i Osmani (T.N. Ottoman School) in Paris. He returned from Paris in 1861 after having been trained in positive sciences. He went to Paris again in 1862 together with Abdülhak Hamit Bey and his brother Abdülhalik Nasuhi Bey and served as the imam of embassy. During this period, he was engaged in materialist philosophy, met with skeptical thinkers. He had friendships with Namık Kemal and New Ottomans who came to Paris in the spring of 1867.  When Keçecizade Fuat Pasha, one of the former grand viziers lost his life in Nice where he came for a change of air in 1868, he returned to Istanbul taking along his corpse.

He was appointed to the Darülfünun that was in the establishment stage at that time by the Minister of Education, Mehmet Esat Saffet Pasha as a director (rector) on November 8th 1869. During this period, he worked to promote modern sciences to Turkish people by making scientific meetings. However, upon having received reaction to those meetings, he was dismissed after one year and the following year Darülfünun was closed. Hodja Tahsin lived his life with works to promote Western science to the Ottoman society however, he was confronted with accusations such as ruining people’s beliefs and dissuading them. When he was sent away from Darülfünun, he retracted to the primary school of Yusuf Efendi, who was the responsible of the shipyard in Istanbul and he committed himself to his scientific works. He was investigated there as well with the accusations such as dissuading people and ruining people’s beliefs. He was able to survive these accusations only with the help of Saffet Pasha.

He started to make a living by opening a private school and giving lessons. During this period, a friend of him named Nuri Bey helped him. Among his students were the famous people of the later years such as Şemseddin Sami, Abdülhak Hâmid. Tahsin Hodja prepared the first published map of the sky in Turkey. He didn’t leave too many works compared to his knowledge; he managed to become an important person in our history of thought with his intelligence, courage and being organized. He was also the first person who wrote a psychology book in Western-style in Turkey.

         Hodja Tahsin Efendi was one of the first thinkers who approached the evolution of living beings with a scientific perspective. In his work “Tarih-i Tekvin yahud Hilkat” (History of Presence or Creation, 1893), he mentioned the evolution of living things as well as the topics in other branches of science.

Hodja Hasan Tahsin founded the Memâlik-i İslâmiyye Society of Geography in the beginning of the 1870s and he was appointed to the inspector of libraries position with the help of Münif Pasha, who was one of the leading men of the state and thought of the period. He was appointed as a teacher in the Darülmuallimin (Male Teachers College) in 1878. In 1879, he founded an association of science and he endeavored for western science to be recognized in the country in 1879. He published several articles in the journal “Mecmû‘a-i ‘Ulûm” that he had published since 1879. There are a large number of manuscripts and printed works of him... He never got married and always lived alone. When his health became worse, he moved to the mansion of Münif Pasha in Erenköy. He died on July 3rd, 1881 and was buried in Sahray-i Cedit Cemetery.


EDUCATION-SCIENCE: Mürebbî-i Etfâl (Educator of Children, Istanbul 1872), Usûl-i Fenn-i Felâhet-Kimya-yı Ziraat (Information on Agriculture, with Mahmud Nedim, 1874), Esrâr-ı Âb u Havâ, (Secrets of Water and Air, Istanbul 1892), Psiholoji yâhûd ‘İlm-i Rûh, (Psychology, Istanbul 1892), Târîh-i Tekvîn yâhûd Hilkat, (History of Creation, Istanbul 1892), Esâs-ı ‘İlm-i Hey’et (Basics of Astronomy, Istanbul 1893), Mir’ât-ı Sema Esbab-ı İlm-i Hey’et.

POETRY:  Müsemmenler (eighth poems).

TRANSLATION: Nevamis-i Tabîiyye (translation and writing from Volney, 1757 - 1820), La loi naturelle ou catéchisme du citoyen français (Law of the Nature or Catechism of the French citizens, 1792).

   REFERENCE: Hilmi Ziya Ülken / Çağdaş Düşünce Tarihi (1966), Bursalı Mehmed Tahir / Osmanlı Müellifleri I (1972), Ömer Faruk Akün / TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi (c. 18, 1998), Remzi Demir- Bilal Yurtoğlu / Unutulmuş Bir Osmanlı Düşünürü Hoca Tahsin Efendi’nin ‘Tarih-i Tekvin yahut Hilkat’ Adlı Eseri ve Haeckelci Evrimciliğin Türkiye’ye Girişi” (Şarkiyat Araştırmaları Dergisi, Sayı 2, Yaz s.166-196, 2001), Osman Bahadır / Hoca Tahsin Efendi ve Evrim Teorisi (Cumhuriyet Bilim Teknik, 24 Haziran 2011), İhsan Işık / Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006, gen. 2. bas. 2007) - Ünlü Fikir ve Kültür Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 3, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013). 



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