Writer (b. 1851, Bahçesaray / Crimea – d. 11 September 1914, Bahçesaray / Crimea). He received primary education in the village he was born in and at the Akmescit Gymnasium. He went to Secondary School in Akmescit. He left Moscow Military High School where he was transferred to from the Military School in Veronej and worked as a teacher in Bahçesaray and Yalta. He taught Russian at Zincirli Madrasah Muslim School. He went to İstanbul in 1874 and to the Crimea in 1975 from Paris to where he had gone in 1871. He was elected as the Mayor Bahçesaray in 1878. He opened the New Style School in 1882. He published the Tercüman-ı Ahval-i Zaman newspaper (1883-1918), Tonguç, Âlem-i Nisvan (Women’s World, 1902) and Kahkaha (humor magazine) in Bahçesaray. He went to Turkistan, Egypt and India and joined the work of educating the Muslims there. He strived all through his life for Russian Turks to be educated and to unite. He met the intellectuals of the period in İstanbul where he went from time to time. He rejected the offer to become a member of the Turkish Senate proposed by the administration of the Committee of Union and Progress (1912).
Gaspıralı, with great courage and will, in the school he named the New Style School, applied the alphabet based on vowels in 1884. He faced reactions from fanatics. His usage of a scholastic style in his articles and dialogues was not liked by madrasah graduates. He believed that a family was a group made up of men and women. In this way, he tried to convince that girls must study too, in the New Style, which really meant with Western mentality.
His novel named Dar’ür-Rahat Müslümanları (The Muslims Live in Welfare State), which was deemed by Professor Niyazi Akı to be the first Islamic novel, featured as a chapter in his novel Molla Abbas’ın Avrupa Maceraları (European Adventures of Molla Abbas), which was published with simplification in 2002. This chapter and another chapter Frengistan Mektupları (Euroland Letters) had been serialized in Tercüman-ı Ahval-i Zaman newspaper before, like his other works. In this novel, he narrates the story of Molla Abbas, who lives in Tashkent with property left to him by his family. He sells all his property and one day when he is twenty two, he decides to travel the world. Until the end of the book, Molla Abbas travels to many countries, learns new things and encounters many events. Everywhere and constantly, he thinks about and analyzes the development of science and civilization and the past and future of Muslims.
NOVEL: Dâr’ür-Rahat Müslümanları (The Muslims live in Welfare State), Yekî Acâib-i Diyâr-ı İslâm (The Muslims of the Relaxed Land, One Strange Land of Islam, 1909), Molla Abbas’ın Avrupa Maceraları (Europe Adventures of Molla Abbas, simplified by Ercüment Dursun and Ercan Sakarya, 2002), Kadınlar Ülkesi (Women Country), Arslan Kız (Lion Girl), Gündoğdu (Daybreak).
OTHER WORKS: Rusya Müslümanları (The Russian Muslims, in Russian, 1881), Mir’ât-ı Cedîd (New Mirror, 1882), Avrupa Medeniyetine Bir Nazar-ı Muvazene (A Balanced Glance at European Civilization, 1885), Hace-i Sıbyân (Teacher of the Child, 1893), Atlaslı Cihannâme (Showing the World with an Atlas, 1894), Mekteb ve Usûl-i Cedîd Nedir (What is School and the New Style, 1894), Türkistan Uleması (Doctors of Muslim Theology in Turkistan, 1900), Nasihat-ı Tıbbiye (Medical Advice, 1901), Beden-i İnsan (The Human Body, 1901), Yunan Hükeması (Wise Men of Greece, 1901), Usül-i Edep (Style of Behavior, 1901), Memalik-i İran (The Iran State, 1901), Meşhur Payitahtlar (Famous Capital Cities, 1901), Tashih-i Akaid-i İslamiye (Correction of the Islamic Doctrines, 1901), Zoraki Tabib (The Compulsory Doctor, 1901), İki Sarayda Bir Gece (One Night at Two Palaces, 1906).
REFERENCE: Altan Deliorman / İsmail Gaspıaralı ve Tercüman Gazetesi (Türk Kültürü dergisi, 69. sayı, 1968), Yusuf Akçura / Türkçülüğün Tarihi Gelişimi (1968), Niyazi Akı / Çağdaş Türk Tiyatrosuna Toplu Bakış / 1923-1967 (1968), Doç. Dr. Nadir Devlet / İsmail Bey (Gaspiralı) (1988), Hakan Kırımlı / TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi (c. 13, 1996), Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kafalı / İsmail Gaspiralı’nın Yayımcılığı ve Gazeteciliği (Türk Kültürü, Mayıs-Haziran 1999), Niyazi Hüseyin Bahtiyar / Balkanlar’da Türk Ünlüleri (2002), Türkiye Dışındaki Türk Edebiyatları Antolojisi (c. 13, s. 338), İhsan Işık / Yazarlar Sözlüğü (1990, 1998) - Türkiye Yazarlar Ansiklopedisi (2001, 2004) – Encyclopedia of Turkish Authors (2005) - 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), Doç. Dr. Nizamettin Parlak / İsmail Gaspıralı’nın Dârürrahat Müslümanları Adlı Eserindeki Endülüs Algısı Üzerine (Erzincan Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, ÖS-I: 141 -160 [2015).