


Takiyuddin and Observatory 


Takiyuddin and Observatory 



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Ottoman science developed further owing to the
personal interest of Mehmed II and the educational institutions
which he established after the conquest of Istanbul. Consequently,
some brilliant scholars emerged in the sixteenth century and made
original contributions to science in this most vivid period of Ottoman
history of science. Mehmed the Conqueror patronized the Islamic
scholars and at the same time he ordered the Greek scholar from
Trabzon Georgios Amirutzes and his son to translate the Geography
book of Ptolemy into Arabic and to draw a world map. Mehmed II's
interest in European culture had started while he was the own prince
settled in the Manisa Palace. In 1445, Italian humanist Ciriaco
d'Ancona and other Italians who were in the Palace taught him Roman
and European history. While Patriarch Gennadious prepared his work
on the Christian belief İ'tikad nâme (The Book on Belief) for the
sultan, Francesco Berlinghieri and Roberto Valtorio wished to present
their works Geographia and De re Militari. On the other hand, Mehmed
II encouraged the scholars of his time to produce works in their
special fields; e.g. for the comparison of alGhazzali's criticisms
of peripatetic philosophers regarding metaphysical matters, expressed
in his work titled Tahafut alFalasifa (The Incoherence of the Philosophers),
and Ibn Rushd's answers to these criticisms in his work Tahafut
alTahafut (The Incoherence of Incoherence), he ordered two scholars
of his time, Hocazade and 'Ala alDin alTusi, each to write a work
on this subject (Adıvar, 1983; İhsanoğlu, 1992/1). No doubt the
most notable scientist of the Conqueror's period is Ali Kuşçu, a
representative of the Samarkand tradition. The total number of his
works on mathematics and astronomy is twelve. One of them is his
commentary on the Ziji Uluğ Bey in Persian. His two works in persian,
namely, Risala fi'lHay'a (Treatise on Astronomy) and Risala Fi'lHisab
(Treatise on Arithmetic) were taught in the Ottoman medreses. He
rewrote these two works in Arabic with some additions under new
titles, alFathiyya (Commemoration of Conquest) and alMuhammadiyya
(The Book dedicated to Sultan Muhammed), respectively. Another noteworthy
scholar of the Bayezid II period (14811512) was Molla Lûtfi. He
wrote a treatise about the classification of sciences titled Mawdu'atUlum
(Subjects of the Sciences) in Arabic and compiled a book on geometry
titled Tad'if alMadhbah (Duplication of Cube) which was partly
translated from Greek. Mîrîm Çelebi (d. 1525) who was a well known
astronomer and mathematician of this period and the grandson of
Ali Kuşçu and Kadızâdei Rûmî, contributed to the establishment
of the scientific traditions of mathematics and astronomy and was
renowned for the commentary he wrote on the Zij of Uluğ Bey.
Scientific literature developed considerably
in the period of Sultan Süleymân the Magnificent. We find two major
mathematical books in Turkish entitled Jamal alKuttab wa Kamal
alHussah (Beauty of Scribes and Perfection of Accountants) and
'Umdat alHisah (Treatise on arithmetic) by Nasuh alSilahi alMatraki
(d. 971/1564). His book in Turkish entitled Beyânı Menâzili Seferi
Irakeyn (Description of the Stopping Places of the Campaign to the
Two Iraqs), related to geography, should also be mentioned. Musa
b. Hamun (d. 1554), one of the famous Jewish physicians from Andalusian
descent, was appointed as Sultan Süleymân's physician and wrote
the first Turkish and one of the earliest independent works on dentistry
which is based on Greek, Islamic, and Uighur Turkish medical sources
and in particular Sabuncuoğlu Ceerefeddin's works (Terzioğlu, 1977).
In the sixteenth century, important works on astronomy were written
by the representatives of the EgyptDamascus tradition of astronomymathematics.
The greatest astronomer of this period was Taki alDin alRasid
(d. 1585) who combined the EgyptianDamascus and Samarkand traditions
of astronomy and mathematics in his studies. He wrote more than
thirty books in Arabic on the subjects of mathematics, astronomy,
mechanics, and medicine.

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