Skip to comments.Constantinople and Norsin
Posted on 08/19/2009 6:48:42 AM PDT by Nikas777
Constantinople and Norsin
MUMTAZER TURKONE firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a contradiction in a question posed by Devlet Bahçeli to the president, who referred to Güroymak as Norşin. "Will you also change the signboard reading İstanbul' that you encounter on the highway traveling from Gebze to İstanbul to Constantinople'?" asked Bahçeli. Here are my questions: What will happen if we change it? What change will this make? The answer: Only our habits will change. Why? It is because there is nothing in the name İstanbul that belongs to Turks, Turkishness or the Turkish language other than our habits. İstanbul as a name is as alien to the Turkish language as Constantinople; it may even be more alien.
We may discuss all aspects of the Kurdish issue. We may tolerate Bahçeli's and Deniz Baykal's opposition stained with rage and political interests. In the end, diverse views will clash freely with each other, and everyone will be held responsible for the views they advocate. Eventually, democracy will create a common ground. Therefore, we can tolerate all sorts of ideas and discuss all the different opinions with maturity. But can we do so with ignorance? Who can say that s/he is entitled to inflict unhappiness on a great nation because of his/her ignorance?
Etymologically, İstanbul is derived from the Greek word Constantinople. It is written and pronounced in different forms. Stampoli is the closest one to the original. İstanbul is the Armenian pronunciation of the Greek word that means "civic," "of city" and "urban." Inspired by the Armenian word "Esdanbol," we started to call this beautiful city İstanbul.
Many of the settlements in Turkey do not have Turkish names. All the city names ending with "-bolu," including Gelibolu, Safranbolu, Tirebolu and even İstanbul, are derived from the Greek word "polis" meaning "city." Because of the same reason, we call our civilian security organization "polis" like many countries around the world. İskenderun is derived from Alexander and named after Alexander the Great, the great commander and ruler. As one can easily guess, Kayseri comes from "Kaiser" (Caesar), the title of Roman emperors. Diyarbakır is an Arabic word, while some Kurds prefer to call it Amed, a name also used by Armenians. In the eastern and southeastern provinces, many settlements still have names derived from Armenian. There is a simple reason for this. The Turkish language has only existed in these lands for 1,000 years, but Anatolia is the cradle of many ancient civilizations.
Changing the names that people have been using for centuries overnight has nothing to do with the nationalism of the dominant nation. Changing these names is purely an attack of vandalism on culture and history. Such an attack may come only from a mind that is primitive, uncivilized, parvenu, wild and ill, a mind that is full of hatred. Ignorance is another characteristic of such a person. This untamed ignorance even went further, changing the purely Turkish names of places after the military coup of Sept. 12, 1980. For example, the name of the village of Dodurga near Ankara was changed, but someone said: "What the hell are you doing? Dodurga is the name of a Turkmen clan." So the village regained its name.
Not only our language, but our civilization also has a great mixture of diverse wisdom. The Ottoman Empire was established in this diverse synthesis. This synthesis accommodated the Mogul customs, the Ottoman timar system, Sassanid (Persian) bureaucracy, Islamic law and Turkish traditions.
"Norşin" sounds familiar to me. As "Nor" is derived from "Nur" (light), I can assert that it is associated with proper names such as "Nurşen." I do not have to run an etymological analysis in order to understand what "İstanbul" means.
Law No. 2932, passed by the military junta as a last-minute piece of legislation in 1983, deprived Kurds of their language. To call Kurds our "sisters and brothers" while at the same time defending the names changed at that time is nothing other than a big contradiction. This is particularly so if those who did not object to this ban and the name changes at that time -- including myself -- are expected to engage in self-criticism.
Changing the name of İstanbul to Constantinople is perfectly acceptable from a linguistic point of view, but we have the right to be given a reasonable explanation for refusing to call Güroymak Norşin.
From “Eis thn Polis”. Istanbul just sounds more Turkish.
Actually, if you read the article Istanbul does not sound Turkish at all - it is not even a properly Turkified way of saying it.
The Turks try and lay claim for things not their own all the time. This is the first time I have seen in print a Turk acknowledge where they leave was not places their ancestors came from and hod no hand in founding.
“This is the first time I have seen in print a Turk acknowledge where they leave was not places their ancestors came from and hod no hand in founding.”
I can’t say as I have ever read any writing by a Turk saying these things, but the very existence of the “museum” of Agia Sophia demonstrates a society which preexisted the Ottomans.
The Western educated, secular Turks I know from business frankly remind me of my own educated, professional relatives in Greece and my friends with similar backgrounds from Lebanon and Egypt. This doesn’t mean that I would trust Turkey or the average Turk as far as I could throw him!
Didn’t the government allow Constantinople to be used as late as the middle 1930’s, although Istanbul was preferred?