To our elders whose words are “so speaking” with honey flowing from their mouths; I would like to give a brief introduction before taking Ibnülemin to “chat sheikhs” like Mahmud Kemal İnal, Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, Mükrimin Halil Yınanç.
I have read many memoirs so far and enjoyed them all. To cite two examples, I can pronounce the names of the late Ali Ulvi Kurucu and Yusuf Mardin. Currently, our great legal scholar is Prof. DR. I am re-reading the name memoir book “Kocataş Mansion Memories” by Yusuf Mardin, son of Ebu’l Ula Mardin.
Yusuf Bey first introduces us to his grandfather, Necmeddin Molla. From his stories we learn that his late grandfather played a major role in Talat Pasha’s marriage to Hayriye Hanım, this happy marriage lasted only 10 years and that at the age of 47 he was shot by an Armenian in Berlin. Meanwhile, Yusuf Bey says:
“My father said, ‘May God have mercy!’ We have returned from the past to the present. Since it wouldn’t be right to talk about sad bets at the table, after a chest, my grandfather said, “Hey! Let’s invite this master of Ibnulemin Mahmud Kemal for dinner, let’s listen to these old times from his mouth, who knows how beautifully and vividly he tells!’ called.”
The late Necmeddin Molla is telling the truth. Ibnulemin was one of the greatest masters of language, recounting historical events in the most vivid and exciting way. In fact, in the above-mentioned memoirs, in the long section entitled “Ibnulemin Mahmud Kemal İnal in Kocataş Villa”, Yusuf Mardin Bey, after describing what he heard from this great master of history during his pilgrimage with his father, concludes his words like follows:
“When I think about it now, very few of those who had the pleasure of listening to Master Ibnulemin Mahmud Kemal’s discourse survived today. It makes me proud to be one of them. Masters Halid Ziya Uşaklıgil, Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu, Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, Faruk Nafiz Çamlıbel, Orhan Seyfi Orhon, Yusuf Ziya Ortaç, İsmail Habib Sevük, Ruşen Eşref Ünaydın, Nihat Sami Banarlı, Mitekhat Cemal Kuntay, Necip Fazıl are their great Ichsıl had the honor of listening to beautiful speakers. But the greatest among them was undoubtedly Ibnulemin Mahmud Kemal. Words tumbled from his mouth like pearls, bringing peace of mind, but he knew how to avoid monotony with the occasional word of surprise. It wasn’t his fault that his speech often turned into a monologue. He would give the opportunity to open up politely to those around him, but no one could say more than a few words. How I wish our journey with him had never ended.”
Prof. That Mehmet Kaplan thinks like Yusuf Mardin on this issue, we understand from the article he published in February 1977 in the journal “Turkish Literature” entitled “Conversation and Book”. Kaplan Hoca says:
“The old people liked to talk. Knowledgeable and wise people called “hoşsohbet”, that is, who spoke well, entertained and made the audience laugh, were very popular. When he talked about such people, he was praised because he couldn’t get enough of his conversation.
When I was growing up, I knew a lot of people who were labeled “sociable” around the university. Among them were Yahya Kemal, Mükrimin Halil Yınanç and Ibnulemin Mahmud Kemal.
I wasn’t much in Ibnulemin’s conversations. As a young assistant, one of these conversations made a deep impression on me. The Deputy Minister of Education (Minister of National Education) Hasan Âli Yücel, Mükrimin Halil, were in the house of the great teachers of Istanbul University. Ibnulemin was also essentially a historian. He knew very well the life of the people who grew up after the Tanzimat. Luckily, he wrote down this knowledge in his books Last Century Turkish Poets and Last Grand Wesirs. Anyone who reads them today can get an idea of Ibnulemin’s knowledge, culture, way of thinking and style. However, Ibnülemin, whom Tanpınar refers to as “the mother-in-law of this world”, had a unique personality as a human being. With his pronunciation, his gaze and the colorfulness of the words and jokes he used, especially when he got angry, he would turn the greatest actor into a mess.”
Our late Mehmet Kaplan teacher Ibnülemin’s close friend Ord. Prof. DR. Mükrimin also says the following about a master of conversation like Halil Yinanc:
“Mukrimin Halil was literally a ‘library with feet’. He had read and memorized many things about Turkish and Islamic history. He took great pleasure in explaining them with his own gestures, changing the tone of his voice like a lecturer. I went to some of his classes and had the same pleasure. Mükrimin Halil, who, like the ancients, said that “science is not in the line, but in the field”, although he had original views, was reluctant to reveal them, telling cases that did not belong to him. Once, in Tanpınar’s room, I asked him some questions about Anatolian-Turkish history. He spoke for three hours. The questions, like a magnet, helped him collect his scattered thoughts and create a beautiful, original composition. As he said, “Teacher, write this down, it’s very new, enlightening,” he stood up and left with his unique “give up” sign, leaving a sadness and emptiness for the loss of good things.
If I could reproduce with a tape recorder what Mükrimin Halil said that day, they might have changed the view of history in Turkey. Unfortunately, Mükrimin Halil did not write down his original ideas. Not knowing her before, I learned something new every time he spoke.”
I would like to take this opportunity to note that immediately after the death of our famous historian, a small book entitled Conversations of Mükrimin Halil Yınanç was published. However, things in this work are nothing compared to what he only tells in “Ashtray” or “Persian’s Coffee”. You’re still reading that Book of Conversations. Especially the articles written about him and in the last section provide interesting information. If my column were available I would mention a few more illustrative books like this. We will – hopefully – cover them in a few other articles. Let’s leave the word to “our Yunus”:
Eren’s conversation increases ma’rifeti
I will take a break from chatting with ignorant people.