Prof. Dr. İlber Ortaylı: Historical Theories Based on Lack of Knowledge Should Stop
In a symposium organized by the History Department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yeditepe University, İlber Ortaylı pointed out that it is very important to stop writing about theories based on lack of knowledge in history writing. ”We are confronted with new information every moment and this information changes our whole construct“ he said.
The 2nd International Turkish Culture and History Symposium organized by Yeditepe University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of History was held at Yeditepe University.
The symposium hosted a large number of Turkish and foreign academicians and students to reduce the mistakes made in Turkish historiography and prevent errors and bring together young academics and researchers who work on Turkish history and culture.
Turkish history should be learned correctly
Speaking at the opening of the symposium Yeditepe University Founder and Honorary President, Bedrettin Dalan said that he personally wanted the university to establish a history department. After rereading the history lessons taught in primary and secondary schools and high schools from foreign sources and realizing that the theories of history from the period of Atatürk were never taught to them, Bedrettin Dalan said that he wanted this department to be established to contribute to the learning of the history of the Turkish nation with its pros and cos. He said
"Ataturk made great efforts since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey to make the nation learn about Turkish history, encouraged history scientists and established the Turkish Historical Society. Unfortunately, the institution he founded shortly after his death began to be rendered dysfunctional, and the theories he had envisioned correctly were also distorted. Turkish history is written in the eyes of foreigners and continues to be taught in our schools through the eyes of foreigners. For this reason, what I want to do here and what our historians have to do is to learn Turkish history correctly without feeling any inferiority.”
We want to improve our understanding of historiography based on correct knowledge and correct sources
Yeditepe University History Department Head Prof. Dr. Ahmet Taşağil also said that the goal of Yeditepe University History Department was to train worldwide scientists and historians and added that they wanted to improve their understanding of historiography based on correct knowledge and correct sources by bringing together historians from Turkey and the world.
Pointing out to the contributions of Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to Turkish culture and history, Yeditepe University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Vice Dean Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vildan Üstoğlu Ünal thanked the valuable researchers who continued to work on these studies related to Turkish culture and history.
It’s not University Teachers who Teach History but High School Teachers
Speaking at the opening session of the symposium, the historian-author Prof. Dr. Ilber Ortayli reminded that the Ottoman Empire was the empire of the Turks. He said “Even if the name Turk was not mentioned a lot, there was no other content than the Turks”.
Prof. Dr. Ortaylı pointed out that there is a lack of information about history in the west and east, and said:
“What is important is to stop theories based on lack of knowledge. This is very important in history. Because every time you come up with new information, this information changes our whole construct.”
“In a country, it’s not university teachers who should teach history but high school Teachers. High school teachers have a great responsibility to learn history and to teach it correctly. You do not have the right to reveal the disputes as historical truth. The most important factor in historiography is not resorting to political doctrines. If you apply to political doctrines and add a number of terminologies to it, the issues becomes very complex thing to deal with. If you mix history with politics, you cannot solve your problems”.
The political scientist Prof. Dr. Mim Kemal Öke also talked about the importance of popularizing history in primary and secondary schools.