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Showing posts from August 23, 2018

Sami – Hero of Two Nations

Şemseddin Sami is hailed as a man of literature, an encyclopedist, and –for me most importantly– a lexicograph both in Turkey and in Albania. He is considered to be a hero in both countries for his services for the Turkish and Albanian languages. Being one of the most important dictionaries of the Turkish language in the modern sense, his Kamus-ı Türki (1899) is still widely used as a reference today alongside Redhouse’s Turkish Lexicon (1890).
In addition to a few other dictionaries, such as Kamûs-ı Fransevî (French-Turkish dictionary) and Kamûs-ı 'Arabî (an unfinished work of Arabic-Turkish dictionary), he also published the first encyclopedia in Turkey, on the Islamic world.
Known as Şemseddin Sami in Turkey and as Sami Frashëri in Albania, he was an intriguing character with his contributions to the formation of the Albanian identity as well as to the independence of the Albanian people, however, at the same time producing intellectual material for Ottomanism and Turkism.
His ec…