The book “Corpus of Ottoman Inscriptions from Albania and Montenegro” was promoted in Tirana in the presence of prominent personalities of Albanian science and culture. The book written by Dutch researcher Dr. Mehmet Tütüncü was recently published in English and soon with be published in Albanian language by Albanian Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (AIITC).
The promotion was part of the Academy of AIITC “Nations and cultures”. At the opening ceremony AIITC’s Chairman Prof. As. Dr. Ramiz Zekaj emphasized that: “Inscriptions found at Islamic cultural monuments on Albanian soil are an unique aspect of Albanian Islamic heritage which has survived until today. They date back as many as five centuries beginning from 1466 until 1942 and they highlight some important moments of Albanian Historiography”.
This latest book of Dr. Mehmet Tütüncü discovers new evidence about Albanian world through data gathered on Ottoman inscriptions in Albania. The book already published in English language contains 132 inscriptions most of them discovered outdoors as well as archives and it is organized in three main parts: two of them dedicated to Albania and one belongs to Montenegro.
Main parts dedicated to Albanian include two historic periods: first period is from 1437 to 1670 and the second period is from 1732 to 1913. The author himself on his opening speech talked about his personal research experiences and shared with the audience some of his main discoveries of his own. He introduces interesting facts regarding the establishments of some Albanian cities and castles since Skanderbeg era onwards. He pointed out the importance of engagement of Albanian scientific authorities on finding some of those lost inscriptions. One important perhaps is the inscription of Hassan Balizade Mosque in Elbasan city. Another interesting fact mentioned by the author is that most of those inscriptions are dedicated to women.
According to him it’s about time that debates on Ottoman Empire’s role come to an end and not identifying the Empire with Turkish nation only. The role of other nations being part of the Ottoman Empire, particularly Albanians must be taken into a consideration. The last ones should see themselves as an integrated part of this Empire since they contributed on its political and cultural life. It is worth reminding that many Albanians served as Viziers and other high posts on this Empire. On the other hand many Albanians such as Sami Frasheri have enlightened Turkish culture.
Finally he thanked the audience and promised to continue his research on discovering more Ottoman inscriptions on Albanian soil.
The prominent Albanian researcher Aleksander Meksi appreciated the scrupulous work of Dr. Mehmet Tütüncü calling him a scientific fulfilled file. According to him, this book is a huge contribution to knowing the way of life and Albanian society. He took the view that the author has carefully researched scientifically as well as on the ground. The results are a Corpus which offers to Albanian researches and many more undisputed data regarding creativity events, persons and architecture. Those were oblivious until yesterday or at the best case scenario they were poorly explained due to the lack of exact data.