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AKYÜREK, Ahmet Remzi

Poet and writer (b. 1877, Kayseri – d. 20 November 1944, İstanbul). He was the son of Süleyman Ataullah Efendi, sheikh of the Kayseri Mevlevi Dervish Lodge. He attended primary and elementary school and took private lessons from Nuh Naci Efendi and a diploma from Müridzade Ali Rıza Efendi, doctor of Muslim theology. He went to İstanbul in 1892 and started to work at the Directorate of Accountants as an assistant. He joined the Yenikapı Dervish Lodge and published his poems that he had written as a youth, primarily in the review Hazine-i Fünun. A year later he taught religion and gave lessons on morality at Kayseri High School. Afterwards he taught in Konya, Kayseri and Kütahya Dervish Lodges. He was promoted to the representative of the sheikh of Kütahya Dervish Lodge and then he became the sheikh of Kastamonu Dervish Lodge. He traveled to places such as Aleppo, Antep, Urfa, Kilis, Damascus, Trablus and Jerusalem to make inspections. He was appointed as the sheikh of the Aleppo Dervish Lodge. He fought at the Palestine Front in the Mevlevi Battalion “The Fighters of Mevlevi” during the World War I.

He stayed in Damascus for a few years and taught Mesnevi* in Emeviye Mosque. He went to Aleppo but because of the invasion of Aleppo he had to go back to İstanbul. Having been appointed as the head of the Üsküdar Dervish Lodge in 1919, Ahmet Rıza Efendi became the director of the Selimağa Library after the dervish lodges were closed. He left this post in 1937 after ten years. He is buried in the graveyard of the Seyyid Burhaneddin Tomb.

Acquainted with Arab and Persian literature, Ahmet Remzi Efendi wrote in every poetic form of Divan* literature. He wrote taştir* and tahmis* (styles of poetry). He also used syllabic meter as well as prosody, and wrote epics and free form musical compositions in syllabic meter. His poetry was never extensively compiled other than the book Bergüzar (The Relic) in which he collected some of his poetry. Ahnet Remzi Efendi, who also worked in other areas apart from literature, wrote a work under the name Kayseri Şiirleri (Kayseri Poems) but was never able to publish it.

Hüseyin Vassaf, one of the intellectuals of his era described Ahmet Remzi Efendi as a distinguished person who was clever, cheerful and had a good memory. In his large biography book Remziname (Letter of Symbols), which he wrote in 1924, Vassaf also says that Ahmet Remzi Efendi used to cheer up conversations he joined with his witticisms, gave importance to science and poetry and had a very valuable library.

WORKS:

POETRY: Bergüzâr (The Relic)

EXPLANATION: Tuhfetü's-Saimî (The Reward of Fasting - Explanation of Sultan Veled’s encomium on fasting).

BIOGRAPHY (Biographies of great people of mysticism and sects): Ayine-i Seyyid Sırdan (Mirror of Seyyid Sırdan), Mir'at-ı Zeynel Abidin (Mirror of Zeynel Abidin), Tarihçe-i Aktâb (History of Saints).

He also translated from Arabic and Persian.