Hodja Ismail Efendi

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
Tosun Saral
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Hodja Ismail Efendi

Post by Tosun Saral » 14 Nov 2005 12:12

My grandfather Hodja Ismail Efendi was the son of Hadji Osman Hodja from village of Sofular of Kozana. Today Greeks call the village as Tetralofosin. He studied islam theology at Fatih Medrese the school for islamic knowledge in Istanbul. After graduating from the Medrese he joined the Turkish Army as regiment's Imam. He fought the Balkan Wars in 1911-12 and was taken prisoner by the Greeks after the collabse of Ottoman Turkish armies. After the peace he was released and appointed to 97th Regiment in Van in East Turkey. He took his family from Kozana which was under Greek occupation and gone to Van same 2500 kilometers away. While he was there the WW I began. He was killed in action while charging againts Russians in front of his regiment at Koprukoy/Erzurum in February 21th 1915 (Turkish time:Febrary 8th 1330). This is the only picture of him. The picture was published in Harp Mecmuasi the War Magazine Nr.16, p.255. The other holy Turkish Myties are shown below. May Allahs mercy on them. Allah rahmet eylesin! Dilerimki oyle olsun!
1- Ismail Hodja
2- Major Sadullah Bey, Chief doctor of 2nd Army, Dec. 24,1916
3- Major Fuat Bey commander of 1st battalion, 61th Regiment, 24.12.1916
4-Lt.Col.Ali Riza Bey, Commander of 98th Regiment, 17.9.1916
5- Lt.Ahmet Hamdi Efendi, 61th Regiment, 27.4.1915
6- Capt. Ibrahim Ethem Efendi commander of 9th Company, 56th Regiment
7- Capt. Ibrahim Hikmet Efendi, Commander of 9th Company, 46th Regiment, 10.8.1915
8- Lt. Cevat Efendi, 10th Company, 92th Regiment
9- Officer Cadet Mehmet Efendi, 12th Company, 45th Regiment, 22.11.1914
10-2nd Lt. Abdullah Efendi, 3th Company, 109th Regiment, 22.11.1914
11-Capt. Mustafa Efendi, Commander of 1oth Company, 17th Regiment, 22.7.1915
12- Officer Cadet Esat Efendi, 12th Company, 45th Regiment, 20.10.1916
13-Reserve Officer Cadet Zeki Rasit Efendi, adjutant of 3th Company, 21th Regiment, 6.4.1915
14- Lt. İbrahim Sevki Efendi, Adjutant of 1st battalion, 42th Regiment, 7.8.1915
15- 2nd Lt. Salih Efendi from Dimetoka, 13th Company, 57th Regiment, 6.9.1916
16- 2nd Lt. Zihni Efendi, 7th Company, 29th Regiment, 15.10.1915
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Mehmet Fatih
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Post by Mehmet Fatih » 14 Nov 2005 13:47

Very interesting indeed Mr. Saral. Such a grandfather to be proud.
It was a common thing in the Ottoman Army in WW1, that the unit Imams leading their units when the COs and senior NCOs are killed.
What i dont know is if the Imams had any ranks(honorary or normal).Do you know about this?If they did so, what was your grandfather's rank?

Regards

Tosun Saral
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Ranks of Imams

Post by Tosun Saral » 14 Nov 2005 20:37

Dear waffen fuer alle, Imam is an Arabic word used for clergy/religious leaders. The word imam is also used among the Turks. Imam means leader, Commander. eg Imam Schamil of Cecennia. In the Ottoman Turkish Army every regiment and their battalions had an imam. They had no army ranks like Lt., capt. but they had gold stripes on the sleeves of their uniforms. Two stripes meaned imam of battalion, 3 stripes meaned imam of regiment. The class of imams served in Turkish Army till 1950's. During the Republican Turkish Army the imams got a officers rank. I can still remember a friend of my grandfather had the colonel's rank and was chief İmam of the Fortress Canakkale in 1947. After 1950's this class is demolished. I don't know whose idea was it. May be a measure againts anti secular and anti republican movements in Turkey. Today there is no official imams in Turkish Army. Soldiers who are graduants of religious schools do the work of imam in garnizons. It is very interesting that when the Turkish Government decided to send a brigade to Korea they forgot to attand a imam to the brigade. later they understand the importance of the imam and sended a civilian Hodja named Muhsin Ortulu to Korea. Muhsin Ortulu Hodja served in Korea and fought during the famous Kuniri battles in 1951. Thats all I know.
regars

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 15 Nov 2005 03:33

Tosun,

Your grandfather was a brave man.

Whats the difference between a Hoja,a Mufti,an Imam?

From Hans Kannengiesser's The Campaign in Gallipoli:
The Turkish soldier, the “Asker”, was the Anatolian and Thracian, slightly educated, brave, trustworthy, of whom a large majority were Anatolians. Content with little, it never entered into his mind to dispute the authority of those above him. He followed his leader without question even in attack in the face of the enemy. It is the will of Allah. He is deeply religious and regards this life as the first stage to a better. In the midst of shelling, shortly before the entry of the battalion into battle, the Imam, or the battalion priest, generally held a short address. The impression left on the onlooker was always curious, particularly when at those points in the address an “Inschallah” (we ask Allah to give it to us) rose over the thirsty plain in earnest but happy tones from hundreds of men’s deep voices. One evening, as the jackals were already howling, the address appeared to me to last far too long. The battalion was urgently needed at the front, but nevertheless I did not dare to make a move. That would have been regarded as an evil action, coming from me as a Christian. The Imam were often splendid men with great and good influence on the soldiers, and in the event of all the officers being killed they took control, sometimes taking control of the battalion.

The Asker bears the heaviest wound with wonderful stoicism. One only hears a small whimper, “Aman, aman."
Regards,
Peter

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 15 Nov 2005 03:50

Really interesting story, Mr. Saral!

bob lembke
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Imams and Turkish Soldiers

Post by bob lembke » 15 Nov 2005 08:26

Peter;

Knowing little Arabic and less Turkish, I am happy to answer your questions. (Despite my knowing 30-40 words of Arabic, all either religeous, food, or curses, including one verb, the US Army approached me asking me to go to Iraq as a translator. And I have been receiving Social Security for four years. Not a good sign.) I will cheat a little and peek in my Turkish dictionary.

Hoja does not seem to be a Turkish word, and I think it is one of Tosun's family names. When I first saw it I thought that it was the Turkish word for Hadji, as in Tosun's first post in this thread, but I was wrong, and Turkish does not seem to have a separate or different word. Hadji is an honorific prefix adopted by a Muslim who has performed the Hadj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Once Mohammed Ali returns from the Hadj, he may be called Hadji Mohammed Ali.

Mufti is Arabic, and the Turkish word is Müftü. However, Turkish religeous terms are generally derived from the Arabic, and I think that the Arabic word is often used even if there is a Turkish word. The difference between the two is often that the Turkish word is spelled differently so that the word is pronounced the same. For example, mosque is usually transliterated into Latin letters as jamija, while the Turkish is cami. However, the plain "c" in Turkish is pronounced like a sharp "j", so it sounds like a "jami" In fact this word is even used in Serbian. I do not know the specific meaning of Mufti, but it is a high ranking religeous leader, such as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and I suspect that a Mufti might have some civil powers as well.. (Despite that, and the Shi'ia Alatollahs, al'Islam is much less hirarchial than, for sure, the Roman Church. I believe that the Alatollahs achieve their title more from a general belief that their religeous/legal judgement is exceptional, rather than through some rigid rank and promotion process.)

Imam is an Arabic term and title for a Muslim cleric, the Turkish word is the same.

Effendi, Bey, and Pascha are honorific suffixes granted to officers; the first to officers up to major, Bey for colonels and perhaps brigadiers, and Pascha for higher generals. Kannengeisser and Liman von Sanders proudly used their Paschas in their formal names many years after leaving Turkey. Effendi is also more generally used for a person of honor, or a highly literate person. (Aside from Turkish being a very difficult language, and using the fun Arabic alphabet in Ottoman times, a very literate person in those times would work Arabic and Persian text and poetry into their Turkish prose, to display their erudition. So being "literate" in Turkish was quite an achievement.)

When I saw this thread I was going to cite Kannengeisser's quote, which I recalled. I must take exception with his translation of In'shallah; literally, it means "God willing", I believe, but one could say that his "we ask Allah to give it to us" is sort of the sense of the phrase, but it has a decided fatalistic spin, perhaps, I think, more like one would like an event to occur to occur, but realize that it is completely in God's hands. A very common phrase in Arabic.

Bob Lembke

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 15 Nov 2005 12:31

Thanks Bob.

The terms I picked up in a passage from Zeki Bay's description to the Australian historian of his battalion's role at Lone Pine.Of course the transcript from Turkish,to French,to English doesn't help things:
I went into the right-hand trench, perhaps thirty yards up into it. There I found not an officer but only the Hoja – the chaplain – of my battalion. It being the 1st Battalion of the regiment, he ranked as Mufti – the 2nd and 3rd would have an Imam. He was a very brave man and kept his head very well … The Hoja Mufti said,’ Don’t be anxious about this flank – I’ll remain here’.
Their appears a hierarchy in place as well.

Tosun Saral
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some Imam photos

Post by Tosun Saral » 15 Nov 2005 13:57

A very interesting page about the imams:But in Turkish.
1st picture: The imam of 125th regiment with the commander Abdurrezzak Bey in Gallipoli
2nd pic.: Same imam in trench with soldiers.
3rd pic.:The imam of Fortress Sedd-ül bahir defending dardanells before WW1
http://www.gallipoli1915.org/alay.imam.htm
with my bset wishes

bob lembke
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Terms

Post by bob lembke » 15 Nov 2005 16:15

Peter;

I used to, in another life, have the honor of employing one of the top US economists for some econometric modelling, Michael K. Evans. At a posh lunch for his clients, he told me his motto: "Often wrong, but never in doubt."

With the additional information, corrections are apparent.

Effemdi is a suffix honorific from at least officer cadet through captain. Bey is the same for major probably through colonel. Pascha was for generals.

Hodja must have been a title or word for military chaplain, and it looks like it might have been used both as a prefix and a suffix. The word is not in my large and good Turkish-English dictionary; possibly because the role was dropped about 50 years ago, as Tosun said. Turkish is such a large language that an obsolete use might be dropped, especially if it was a specific title and not a word in general use, as Imam is used, of course.

The use of Hoja Mufti as the title for the Imam of the 1st battalion of a regiment, and presumably Hoja Imam for those of the 2nd and 3rd battalions, is interesting, and is similar to the use of special titles for the first company or battalion of a regiment as was done in other armies of the period, including the German. Using the word Mufti in this sense is very different than, say, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The word Mufti is also not found in my dictionary. It is possible that the book is staunchly secular. There is a sort of low-grade warfare going on in Turkey between the secular and the religeous, for example, I have noticed that the driver of a dolmas or private mini-bus (literally "stuffed", like a cabbage roll) often will not stop for a woman at a bus stop wearing a skirt that he deems too short. I really hope that these great people can work out this situation. (The minor oppressions of the religeous by the secular establishment are quite pervasive.)

One of the delights of Turkish is that the language not only add prefix and suffix syllabiles (sp?) to words to modify their meaning, it also inserts mofifying snippets into the middle of words!

Bob Lembke

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Mehmet Fatih
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Post by Mehmet Fatih » 15 Nov 2005 20:23

In fact Hodja means teacher in Turkish.This word is still used in schools and colleges for professors.
Imam is the word for chaplain.As Mr.Saral mentioned in his earlier posts, imam means leader.Leader of a religious and non-religious community.But it is used for the leaders of religious communities today in Turkiye.
Mufti is the superior of all imams in a district .For example Mufti of Istanbul or Mufti of Ankara.All the imams in Istanbul report the the Mufti of Istanbul.
I hope it solves the problem.

As for "Bey", it means nothing but "mister". In Ottoman Era, there were no family names.So people used the word "bey" after the first name of a person.For example Ahmet Bey means Mr.Ahmet.
The military ranks also changed after the foundation of Turkish Republic.
For example the officer ranks from junior officers to general are like that.
In order of English ranks, Ottoman Era and Republic

Lt. 2nd Class= Mulazim-i Sani=Astegmen
Lt. 1st Class= Mulazim-i Evvel= Ustegmen
Captain= Yuzbasi= Yuzbasi
Senior Captain= Kolagasi= this rank is no more in Turkish Army
Major= Binbasi= Binbasi
Lt. Colonel= Kaymakam= Yarbay
Colonel= Miralay= Albay

An officer was called Pasha from the day he was promoted to brigadier.

There are many other ranks used by the Ottoman Army between these ranks(such as Alay Katibi, Zabit Vekili etc.) but i just listed the common ones.

Regards

Tosun Saral
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To Bob

Post by Tosun Saral » 15 Nov 2005 22:09

Dear Bob you gave very good information. Therefore there is no more to add. Just something ı like to add if you please.
Hoca is the way we Turks say. You say: (hodja, Hoja) It is a persian word which became Turkish. The persian is "Hece" which means effendi, aga, sahip(master)[Indians usely say "sahip" to their English masters], owner, teacher, a man with turban, tradesman, house owner, head of family. The purular of "Hace" is "Hacegan". There is a word in Arabic "hace" which means throat. The Ottoman used the word "Hacegan" for officials. The title of 5th degree oficials was hacegan. e.g "Hacegan-i Divan-i Humayun" means Royal council secrateries.

Müftü is the Turkish form of arabic word "müfti". It comes from the root "fetva" which means "decision on religious matters given by a müfti" In other words müftü or müfti is the man that man ask questions about religious matters and problems. As my friend waffen für alle wrote about during ottoman times there was a müfti in all important cities. To day also in Turkey we have the same tradition.

Imam is arabic which means leader or commander but in mosgue cami he is the most talented man who stands infront of the muslims and lets them to pray. We Turkish muslims say before praying "uydum imama, durdum namaza" which means I follow the imam and begin to pray.
with my best wishes

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desrtrat6
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Re: Hodja Ismail Efendi

Post by desrtrat6 » 14 May 2010 00:23

Another meaning I found can be translated as "faith healer" as documented in this study (http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pd ... -10-11.pdf) of women's health in Turkey (see pg. 3).
v/r,

//teb

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