A New Proposal of Morality

A New Proposal of Morality

Nurettin Topçu -Çağdaş Bir Dervişin Dünyası- (The World of a Modern Dervish) (Dergâh Publications, 2019) presents different characteristics from the other books written on Nurettin Topçu (for instance Kök’s Philosophy of Religion in Nurettin Topçu).

We see three different formats in his books: narrative, memoir, and dialog. Topçu’s years of childhood and university are told by the narration method. Later, it is switched to the memoir style. The dialog method dominates the last pages.

Emin Işık is one of the close students of Topçu. Emin Işık did not only listen to him in the classroom. He went to his house, attended his conferences, accompanied his long walks; he had been in the Hareket magazine (Movement) and was perhaps one of the first readers of his books. When reading the book, we feel that we are receiving information from a sound source. Probably the person who conveyed this information to Emin Işık was the Topçu himself. Or, how would we be aware of the gentleness and rigor of the nurse who prepared linden tea for him regularly every evening after dinner while he was studying at Aix?

Detailed information that cannot be seen in other works on Topçu’s childhood and university years and years spent in France is given in this book. The previous Topçu studies are mostly academic. They are focused on his “morality”, “rebellion”, and “movement” philosophies. His life, however, was briefly mentioned. Işık, without undermining his moral attitude, his adopted and developed philosophy, has focused on his life. The most obvious characteristic of Topçu is that his life and his work confirm each other. We can also say that they do not contradict each other. Topçu didn’t write anything he didn’t believe. We can also say nothing that he did not believe or experience, or rather, did not practice in his life: this is the point that Işık wants to emphasize in The World of a Modern Dervish. That is why Işık’s biographical work is a bridge that is built towards Topçu’s books. Especially for the young generation readers.

The important thing is to read Topçu’s books. Işık has targeted it throughout his book. In other words, he tried to write a book on Topçu’s books. He achieves that. While reading the book, we become curious about İsyan Ahlakı (The Revolt Morality), written at the University of the Sorbonne, Bergson, which was written as a doctorate thesis, Ahlak Nizamı (The Order of Morality), which was later published entirely out of social responsibility, and Yarınki Turkiye (Tomorrow’s Turkey). Readers also want to read them again in accordance with the information given by Işık; For those who did not read any at all, the books of Topçu become a treasure waiting to be discovered.

Topçu’s personality and books is a new proposal for Turkey. This feature is still protected. His student years, academic studies, him being a tinker and a teacher, his nationalism, his passion for Anatolia, points he made, his attitude, his will, his perspective towards the events, his way of dealing with issues, his philosophical and sociological determinations are still important and different. This difference is always open to assessments. Since he is a versatile philosopher and writer, not only academics or philosophers but also literary figures, sociologists, psychologists, assembly managers, and politicians can benefit from Topçu.

The library of the author

– Walt Whitman, Grass Leaves, Türkiye İş Bankası Publications

– John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies, Doğu Batı Publications

– Ferdowsi, The Shahnameh, Kabalcı Publications

– Cemalettin Latiç, Gel En Sevgili, Okur Kitaplığı Publications