Mustafa DEHQAN

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Kurdish Researcher Mustafa Dehqan


A Zazaki Alevi Treatise from Diyarbekir *


The overwhelming importance of Kurdish, both language and literature, in Turkish Kurdistan has
tended to push all other languages into the background, though some of them are spoken by large and
important populations. Zazaki and its literature is one of these that has received far less attention than
it deserves, many educated people outside of Turkish Kurdistan being hardly aware of its existence.
In this article I have presented the content of fragments from a new Zazaki source. These fragments
were fortunately preserved in the binding cover of an old book, which seems to give us at least one of
the neglected sources from which the Zazaki writers drew, and carries us back into the memories and
the doctrines of the Zazaki community. It has great value as a document of the history of Alevism in
Eastern Anatolia.

That Alevism must have been an important factor in Kurdistan’s history in the Zazakispeaking
area is reflected in the fact that the literary heritage of the Zaza community
has preserved valuable, and sometimes unique, evidence of its most formidable opponent’s
history and doctrine. The nature and weight of Zazaki and related sources deserve a special
investigation that refers to the local history of the Alevi sect and which may shed some light
on the much-disputed character of that religion and its followers. This article, however, does
not pretend to give another account of Zazaki language and literature1 , nor does it intend
to deal with the problem of Alevi doctrines and their history.2 Rather, its main aim is to
present a newly-found Zazaki manuscript in which the Alevis and their religion are briefly
described. Of course the difficulties of such a manuscript and its contents should not be
underestimated; I have been confronted with so many questions and problems that it would
probably have been more appropriate to insert a question-mark after the title of this article.
Let me, therefore, only describe the manuscript and some of those theological problems
in order to give an impression of the specific subjects involved in the study of the present
Zazaki text that originated in the Zazaki-speaking area of Eastern Anatolia.


The Alevi treatise described in this article is one of the many unstudied texts in the tradition
of Zazaki religious literature. It is described by the author as his “Book on ‘Al¯ı, the important
incarnation of God, and the doctrines of writer’s ancestors, the great Qizilb¯ashs (i.e. Alevis)”.3
The present work is, to my knowledge, known in only one Zazaki manuscript that I located
in the possession of Mehmet Yildiz, a Kurdish uneducated bookbinder, in Diyarbekir. The
provenance of the manuscript is not entirely clear. Mehmet claimed that the manuscript was
previously in the possession of a Dersimi Zaza who migrated to Diyarbekir, and when he
died it was sold to Faruk Efendi, a Turkish dealer whose shop in Istanbul was for years the
meeting place for collectors. Faruk expected to sell it to Istanbul University, but his death
in Diyarbekir brought that project to an end. Finally the manuscript was purchased by the
cousin of Faruk from whom Mehmet bought the manuscript.
Themanuscript is written in the Arabic script in the Zazaki language by a non-professional
scribe, and begins with the basmala. It is written in a type of naskh, and does not have a title
page with the name of the work. On the last folio of the first section of the manuscript,
the scribe gives the date 1212 ah (1798), and on the last folio another piece of handwriting
gives the date 1246 ah (1831). There are some other later, dates in the text. According to its
palaeographic features, the scribe and the text both suggest the same dates for the production
of the manuscript: end of eighteenth-beginning of nineteenth century. The treatise consists
of 32 folios. The size of the folio is 22 × 18.5 cm; the text takes up both sides of the folio,
with 14 lines on each side; the size of the text is 16 × 12 cm. The pagination is late and
oriental. The paper is of European manufacture (London) with a watermark. The watermark
reads “W. Lemoine”. The date of manufacture of the paper is 1784 (watermark). The whole
manuscript is written in black ink; there is no shanjarf word. The binding is somewhat later
and of brown leather. The author was Isa Beg b. ‘Al¯ı, who held the title Sultan Efendi and
was also known as Sultan. Although born in Diyarbekir, he had lived in Istanbul from his
early years. We know nothing more about him except that he was the author of an Islamic
History (Ta’r¯ıkh), which comprised at least three volumes.4
From the characteristics of the manuscript it is important to note several graphic features.
Judging from the handwriting and the dates, the copy of this work was made by several
scribes. The principles of writing several words are different not only for different scribes,
but sometimes they are not even consistent for the same scribe. The letter w¯aw, for example,
is frequently written as l¯am, for example in the word vate, and h.
¯a is written instead of the
letter j¯ım, for example in the word c¨uab. There are many crossed-out words, and letters
written above the lines, which were omitted or did not fit in the line. There are also many
Turkisms in the text; that is, Turkish words, sentences, phrases, and lines of verse.
As for the place of origin, the main scribe was evidently of Zazaki background and
training, even if living in non-Zazaki regions.5 There are some mistakes in the Turkish
sentences, and sometimes in the Zazaki sentences, within the manuscript and the scribe
seems not to have been perfectly educated in Turkish. Possibly the scribe did not care about
his Turkish reputation, which could indicate that his priority in producing this manuscript
was more commercial than aesthetic, and he wanted to carry out his work as quickly as
possible. The fact that this manuscript was written by someone who was self-confessedly
not a professional scribe raises the possibility that the Zazaki text of the manuscript may
also have been poorly copied. Such an expectation proves fully justified, and a number of
corrections need to be made in the Zazaki text.


Sultan Efendi’s treatise on the Alevism is in two parts (maq¯ala); the first on the Alevi
community and the second on the Alevi doctrines. For convenience these will be designated
I and II respectively, the Arabic numeral following being the number of the chapter (b¯ab).
At the beginning of the treatise, the two chapters of the first maq¯ala are announced (jew
and d¨udiy [sic]), but the text itself is not divided accordingly into numbered chapters. At the
head of the second maq¯ala, two chapters are announced and the text is so divided. But in no
extant folio does the numbering of the chapters run smoothly – some folios have an extra
title “al-fas.l” and two folios are out of phase. It is reasonable, therefore, to suppose that the
chapter numbers, folio numbers, and some headings were added after the text was written.
The first maq¯ala includes subjects that were written over a period of some two months,
and which reflect the principal Alevi areas of Eastern Anatolia in which the author has taken
an interest. The first folios deal with the Shiite terms, gh¯al¯ı and ghul¯at, which, generally
speaking, were not given a satisfactory explanation in the Islamic period; in this discussion,
the author attempts to prove that the terms originally bore the meaning of “Alevi”, as a
true follower of ‘Al¯ı [sic]. Some folios deal with the historical background of the Alevis.
The author discloses information with regard to the Alevi position in the Ottoman Empire,
both at the time of Sultan Sel¯ım III (1789–1807)6 and after that. He also presents the origins
of the Alevi tribes, Ottoman legal traditions concerning Alevi tributes to the Ottomans,
and their economic situation. The following folios are devoted to the Alevi community in
Dersim. After a precise analysis of the Alevi tribes and families settled in that region, the
author arrives at the conclusion that the Alevi community comprised a considerably larger
population than is generally ascribed to it the Ottoman official records. Some members of
the Alevi congregation were merchants, since Dersim was a main station on the business
road to Europe. They were therefore, men of wealth who commanded a certain position in
society. But a considerable number of Alevis must have belonged to the rank and file of the
Dersimi population. The final folios of the first part of the manuscript deal with the history
of Alevis during the years in which the author lived and worked. The most important section
of the final folios of the first section is a discussion of the statistical information regarding
the social situation of the Alevis gathered by Sultan Efendi: Alevi sanctuaries, Alevi warriors
in the Ottoman army, Alevi traders, and Alevi villages and their population.
The focus of the second chapter of the first maq¯ala is on ‘Al¯ı and his role within Alevism.
At the outset it is necessary to recall that Efendi’s work is essentially a history of the Alevi
community within the bounds of the Ottoman Empire. Since, for Efendi, the Muslim
Ottoman Empire served as a place from which a “deadly message” came (he was referring
to the H.
anaf ¯ı teaching of the Ottoman muft¯ıs), the role of ‘Al¯ı was certainly not already
well established there. The all-pervasive influence of Efendi has meant that the existence
of a second religious tradition, represented by ‘Al¯ı, has consistently been neglected or
marginalised by Ottoman muft¯ıs, both medieval and modern. First of all, he gives a general
account of ‘Al¯ı’s life including many legendary tales. Efendi names as his source for all this
a Turkish document kept in the religious archives of the Alevis. From this account he then
provides a Turkish verse translation of a legend in which ‘Al¯ı is the unique God. There are
also verse texts which provide descriptions of ‘Al¯ı’s life, wars, pious acts, travels, etc. The
origins of these stanzaic poems with formalised dialogues go back to the precedence contests
of Alevi literature in Turkish.
It is interesting that the author has also translated some parts of the ‘Al¯ı’s Nahj al-Bil¯agha
into Zazaki. On the evidence of the manuscript, Sultan Efendi translated no less than nine
sentences of ‘Al¯ı’s advice from Arabic into Zazaki, and seven into Turkish.
The first and the second sections of the second maq¯ala are both dedicated to the Alevi
doctrine in general. However, special emphasis is placed on the c¸irax-sˆonduran7, pˆırs, dedes,
and seyˆıds8 , uxwet (‘holy brotherhood’)9 , ‘Al¯ı bayrami (the feast of ‘Al¯ı) and Xizir bayrami
(the feast of Khid. r)10 , and on Usman Farali, an Alevi priest, and his prominent role in
the development and structure of Alevi asceticism and forms of Alevi sainthood. There are
passages in the first and the second part of the second maq¯ala that seem to indicate that
the author lent towards pursuing a sectarian religious purpose. This is best illustrated by the
almost programmatic Fol. 28.v.:

Relations between Qizilb¯ashs, Yezidis11 , Shamsis [the followers of sun],12 pagans, and Christians
have been studied by the Ottoman muft¯ıs. Since they have so much in common in a shared
culture, there rose the particular need for Qizilb¯ash leaders and priests to draw strict demarcation
lines to serve the self-definition of the various groups. The understanding of this process will
certainly disturb the incorrect view of Qizilb¯ash doctrine as a form of heretical Islam, the origins
of which go directly back to Arabia and its Arab community.
The author, thus, defends the credibility of the Alevi religion by comparing it with the other
contemporary religions, especially those religions to be found in Kurdistan, and highlights
what he considers to be the superior qualities of Alevism. In this manner, it seems that he
hopes to demonstrate that the Alevi religion alone has an unimpeachable, notably heterodox,
claim on ‘Al¯ı and human religious allegiance. The working out of this apologetic argument
is built on the philosophical premise that human reason can discover the existence of the
creator God,13 and then concludes that mankind was the highest expression of created values.
The perfection present in human beings has in some way to be reflective of the qualities of
the God who created them. Accordingly, one should be able to discern the true religion,
and the true messenger of God, by determining which one of the many claimants to this
role credibly described God and his requirements for his creatures.
This process of discernment has two complementary phases. On the positive side, it is
necessary to test the doctrines of the several religions against what we may know of our own
perfections by the rigorous use of our minds. On the negative side, one should determine that
there are no unworthy, imperfect traits in any specific faith-system that may be alleged as factors
to motivate a person to profess that particular religion independently of divine endorsement.
Needless to say, the Alevi intellectual with whom we are concerned here, attempts
to demonstrate that Alevism alone of the contemporary religions – i.e. Sunni H.
Christianity, Yezidism, and Shamsism – is worthy of credence from these perspectives.
In their own times, both this author and other thinkers who annexed their religious
poems to the treatise defended the Alevi faith against non-Alevis who had earlier written
attacks against the Alevis (Qizilb¯ashs or Gh¯al¯ıs).14 Relying on the achievements of earlier
generations, the author here constructs his own treatise in terms of the theodicy that had
already been elaborated. But he also adapts the arguments to suit the requirements of his own
controversy with the non-Alevis. In the process, for example, differences between non-Alevi
and Alevi approaches to religious questions become apparent. Nowhere is this more evident
than in the discussion about how one may discern the true religion.
According to the controversial passages of this author, Muslims and Yezidis were very
influential groups in “Qizilb¯ash regions”. Alevis, who (unlike Yezidis and some other Gnostic
groups) wanted to keep ‘Al¯ı and the Alevi doctrines as part of their own religion,were obliged
to reinterpret the role of ‘Al¯ı and the other Alevi doctrines in such a way that Ottoman muft¯ıs
and Alevi priests formed a real unity. In other words, the author claims that Alevi religious
leaders had to come to terms with the official Islamic tradition and heritage through fitting
Alevism into an Islamic context. This idea is expressed in more detail in Fol. 26 r., where
he issues the following warning in his farewell discourse to his flock:
If Qizilb¯ash’s religion preserved a great many Islamic traditions in its literature, this is not a proof
of a substantial Islamic part in the formation of the Qizilb¯ash doctrine, but only of a Qizilb¯ash
urge to adapt and assimilate Islamic traditions to its own ideological concepts. Beware, therefore,
of the Ottomans and Yezidis and do not be friends of them, lest thou be responsible with those
whose hands are full of the blood of the ‘Al¯ı.
The treatise contains also a considerable amount of other polemical material. For instance,
the author attacks a number of Yezidi interpretations by demonstrating Yezidi corruption
of the Islamic texts or the Satanism.15 He inveighs frequently against the allegorical mode
of Muslim interpreters. Certain basic questions in the Sunni-Shiite controversy, chief among
which is the identity of the “im¯amat”, are frequently raised.16
There are some phrases where it seems that the author has been strongly influenced by
Islamic philosophy. He frequently alludes to philosophical matters as an aid to exegesis on
the one hand and in an attempt to popularise such studies on the other. He was no original
philosopher however, and his phrases are adaptations of those of his predecessors.
In summary, it can be stated that the essential and central aim of the author (described
allusively and tendentiously in II. 21r.-32r.) as an Alevi intellectual is to provide “an answer
to the critics”. Hence, he advises his readers to study Alevi original doctrines and to conceal
their “true religion” from the Sunni Muslims. He argues that ‘Al¯ı always casts down the
arrogant and impious; that ‘Al¯ı had ordained the defeat of Ottomans, and had revealed his
intention to do so in the Alevi prayers that predicted the outcome of the impending war;
and that the Alevi community would exist until the end of time. Again he gives a polemical
twist to his words by adding that ‘Al¯ı, “the most complete sign of God”, would put the
apostates to shame:
And he [i.e. ‘Al¯ı] will restore to the sanctuaries the treasures which Ottoman muft¯ı, the wicked,
had taken from them. He will purify the kingdom of the Ottomans from the stink of the sacrifices
of H.
anafism, and he will overthrew their tables and will destroy their mosques, he will banish
their erroneous doctrines, will destroy their houses of assembly, and will remove their treasures
to the treasures of the Qizilb¯ash community.17
In the present Zazaki treatise, along with the Zazaki and Turkish poems that it inspired,
the apocalyptic sections are an important feature and they occupy a prominent space in the
text. The prominence of the apocalyptic genre, however, is not surprising given the fact that
within Shiite heterodox communities apocalypse was an important literary reaction to the
challenge of Sunni Islam.18 In these sections the accent is on the ex eventu prophecy of the
conditions of life for Alevis under the Ottoman Empire until the projected coming of the
Mahd¯ı, who is said to be the “manifestation of ‘Al¯ı”. The author’s discussion of the doctrine
of the Incarnation (“naskh”) is a brief single section in the treatise. He does not attempt
to prove the doctrine here. Rather, he assumes that it is the evident teaching of the Alevi
scripture that in ‘Al¯ı God has manifested himself to His creatures in a human form. Sultan
Efendi devotes some sentences to ridiculing those who believe less noble things about ‘Al¯ı as
a God, but who, at the same time, declare that there is no difference between ‘Al¯ı and God.
He also explains away differences among Alevis themselves over the various manifestations
of the divine Incarnation or “those who differ with us”.19
Finally, the author protests that, since the times are evil, Alevis have to speak in symbols.
Alevism is different from “Ottoman religion”, and Alevismust be able to adopt different policies
with different groups, even though these may well cause them many severe problems. It is
clear that the structure of the author’s symbolism owesmuch to the usages that were cultivated
in the Shiite school system. One can trace the development of this symbolism to the taqiyya,
“action of covering”, that denotes dispensing with the ordinances of religion in cases of
constraint andwhen there is a possibility of harm, inwhich the doctrines regarding ‘Al¯ıwould
have been transmitted to the next generation.20 According to the author, belief is expressed
by the “symbol of heart” and the “symbol of tongue”. Observing the first symbol is always
necessary. But if someone is certain that an injury will befall him, his property or one of his
co-religionists, then he is released from the obligation to fight for the faith with the tongue.


It is well-known that there is a large amount of forgery in the religious writings of Kurdistan,
and that even authentic works by Kurdish sheikhs have attracted interpolations and additions
by other hands. Although the treatise presently under scrutiny is a very important text, it
should still be classified as a specimen of this kind of literature rather than as an authentic Alevi
work.21 The key to its oddity, in any case, seems to lie in the fact that it was both an Alevi and
a non-Alevi answer to the Ottomans. Since there is a clear distinction between two sections
of the treatise, we only may be able to categorise the first section as an Alevi authentic work.
But did Sultan Efendi write the whole of the text, both the Alevi and non-Alevi sections?
There are two accounts of how Efendi came to write it. The first unambiguously envisages
his contribution as consisting of the first maq¯ala alone, while the second apparently regards
it as consisting of both the first and the second maq¯alas. In fact, it is clear from the contents
of the two parts that they cannot have originated together, and, while both are ascribed to
Sultan Efendi as separate works, the attribution to him of the second part must be rejected.
From the manuscript itself, it is plain that the first section was written by a professional
Alevi intellectual with a considerable gift for presenting his subject to laymen, and there
is no reason to believe that the intellectual in question was not Sultan Efendi. His style is
certainly an Alevi style including Alevi terms and items. Much of the work is based on other
Alevi writings; the first maq¯ala could in fact be characterised as a selection of passages from
Zazaki oral literature. And what it has to say about Alevi scripture and society is almost
always precisely what one would expect to find. The ideal to which Alevis should seek to
conform is entirely Alevi in conception and illustrated with reference to Alevi figures and
subjects alone, no non-Alevi discussions being invoked in this part. The first maq¯ala, in the
other words, is a treatise written in the Alevi style and spirit on the basis of Alevi works by
someone who can be identified as the author of this work.
In contrast to the conciseness of the first maq¯ala, the discussion of the second maq¯ala is
diffuse and aphoristic. Here much use is made of Shiite theology and so it is not exactly Alevi.
In fact, it seems to be a work written for a different set of readers in a somewhat different
style and spirit. On turning to the second maq¯ala, one is struck by the fact that author and
addressee alike are suddenly referred to in a manner different to that of first maq¯ala. There
is no mention of Sultan Efendi. One would have expected at least some expression of good
wishes for his success at the end of the treatise, on a par with those that come at the end of
the first maq¯ala; but the second simply peters out with a defective poem. It is, thus, clear that
the first and the second maq¯alas cannot have been conceived as parts of the same work. In
principle, of course, both could still be authentic works by Sultan Efendi or another Alevi
intellectual, but this possibility can be ruled out on other grounds.
The stylistic contrast between the two maq¯alas of the treatise is glaring. Where the
first is a very simple text including legends, anecdotes, aphorisms and poetry loosely strung
together in no particular order, the second is a well-organised text includingmany theological
problems and some sophisticated discussions. For another thing, the discussions and poems of
the second maq¯ala are almost always not the Alevi fundamental points, such as the apocalyptic
notes regarding the Mahd¯ı who is absent in the Alevi doctrines, and they display no interest
in the Alevi community. In fact, the author of the second part voices a wide variety of
opinions that are completely at odds with those of Sultan Efendi. He does, it is true, share
some views with him, such as in relation to Incarnation, but it is expressive of an altogether
different ethos. It fails to reflect the preoccupations of Alevis because its author, it would
seem, has preoccupations of his own, and these preoccupations are sometimes as thoroughly
non-Alevi as those of Efendi are Alevi.
What then can we say about the author? He was certainly a Shiite, more precisely a Shiite
who was under influence of im¯am¯ı and Gh¯al¯ı sects. The first part of the work has come to
be attributed to Sultan Efendi, as an Alevi intellectual, but there is nothing to give clues to
the authorship of the second part.


Our Zazaki Alevi treatise, in any case, turns out to be a source for Alevi sociological and
theological history, and one may conclude by asking whether this discovery warrants any
reconsideration of previous, often harsh, judgments on the subject. As has been seen, much
depends on whether or not one accepts the writer’s claims and, especially, the date of the
treatise, which is the earliest Zazaki text that we have. If one accepts this – and to me there
seems to be no valid reason why one should reject it – then the treatise represents a source of
great importance for early events of Alevi religion and community. But, even if the writer’s
arguments are not accepted at face value, the treatise is no late compilation, for it is found
in a manuscript that has been dated to the eighteenth–nineteenth century, and so it should
be placed at least on a par with the panegyric we have for other Zazaki texts.
Needless to say, by no means all the issues raised by this new text have been discussed
here, but it is hoped that enough has been said to demonstrate its considerable interest and
I believe) importance. This would seem to be the best that one can do in the way of guesswork.
Going beyond guesswork would be preferable of course, but it is only in connection
with the author’s life that the sources afford us a glimpse of a real personality at work, and
they only show us enough to make us realise how little information was transmitted.

Appendix: A Selection of Zazaki Words

The following section contains examples of Zazaki words where the written style and the
language of the present text are used in somewhat different ways. There are glossary entries
for each of the Zazaki words listed in Latin alphabet, though not in accordance with the
order in which they occur in Arabic script of the manuscript. Because the list is concerned
with actual written usage, the words are given in both Latin transliteration and Arabic
script. The list only includes those Zazaki words that the author used in a different sense or
pronunciation in the manuscript.
In order to achieve a uniform style and standard the Bedir Khan system is used to
transliterate the Zazaki words included in this glossary.22
aka/ak 1. egg, the hard-shelled reproductive body produced by a bird and not
exclusively by the common domestic chicken, 2. person, sort


aka/ak 1 ??? / ?? . evcil bir tavuk tarafından değil yalnızca bir kuş tarafından yapılan sert
kabuklu yumurta 2. kişi, çeşit
aqül ????? akıllı
asîn ???? demir
askar 1 ???? . asker, 2. askeri birlik
beqî /beqîçe ??? / ????? bahçe
birader/bira ????? / ??? erkek kardeş
bôl/bûl ??? / ???? çok, pek çok
böq- 1??? . uyumak, 2. ihmal etmek
cami‘/came ???? / ???? cami
cüab/cüap ???? / ???? cevap
çarûş ?????? çarşı
çene ??? neden?
çiçî ??? ne. Kimlik, doğa ya da değer veya bir nesnenin veya maddenin değeri olarak
cîıyendo ?? ???? / ????? bir şey, bir bakıma
darûk/dar ?????? / ??? ağaç
diz/doz ?? / ??? hırsız
dîk/dîyek ??? / ???? horoz
dôst ???? / ??? arkadaş, aynı ulustan, gruptan, topluluktan olan
düjmin ?????? düşman, karştını yaralamak, yenilgiye uğratmak ya da kahretmek isteyen biri
ecemî ???? İranlı
ewrû 1 ????? / ???? . şimdi, 2. bugün
ezin ??? benzer, birinin aynı olan
faîde ????? önem
feqir ??? / ???? önem ve ilgi bağlamında küçük
gül 1 ???? . çiçek, 2. ‘Ali’nin dini konuşmaları
haz ??? sevgi, birine karşı akrabalıktan ya da kişisel bağlardan kaynaklanan sevgi
?ekîm ???? filozof, akil
her/hera ?? / ??? tüm, tamam
?eywan ????? insan, canlı (?)
hir- ?? satın almak
ita/ite ???? / ???? burada

Mustafa Dehqan
Independent Scholar, Iran


*This research was sponsored by Iran National Science Foundation.
1On the Zazaki language, see, for example, L. Paul, Zazaki: Grammatik und Versuch einer Dialektologie
(Wiesbaden, 1998).
2For Alevi doctrines, in general, see P. J. Bumke, “Kizilbasch-Kurden in Dersim (Tunceli, Turkey): Marginalit¨at
und Haresie”, Anthropos 74 (1979), pp. 530–548; and M. van Bruinessen, “‘Aslini Inkar Eden Haramzadedir!’ The
Debate on the Ethnic Identity of the Kurdish Alevis”, in K. Kehl-Bodrogi, B. Kellner-Heinkele, and A. Otter-
Beaujean (eds), Collected Papers of the International Symposium “Alevism in Turkey and Comparable Sycretistic Religious
Communities in the Near East in the Past and Present” Berlin, 14–17 April 1995 (Leiden, 1997), pp. 1–23.
JRAS, Series 3, 20, 3 (2010), pp. 295–306 C  The Royal Asiatic Society 2010

3The opening words of the treatise. It is a pleasure to thank S¸ahˆın Xˆerˆo for checking my translation here and
elsewhere and to thank Turan Kaya for making the manuscript available to me.
4To my knowledge, Efendi’s History is lost and only cited in the present manuscript. See: Fol.9v.

5According to the writings of the second section, he was eleven years in Aleppo. See: Fol. 25v. According to
these brief allusions, as we shall say, it might be accepted that he was under the influence of Shiite communities
in Aleppo. For Shiite groups in Aleppo and northern Syria, see Muhammad Ghalib al-Tawil, Ta’r¯ıkh al-‘Alaw¯ıyy¯ın,
2nd ed. (Beirut, 1966), and M. Mossa, Extremist Shiites: The Ghulat Sects (Syracuse, 1987).
6For general information regarding the period of Sel¯ım III, see G. Gawrych, “S¸eyh Galib and Selim III:
Mevlevism and the Nizam-ı Cedid”, International Journal of Turkish Studies 4 (1987), pp. 91–114.

7On the c¸irax-sˆonduran, see V. Fontanier, Voyages en Orient (Paris, 1829), p. 168.
8On the pˆırs, dedes, and seyˆıds, see S. Haykuni, “Dersim”, Ararat 2–3 (1896), pp. 84–87, 132–134, especially
p. 86.
9On the ‘holy brotherhood’, see G. S. Asatrian and N. Kh. Gevorgian, “Zaza Miscellany, Notes on Some
Religious Customs and Institutions”, in A Green Leaf, Papers in Honour of Prof. Jes P. Asmussen, Acta Iranica 28
(Leiden, 1988), p. 507.
10On the feast of ‘Al¯ı and the feast of Khid.r, see K. E. M¨uller, Kulturhistorische Studien zur Genese pseudoislamischer
Sektengebilde in Vorderasien, Studien zur Kulturkunde 22 (Wiesbaden, 1967), pp. 29–30, and Asatrian and Gevorgian,
“Zaza Miscellany”, p. 503, n. 25.
11On the Yezidis, in general, see P. G. Kreyenbroek, Yezidism, Its Background, Observances and Textual Tradition
(Lewiston, 1995).
12There is no detailed reference to the Shamsis. For very brief information, see M. van Bruinessen and H.
Boeschoten, Evliya C¸ elebi in Diyarbekir, the Relevant Section of the Seyahatname (Leiden, 1988), p. 31 and the literature

13See especially Fol.29v.
14Compare H.
. H. ujjat¯ı, “Radd¯ıya wa Radd¯ıya Niw¯ıs¯ı”, in Encyclopaedia of Shi‘a VIII (Tehran, 2001),
pp. 204–207.

15On the role of Satan in Yezidi religion, see M. Dehqan, “Qit‘i¯ı G¯ur¯an¯ı darb¯ara-yi Shayt.¯an”, N¯ame-ye Ir¯an-e
B¯ast¯an 8 (2004), pp. 47–64, especially p. 50ff.
16See, for example, fol.22r. and fol.26r.
18See al-Irbil¯ı, Kashf al-Ghumma (Qumm, 1961), iii, pp. 227–343; and Najm al-D¯ın Ja‘far b. Muh.ammad
al-‘Askar¯ı, al-Mahd¯ı al-Maw‘¯ud al-Muntaz. ar ‘inda ‘Ulam¯a’ Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Im¯am¯ıyya (Beirut, 1977).

20On the taqiyya, see I. Goldziher, “Das Prinzip der tak. ijja im Islam”, ZDMG 60 (1906), pp. 213–226.
21For some Alevi authentic works, see, for example, C. O¨ ztelli, Bekta¸si Gu¨lleri (Istanbul, 1985); M. Du¨zgu¨n,
M. Comerd, and H. Tornˆecengi, Dˆersim de Diwayi, Qesˆe Pi-kalıkan, Erf u Mecazi, C¸ ıbenoki, Xeletnayˆeni [Dersim’de
Dualar, Atas¨ozleri, Mecazlar, Bilmeceler, S¸as¸ırtmacalar] (Ankara, 1992).

22On the Bedir Khan system, which is widely used in the Kurdish-language scholarly literature, see J. Bedir
Khan and R. Lescot, Grammaire kurde (dialecte kurmandji) (Paris, 1970), pp. 3–7.

keynî ???? kız
kô/kûc ?? / ??? nerede?
kêy/kêya 1 ?? / ??? . Ev, 2. Alevi cemaatinin buluştuğu oda veya bina
ker/kêr 1 ?? / ??? . sağır, 2. sağır-dilsiz
kô/kû ?? / ??? dağ
kôtik ???? köpek
lacî ???? erkek çocuk
mardim ????? adam, biri
masîk ????? balık
mişt ??? sabah, gün doğumından öğleye kadar
mûs- ???? öğrenmek
mirtal/mirtar ????? / ????? kalkan, kolüzerinde taşınan savunma tahtası
nasîn ????? bilgi
nôbinô ???? olasılık
nônibinô ????? olanaksızlık
niwazîl 1 ?????? . hastalık, 2. aptallık, aptalca görüş ya da eylem
pawin- ???? beklemek, umutla beklentisi içinde olmak
pî/pîy ?? baba
pîl ??? güçlü, moral ve entellektüel gücü olmak
rôçîn ????? aydınlık, görüntüyü olanaklı kılan şey
serd karanlık (?)
se‘at ???? zaman
sira ??? nereye, nerede?
stor ??? / ???? at
şarab ????? şarap
şew 1 ?? . gece, 2. karanlık
şimşêr 1 ????? . kılıç 2. kalem
tine/tinya ??? / ???? biricik, tek olmak
tize ??? yeni
vazir ???? dün
ver ?? önce, yakında
waya ???? kızkardeş
waz- ??? sevmek, istemek
wac ??? orada, içinde ya da yerinde (uca?)
xoca ???? efendi, baş yetkili
xebir/xabir ??? / ???? bilgi
xêr ?? iyilik, hayır
yazmîş ????? el yazması
za’îf ???? zavallı, kalite ve değer olarak altta olma
zing ??? zengin, çok mala, özellikle madi varlığa sahip olmak
zir/zêr ??? altın


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