The Profile of Personal Names in an Ottoman Town in the Mid 19th Century

Koksal O.

BILIG, no.65, pp.231-246, 2013 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 65
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.231-246
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


From the early ages of history to the present, the Turks adopted the tradition of giving names to their children which were associated with concomitant important events, observable objects, various animals and other natural creatures. Later they were also influenced by their newly adopted religion, which brought about a change in the Turkish culture of naming babies. Having adopted Islam as the last celestial religion, the Turks, as a sign of their devotion to their new religion, began to take Islamic names besides their previously adopted ones. In the course of time, in Horasan particularly, the tradition of maintaining old, pre-Islamic Turkish names gradually began to disappear among the Turks, who were in transition in masses via Iran to Anatolia, and then to the Balkans, and the impact of the newly adopted religion in giving names became prominent. This development was better noticeable in various multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious regions of the Balkans and remained unchanged up to modern times. This article analyzes the culture of giving names among the Muslim populace of Shumen, an Ottoman center of the time, as an example for the above described process and on the basis of materials belonging to the mid-19th century.