The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
About Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname, or Book of Travels
Evliya Çelebi’s Book of Travels is a first-person, ten-volume narrative of his journeys over some forty years, from the Aegean to the Sea of Azov, from the northern Black Sea steppe to the upper Nile. The author passed through Anatolia on each occasion that his travels took him eastwards, and his Anatolian travels are recorded in five of the ten volumes of his great work. The Book of Travels is a unique geographical, social, cultural and linguistic record of the places and peoples the author encountered, and an invaluable source for many aspects of life in his time.
The manuscripts of Evliya Çelebi’s travelogue have recently been made available in the modern Turkish alphabet, in a scholarly transcription of the original Ottoman. This brings them to the attention of a wider audience than hitherto. Some excerpts from the Book of Travels are available in English, French or German in modern studies, and the earliest section, about Istanbul, was famously published in English by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall in two volumes in 1834-50.