Monument in honor of Hakob Martayan, father of the Turkish language, erected in Turkey

Hakob Martayan, also known as Dilâçar, is a true pioneer in the Turkish language. As the founder of the modern Turkish alphabet and the creator of the first Turkish grammar, he laid the foundations for the Turkish literary language that exists today. His tireless efforts as the editor of the Turkish encyclopedia further solidified his legacy as the “father of language”.

Now, with a monument erected in his honor in Turkey, Dilakar’s contributions to the Turkish language and culture are rightfully celebrated. Dilakar’s dedication and expertise serve as a reminder of the power of language and the importance of preserving and promoting it for generations to come.

Hakob Martayan, a prominent member of the Armenian community in Turkey, left a lasting impact on the country’s language and culture. After graduating from Istanbul University in 1925, he began his teaching career in Turkish language and literature. However, it was his involvement in the Turkish government’s reform efforts of the 1930s that truly cemented his legacy.

As the country sought to modernize and adopt a new alphabet based on the Latin script, Martayan was one of the key scientists tasked with overseeing the transition. His expertise in linguistics and deep knowledge of the Turkish language and literature made him an invaluable asset. His contributions to the development of the new alphabet were critical to its successful implementation.

Martayan’s efforts were not limited to the realm of language and culture. He also played an active role in promoting the rights of the Armenian community in Turkey. Despite facing discrimination and persecution, he remained steadfast in his commitment to his community and his country.

Today, Martayan is remembered as a pioneering figure in the history of Turkey’s language and culture. His work helped shape the country into the modern, vibrant nation it is today.

Martayan’s impact on the Turkish language cannot be overstated. His groundbreaking textbook on Turkish grammar, published in 1928, was the first of its kind to be based on the new alphabet. This was a major achievement, as the Turkish language had undergone significant changes in the early 20th century as part of a national effort to modernize and westernize the country. Martayan’s grammar textbook provided a clear and concise guide to the new alphabet, making it easier for Turkish speakers to read and write in the updated language.

In addition to his work on the grammar textbook, Martayan also played a key role in the production of the Turkish Encyclopedia. Originally published in 1942, this comprehensive reference work was revised and edited by Martayan, ensuring that it was accurate, up-to-date, and accessible to a wide audience. The Turkish Encyclopedia remains an important resource for researchers, scholars, and anyone interested in the history, culture, and language of Turkey.

Hakob Martayan’s impact on Turkish language and literature is evident in the way he is celebrated as a national hero in Turkey. The monument built in his honor, located in the Bakirkoy district of Istanbul, is a testament to his contributions. His work as a teacher at a nearby school, combined with his dedication to the development of the Turkish language, has earned him a place in Turkish history.

The bust and tablet inscribed with his name serve as a reminder of his significant influence on the country’s cultural heritage. The tablet has an inscription:

“Here lies Hakob Martayan, the father of the Turkish language, who devoted his life to the development of the Turkish language and literature. His name will always be remembered with gratitude and respect.”

Martayan’s legacy will continue to be remembered with gratitude and respect for generations to come.

Overall, Martayan’s contributions to Turkish linguistics were significant and enduring. His work helped to shape the development of the Turkish language in the 20th century and beyond, and he is rightly regarded as one of the most important figures in the field.

by Vigen Avetisyan

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