In 1655 and 1656 Evliya Celebi found himself three different times in the eastern Anatolian town of Bitlis, the center of a quasi-independent Kurdish khanate having a long and tumultuous relationship with the Ottoman state. The account of Evliya's adventures in Bitlis, including a major expedition against the khan mounted by Evliya's patron Melek Ahmed Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Van, forms a coherent narrative which deserves to be studied on its own.
The centerpiece of the book is a critical edition of three long extracts, amounting to forty-three folios of the autograph ms., form volumes IV and V of the
Seyahat- name, along with an annotated English translation on facing pages. The introduction discusses the narratological, historical, and linguistic aspects of the text, and there is a complete index of proper names.
...the most significant and rewarding book on the Seyahatname
of Evliya in this century. It may well be the most significant book ever written on the Seyahatname.' Pierre A. MacKay,
MESA Bulletin, 1991. '
Dankoff has with this work confirmed his role as...a sensitive and expert intermediary of the older stages of Turkish culture.' Bernt Brendemoen,
Acta Orientalia, 1991. '
The excellence of Dankoff's text and apparatus will make it possible for future researchers to evaluate Evliya's work in a way which has hitherto been impossible.' Colin Imber,
of primary interest to specialists in Turkish literature and in Ottoman history, but also the general reader, curious about Middle Eastern culture.