Why Do Travelers Attract Attention?

The Real Guide to the Virtual World: Travel Ya Evliya Çelebi

Why was Herodotus called the "father of history"? Although a lot of research even on whether history is a science or not was carried out, what was it about to 'find a father to history' or, in Cicero's words, to 'find a father to history writers'; to characterize it as an orphan literature?

Was it because history needed to be told, to be discovered more than anything else? If not, for people, did history consist of stories, legends, and gruesome metaphysical events! Maybe all. A Greek city-state senator might wonder how many thousand an army the Persians had, while a Greek fisherman might wonder about Persian boats, sea monsters said to hunt in Asia! Actually, from ancient times to today, travelers and nowadays’ wandering bloggers serve the same curiosity! They share their experiences, observations and knowledge with serious enthusiasts and those who wonder about what is going on in the world in their fields. It is possible to say that the travelers in history basically served this purpose.

What did the streets, cities, towns and villages that we can go and even navigate on "Google Maps” the move of a mouse today mean to the "fathers of history"? Or what were those places for the people listening to those travelers/fathers? When people listened to wanderers and travelers, they could visualize many of their curiosities, literary enthusiasms, the satisfaction their imaginations needed, and the scenes in their minds! When they heard about places they could never go to, they would decide if it was a good place to go, or they would praise for where they were. In any case, the curiosity of worlds other than their own continued.

All the travelers used to walk on the stones that we visit as historical ruins today. Who knows, maybe Herodotus was talking about the Persian-Greek wars in a vineyard where he was sitting with his friends, and upon the proposal of his friend, they agreed on a theater that would take the stage in Aspendos following week. While watching good and evil, Greek and Persian warriors with masks on their faces in the theater, the voice of the actual warriors who stood at the gate of the city was heard and Herodotus began to write. He noted this in history as a "story" with the slightly distorted myth of the modern era.

Evliya Çelebi may definitely be regarded as the 'father of historiographers' of the 17th century or the late Middle Ages, as who Herodotus of antiquity is. The 17th century is a time interval that can still be considered classic for the Ottoman Empire. Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar had said, "I read not to criticize Evliya Çelebi, but to believe in him, and therefore I always profit." So what can Evliya Çelebi tell us today?

GoArt, which showed up with the claim of "a unique tourism application", has exhibited the historical and cultural background it aims by choosing Evliya Çelebi as the virtual guide. Evliya Çelebi, who is curious and sees getting information about the places he visits as an unlimited life pursuit, narrates about the situations of each historical period of the cultural and historical areas that GoArt targets, the transformations of each architectural work, the legends about each historical area or city and personalities. Where did all writing down the events that he visited, saw and even witnessed personally, and doing this by forcing the most literary methods come to the mind of Evliya Çelebi? One night, instead of saying "intercession ya rasulallah*" to Prophet Muhammad, whom he saw in his dream, he said "travel ya rasulallah*" and thanks to the prophet who prayed for him to travel more, he devoted his whole life to traveling and writing what he saw. He knew that the world he lived in did not only consist of Ottoman Istanbul, known Turks or Muslims. However, he had to see, he had to write. Each city he would discover had thousands of years of history. In architectural works that carry this past in their bosom, historical personalities, clergy, soldiers, heroes, even vampires, bogeymen, even unknown beings were encountered. Evliya Çelebi wrote it all down. While doing this, he did not disregard the knowledge that would provide data to the serious researchers of the future. Sometimes he could also make mention of the management of the land, the administrators in whatever place, and the charitable works led by waqfs in other words foundations. Sometimes he did not hesitate to report what he heard about places he had not visited. It was a primitive interview technique.

As a guide who has spent his life traveling, Evliya Çelebi may also be the most important virtual guide in today's world where traveling is deemed as the most important holiday activity. People no longer have to deal with the problem of obtaining information about the places they visit from the internet while they are traveling, and will have the opportunity to know and closely observe knowledge that has been researched and passed through an academic filter, in addition to knowledge, personalities whose stories, legends have made history.

Mustafa Yaşar Özoylumlu

RoofXR Content Designer


*rasulallah: messenger, namely Prophet of Allah