Skip to main content
  • Print publication year: 1977
  • Online publication date: March 2008


Islam came to the Turks through Persia. From the fifth/eleventh century, general Islamic culture was adopted by the Turks in a rather Persian form, and the new Persian literature became the source of inspiration for Turkish writers. Eastern Turkish was used as the literary language from the eleventh century until the end of the nineteenth century in all the countries where Turkish was spoken or where Turks ruled except the Ottoman Empire, western Persia and southern Crimea. In the seventh/thirteenth century a written language which was the continuation of Kara-Khanid Turkish was developed in Khwarazm in the Sir Darya delta, and from here it passed on to the Golden Horde. In recent times Navai has been regarded both as one of the greatest poets of the world, and as a mere follower of the Persian classics. The political and administrative reform movement known as the Tanzimat, which begin in 1839, had some effect on literature after 1850.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge History of Islam
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055055
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Ahmad, Aziz. ‘Urdu literature’, in Ikram, S. M. and Spear, P. The Cultural Heritage of Pakistan, Karachi, 1955.
Arberry, A. J.Persian literature’, in Arberry, A. J. The Legacy of Persia. Oxford, 1953.
Arnold, T. W. Painting in Islam. 2nd edn. Oxford, 1965.
Bailey, T. G. A History of Urdu Literature. Calcutta, 1932.
Barrett, D. Islamic Metalwork in the British Museum. London, 1949.
Bausani, A. Storia della letterature del Pakistan, Milan, 1958.
Bombaci, A. La letteratura turca. Rev. ed. Milan, 1969.
Browne, E. G. A Literary History of Persia. Cambridge, 1928.
Cresswell, K. A. C. Early Muslim Architecture. Oxford, 1932–40.
Cresswell, K. A. C. A Short Account of Early Muslim Architecture. London, 1958.
Cresswell, K. A. C. The Muslim Architecture of Egypt. Oxford, 1952, 1959.
Cresswell, K. A. C. A Bibliography of the Architecture, Arts and Crafts of Islam. Cairo, 1961.
Dimand, M. S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 3rd edn. New York, 1958.
Ettinghausen, R. Arab Painting. Lausanne, 1962.
Gabrieli, F. Storia della letteratura araba. Milan, 1962.
Gibb, E. J. W. A History of Ottoman Poetry. London, 1900–9.
Gibb, H. A. R. Arabic Literature. 2nd edn. Oxford, 1963.
Gray, B. Persian Painting. Lausanne, 1961.
Hill, D. and Grabar, O. Islamic Architecture and its Decoration. London, 1964.
Lane, A. Early Islamic Pottery. London, 1947.
Lane, A. Later Islamic Pottery. London, 1957.
Levy, R. An introduction to Persian Literature. Repr. New York, 1969.
Nicholson, R. A. A Literary History of the Arabs. Cambridge, 1907, etc.
Pagliaro, A. and Bausani, A. Storia della letteratura persiana, Milan, 1960.
Pellat, Ch. Langue et littérature arabes. Paris, 1952.
Pope, A. U. Persian Architecture, London, 1965.
Rypka, J. History of Iranian Literature. Dordrecht, 1968.
Sadiq, Muhammad. A History of Urdu Literature, London, 1964.
Saksena, R. B. A History of Urdu Literature. Allahabad, 1940.
Sarre, F. Die Ausgrabungen von Samarra II: Die Keramik von Samarra. Berlin, 1925.