DARÜLFÜNUN FÜNUN (FEN) MECMUASI (1916-1933)
(Journal of the Darülfünun Faculty of Science)
In Turkey, the first scientific and professional journals started to be published beginning from the middle of the nineteenth century. These journal were published both by individual efforts and by scientific and professional societies. Educational and military state institutions also published journals with scientific features.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman State initiated the establishment of "Darülfünun" as an institution for higher education. Though the first attempts in 1863, 1 870 and 1876 could not achieve the desired success, education became continuous in the "Darülfünun-i Şahane" (Imperial University) founded in 1900. The "Darülfünun-i Şahane", which laid the foundations for today's Istanbul University, contributed to the Turkish higher education until the University Reformation in 1933 with its faculties of Arts, Law Medicine, Sciences and Theology.
It is estimated that the idea of publishing a scientific journal within the Darülfünun was put down during the reformation movement in the first years of the World War I. Within the framework of this reformation, four faculties of the "Darülfünun" (Arts, Sciences, Law and Medicine) started to publish journals in 1916. The journal of the Faculty of Theology appeared in 1925.
In this article, journals published by the Darülfünun Faculty of Science between 1916-33 will be examined. The Darülfünun Fünun Fakültesi Mecmuası (Journal of the Darülfünun Fünun Fakültesi), which started to be published in 1916, had two sections: "Tabiiyat" (Natural Sciences) and "Riyaziyat" (Mathematical Sciences). The journal, which came out every two months, ceased to be published in 1917 during the Turkish War of Independence. In the 12 issues that came out in 1916-17, 116 articles were published.
The Faculty of Science, restarted to publish a journal in September 1924 under the name of Darülfünun Fen Fakültesi Mecmuası (Journal of the Darülfünun Fen Fakültesi) which continued without interruption until the University Reformation in 1933. The journal, which was issued in Arabic characters formerly, started to be published in Latin characters and took the name of Istanbul Darülfünunu Fen Fakültesi Mecmuası" (Journal of the Istanbul Darülfünun Faculty of Science) from 1929 onwards. In the 27 issues between 1924-1933, 96 articles were published.
In the two periods between 1916-33, 212 articles were published in total: 85 in mathematics, 40 in chemistry, 33 in physics, 17 in zoology, 12 in geology, 7 in botany and 4 in astronomy. When the sources of these articles are examined, it is found out that most of them were articles introducing and explaining the new developments, theories and methods in European science. Among the articles based on research, the least number of original articles was in physics. Original articles in chemistry were on analytical chemistry. The most number of original articles were in zoology and geology. Those were the articles examining the fauna and geological structure of some regions of Turkey. As it was not always possible to find out whether the solutions of the problems belong to the author or not, the number of the research articles in mathematics could not be determined.
From 1924 to 1933 (for approximately ten years), the total number of articles published was 96 while between 1916-17 (in two years), this number was 116. There may be various reasons for the decrease. One may be that "Darülfünun" was considered to be mainly an institution for education and thus educational activities were given more importance.
In conclusion, the Journal of the Darülfünun Faculty of Science introduced the Turkish scholars with new developments in mathematical and natural sciences taking place in Europe and initiated the tradition of publishing a "scientific journal" within the university. Besides translations and compilations from European sources, it included original articles by Turkish scholars. The journal also gives us valuable information about the teaching staff of the Darülfünun Faculty of Science, their subject areas and the teaching activities in general.
An annotated list of the articles published in the journal between 1916-33 is attached to the Turkish text of this article as well as a table giving the distribution of the articles according to the subject areas and years.