Andreas Tietze (26 April 1914 - 22 December 2003) was a world-renowned Austrian Turcologist and one of the founders of Turkic studies in the United States. He was educated in Vienna and built his career in, respectively, Istanbul University, Turkey, where he had taken refuge from the Hitler regime; and then in the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was emeritus professor of Turkish in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, as member of the department from 1958 to 1973 and chairman from 1965 to 1970; and finally the University of Vienna.
Tietze was born in Vienna on 26 April 1914, the son of prominent art historians. He studied history and languages at the University of Vienna from 1932 to 1937, when he received his doctorate. A diary of two trips he made to Anatolian Turkey during his student days remains one of the primary firsthand accounts by foreign visitors on the life in countryside in the early days of the Turkish Republic.
With the Nazi advance in Europe, Andreas Tietze moved to Istanbul in 1937 and joined there many other prominent German and Austrian émigré scholars who had found refuge in Turkey during the mid-20th century, to the utmost and still well-remembered benefit of the host country. He was employed as a lecturer in German in Istanbul University from 1938 to 1952, and as lecturer in English from 1953 to 1958.
In addition to his teaching, he was an editor of a series of 16 titles, Istanbuler Schriften, that also included the first reader for foreign students of Turkish language that he had co-written, Türkisches Lesebuch für Auslaender (1943). He was also an active researcher of the Turkish folk literature and he took part as co-editor and contributing translator on the Orientalist Hellmut Ritter’s three-volume study of the Turkish shadow puppet theater, Karagöz. He also became deeply involved in lexicography and prepared a Turkish-German dictionary, also with Ritter. From 1946 to 1958 he directed the American Board Publication Office project to revise the original James Redhouse English-Turkish Dictionary of 1861 and the companion Redhouse Turkish-English Dictionary of 1890. He also co-authored an etymological dictionary of Turkish nautical terms of Italian and Greek origin, "The Lingua Franca in the Levant", aimed to demonstrate the linguistic-cultural unity of the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1958, Professor Tietze became Associate Professor of Turkish and Persian at UCLA, one of the first appointments in the field of Near Eastern Languages at the university, and in 1960 he became Professor of Turkish. To meet the needs of his students, he published two readers which are still used by students today. While at UCLA, Professor Tietze also authored numerous articles and continued his research on folklore. Comparing the oldest collection of Turkish riddles, those found in a section of the 14th-century Codex Cumanicus, with related riddles from other Turkic sources, he described a new vision of this early work in "The Koman Riddles and Turkic Folklore". With the folklorist İlhan Başgöz he compiled "Bilmece: A Corpus of Turkish Riddles", a large collection of the genre based on the efforts of several leading scholars. With his colleague Avedis K. Sanjian, Professor of Armenian, he edited Eremya Çelebi Kömürcüyan's Armeno-Turkish Poem "The Jewish Bride", a 17th-century work significant for its revelations about the vernacular Turkish of Istanbul in the second half of that century and about the relations between the different religious communities in the turbulent period following the appearance of the self-styled Jewish Messiah Sabbatai Zevi. In recognition of his outstanding qualities as a teacher, he received a Distinguished Teaching Award in 1971. Throughout his tenure at UCLA Professor Tietze was instrumental in building up the holdings of Turkish and Ottoman books and manuscripts at the University Research Library (now the Young Research Library), making it one of the largest collections of such works in the United States and the largest in the Western world.
Professor Tietze returned to Vienna University in 1973 to occupy the Chair in Turcology. In the same year he assumed the editorship of the journal Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, a leading European journal for Near Eastern studies. In 1975, he started to co-edit a referential resource for students of lands under Ottoman rule: the Turkologischer Anzeiger, an extensive annual international multilingual bibliography covering all aspects of Turkish and Ottoman life. During his Vienna years, Professor Tietze published the text, transcription and annotated translation of two important Ottoman Turkish sources for the history and culture of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century: Mustafa Ali's Description of Cairo of 1599 and the same author's Counsel for Sultans of 1581.
Following his retirement in 1984, Professor Tietze continued to teach at the University of Vienna as well as at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. In 1991 he published an annotated transcription of Vartan Pasha’s Akabi Hikayesi (1851).
In his final years Professor Tietze embarked on the major project of a historical and etymological dictionary of the Turkish language of Turkey. Although he lived to see the publication of only the first volume of the projected seven-volume work, additional letters were ready for publication at the time of his death. Professor Tietze received numerous awards for his service to the field, including four Festschriften in his honor.
- Türkisches Lesebuch für Auslaender (Istanbul, 1943)
- Istanbuler Schriften, editor, 16 titles
- Karagöz, co-editor with Helmuth Ritter (Hanover, 1924–1953)
- Turkish-German dictionary, co-editor with Helmuth Ritter,
- Revised editions of English-Turkish Dictionary of 1861 and the companion Redhouse Turkish-English Dictionary of 1890
- "The Lingua Franca in the Levant", co-author with Henry and Renée Kahane
- Turkish Literary Reader and Advanced Turkish Reader: Texts from the Social Sciences and Related Fields (Indiana University, 1963 and 1973 respectively)
- The Koman Riddles and Turkic Folklore (University of California Press, 1966)
- "Bilmece: A Corpus of Turkish Riddles", co-author with several leading scholars (University of California Press, 1973)
- Transcription and annotated translation of "The Jewish Bride" by Eremya Çelebi Kömürcüyan, 1700, (Budapest, 1981)
- Transcription and annotated translation of Description of Cairo by Mustafa Ali, 1599 (Vienna, 1975)
- Transcription and annotated translation of Counsel for Sultans, by Mustafa Ali, 1589 (Vienna, 1979).
- Transcription and annotated translation of Akabi's Story, by Vartan Pasha, 1851 (Istanbul and Vienna, 1979)
- Tarihi ve Etimolojik Türkiye Türkçesi Lugati, (Historical and etymological dictionary of Turkish), vol. 1 (Istanbul and Vienna, 2002)
- Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, journal
- Turkologischer Anzeiger, bibliography
- Andreas Tietze remembered by a former student, Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA