Yaşar Nuri Öztürk

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Prof. Dr.
Yaşar Nuri Öztürk
Born (1945-02-12) February 12, 1945 (age 69)
Sürmene, Trabzon Province, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Education Theology
Alma mater Istanbul University
Occupation Academician, theologian, politician, lawyer, columnist
Known for Authorship and active propagation of pure and root understanding of Islam through Quran.
Notable work(s) Kuran'daki Islam (Islam of Quran), Kuran Meali (Translation of Quran)

Yaşar Nuri Öztürk (June 22, 1945[1] in Sürmene, Trabzon) is a Turkish theologian, lawyer, columnist and a former member of Turkish parliament.

He was born on June 22, 1945 in Sürmene, Trabzon and raised in Turkey’s Black Sea region.

He has served as both faculty member and dean at the Istanbul University for over 26 years. He taught Islamic thought at the Theological Seminary of Barrytown in New York for one year as a guest professor, during which time he also made major contributions to the Islamic section of the anthology, “The World Scripture.”

He has given many conferences on Islamic thought, humanity and human rights in Turkey, the USA, Europe, the Middle East and the Balkans. Yasar Nuri Ozturk represents an interpretation of Islam which is secular and social democratic.

He also has a Turkish translation of the Qur'an. This translation, which went into 126 printings between 1993 and 2003, is recognized as the most printed book in the history of the Turkish Republic.

His lengthy articles, such as “Islam and Europe,” (Die Zeit, February 20, 2003); “Islam and Democracy,” [“Desperately Seeking Europe,” London (Archetype Publications), 2003, pp. 198–210; Europa Leidenschaftlich Gesucht, München-Zürich, (Piper Verlag) 2003, pp. 210–224], “İslam-Batı İlişkileri ve Bunun KEİ Ülkelerindeki Yansımaları” (Chelovecheskiy Faktor: Obschestvo i Vlast, 2004-4), along with the extensive interviews he has given on the subjects of Islam, the West and secularism [for example, see “al-Ahram” (weekly), February 1–7, 2001] have had a deep impact in both the West and the Islamic world.

His books, which have been published in Turkish, German, English and Persian, number more than 30. His magnum opus, “The Islam of the Qur’an,” is considered one of the pioneering works of the “Back to the Qur’an” movement. Öztürk’s role in and contributions to this movement, along with the world of his thought, have been the subject of a large number of theses in Turkish, German, English and French at various international universities. He praised Sevener Qarmatians[2] during the first fifty pages of his recently published book of Mansur Al-Hallaj about their social revolution achieved.

Öztürk; having been elected to the Turkish Parliament in 2002 as Istanbul deputy, started People's Ascent Movement and in his leadership this movement turned into a political party (2005) named People's Ascent Party (HYP). However, he has resigned from active politics in October 2009, and turned his efforts to writing and propagation of roots of Islam through understanding of Quran. Since then, he has also appeared on regularly scheduled TV shows, some of which he was a constant guest. A notable format of these shows is the reading and explanation of the Quran in Turkish. In these shows, a host would read the Quran in Turkish, and Prof. Ozturk would explain the meanings and significance.

The articles, poetry and interviews that have been published on Öztürk in the Turkish and international press now make up a rich archive, and an independent effort is in progress to assemble it all into book form.

In addition to his many books on understanding Islam and the Quran he has written sociological/historical books; notably the "Kuran Penceresinden Kurtulus Savasina Bir Bakis" (An Investigation of The War of Independence Through a Quran'ic Point of View). In this book he explains the true Islamic/Quran'ic roots of the secular Turkish republic. Thereby, Prof. Ozturk establishes that the founders of the Turkish Republic, their revolutions, and even the separation of religion and state were principles decreed by Islam and the Quran, and the founders (M.K Atatürk in particular) were true followers of Islam, and Quran'ic principles.

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