Azerbaijani Physicians in the Ottoman Empire in the 15-16th Centuries

Document Type: Original Article


PhD in History, Associate Professor, Baku Engineering University, Head of Department of General Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan


It is noteworthy to mention that cultural ties intensified in the relations between the Ottoman Empire and Azerbaijan in the fifteenth century. It is possible to say that some political and socio-cultural events, in particular, increasing interaction and travel with the occupation of Azerbaijan (after 1386) and then the Ottoman Empire (1402) by Tamerlane (Timur the Lame-1370-1405) further intensified after the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. The ongoing reforms in education during this period in the Ottoman Empire mainly coincided with the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet (1451-1481). For this reason, the Ottoman Empire attracted a great number of scientists from neighboring Muslim countries, amongst which there were many Azerbaijani physicians, satisfied their needs in accurate and positive sciences such as mathematics, geometry, astronomy and medicine. Ottoman sources also mentioned that the doctors from Azerbaijan were given great respect and glory.
The article examines activities of 10 physicians operating in the Ottoman Empire. These physicians are Mahmud Shirvani (1439), Shukrullah Shirvani (1485), Amirek Tabib, Kamaladdin Tabrizi (1507/1508), Ahi Muhammed Chelebi Tabrizi (1431-1524), Muhammad Shah Gazvini (1523), Mevlana Nuraddin, Dervish Ali Kahal (Ophthalmologist), Osman Chelebi, and Abu Talib Tabrizi. Some of these physicians are mentioned for the first time in this research. Some of the physicians are meanwhile known to be close friends as well as personal physicians of the Ottoman sultans. They are well-known as the great thinkers of the time and have written many works of art.