A Muslim Holy Man to Convert Christians in a Transottoman Setting: Approaches to Sarı Saltuk from the Late Middle Ages to the Present
Interpretations of texts on Sarı Saltuk may serve as a central example of the entanglement of Muslim and Christian contexts in (south-)eastern Europe and the Near East. Analyzing the fifteenth-century Saltuk-nâme and reports by Evliya Çelebi from the seventeenth century, a wide extension of the area concerned, as far as Poland-Lithuania, Muscovy and Sweden, can be observed. With the change of the contents of reports from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, an increasing interest in Christians participating in the veneration of sites connected to Sarı Saltuk can be remarked. Yet descriptions of a veneration of Sarı S altuk in a non-Muslim setting r emain firmly embedded in Christian contexts, complicating a transreligious interpretation of them. In today’s Turkish perspective, though, Sarı Saltuk is no longer contextualized in a manner encompassing Russia and Poland, too, but much more in a context focusing on and affirming national Turkish Anatolian or nationalized post-Ottoman contents in the Balkans.