An outlook on the language and alphabet of the Gajret journal in 1913

  • Ismet Smailović, prof.dr.


In 1913 several journals were published in our parts, and it is almost impossible to do an analysis of language and script of one journal only, particularly under conditions such as ours. That is why we chose to offer an outlook on the language and alphabet of only one journal, and that is the Gajret in 1913. There is no particular motive why should one analyze the Gajret in 1913, but, on the other hand, it might be the interesting reason for it. In a large number of issues in this year one could follow a dispute about the reasons for writing in Cyrillic or Latin script.

Many arguments were offered in favor of Cyrillic script. In a number of articles one could see the statements that a considerable number of Ottoman Sultans, such as Murat II, Mehmed II, Bayazid II, Selim I, Suleiman I, Selim II and Suleiman II, wrote many letters in our language and in Cyrillic script. Their example was followed by a great deal of Ottoman Turkish dignitaries. It is interesting to note that all the three newspapers from the last years of the Ottoman rule in Bosnia used only the Cyrillic script alongside the Turkish language. Having examined the Gajret in 1913 meant also to see what was the way and style it had been written in it eighty or so years ago. The editor-in-chief in 1913 was Avdo Sumbul. He was famous for his sympathies towards the Serbs and his anti Austro-Hungarian position and activities. In this year, one can find the contributions from, among others, by: Hajji Hamid Svrzo. Dr. Mehmed Spaho, Hasan Hodžić, Hamdija Mulić, Osman Nuri Hadžić, Hifzi Bjelevac, Fadil Kurtagić, Mustafa Čengić-Gazanfer and others.

A great deal of authors did not give their full name and surname, but only in initials, so we do not know who they were. It is also interesting to note that all the contributions but the one on page 180 about the poems of M. Svara had been published in iyekavian dialect. The sound h was meant and attempted to be retained in all its rightful places. One can conclude that the Gajret was the product of 20th century and that it contributed to the Bosnian-Herzegovinian autochthonous and authentic linguistic expression.

How to Cite
Smailović, I. (2001). An outlook on the language and alphabet of the Gajret journal in 1913. Anali Gazi Husrev-Begove Biblioteke, 11(19-20), 289-300. Retrieved from