The elifba was written in the time of the newly founded Republic of Turkey, in the same year as the Ottoman script was changed from Perso-Arabic to Latin. The reasons for this reform were among others a wish to westernize the country and a criticism, that Ottoman script was old-fashioned, often confusing and unable to adapt to the contemporary language and modern expressions. Many words had double meanings, when written, and translations of western, mostly scientific texts were difficult and often prompt to errors.
The educator Mustafa Şefik, who wrote this elifba, and authored in the same year an Ottoman primer for reading of the Qur’an, belonged to supporters of the traditional Ottoman script, which for religious and other reasons opposed the Latin script. They have made several attempts, to modernize and adapt Ottoman to the modern language. This primer belongs to the group of those last efforts to modernize Ottoman. Mustafa Şefik introduced several new letters, which were unknown or uncommon in traditional Ottoman, such three new variations of the letter Wow ( و), marking sounds o, ö and ü, and new version of Alif Maqsura (ى ). These new letters were supposed to make words clearer, closer to Turkish pronunciation and avoid double meaning.
Mustafa Şefik also supported adding vowels in the words, which were traditionally omitted in the Ottoman script. Already in the title of the book the word گوزه ل “güzel” (beautiful), is spelled with ه, marking the letter “e”, which was not written in classic Ottoman (گوزل). These additional vowels would help the reader recognizing the word quicker. The step also distanced the script from the Arabic and brought it closes to the Turkish language, which was at the time going though radical changes under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
The attempts to modernize Ottoman script failed and in the end of 1928 it was replaced with a modern Turkish alphabet, based on the Latin script.
Worldcat lists two examples with the same title, but it is unclear, if the same edition (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and Ohio State University Libraries, OCLC 925380413). Three libraries house the fifth edition (Berlin State Library, Koc University Library, Boğaziçi University Library, OCLC 1030117536).