30 Haziran 2007 Cumartesi



When Byzantine Emperor appealed to him, Pope Urban V sent out a call to the crowned heads of Europe. A Crusade against Turks was assembled with King Asmodeus of Savoy as leader who came with a fleet and an army. When routed by the Turks, the Balkan powers joined together and under the command of the King of Serbia attacked Turkish positions. A battle was fought in 1371, in which the Serbs and their allies were defeated and Murad annexed Macedonia. Murad now sent raiding parties even to Albania and Greece and became so powerful in the Balkans that John Palaeologus, the Byzantine Emperor at last became a vassal of the Turkish Sultan.

The Bulgarian Czar, Shishan II, even though he had allied himself with Murad by giving his sister in marriage, was forced by the remaining Balkan states, the Serbians and Bosnians, to make one more effort to stop the advance of the Turks. He raised a large army and the Christians allies won a battle at Vedin but were made to retreat soon afterwards. Now came another alliance and all the Balkan states under the command of King Lazar of Serbia made a combined attack. A great battle was fought at Kossovo on 20 June, 1389. The Turks broke the ranks of allies and inflicted a crushing defeat on them. Prince Bayazid succeeded Murad and following up the victory of Kossovo, he compelled the King of the Serbs to ask for peace. He entered Wallachia, now Rumania, and made its Prince to pay him tribute. The whole of Bulgaria now came within the growing Turkish Empire.



Akıncı (literally, "raider", plural: Akıncılar) was an irregular light cavalry of the Ottoman Army and of earlier Turkic nations. They were one of the first divisions to face the opposing military and were known for their prowess in battle.

Their main purpose was to demoralise the opposing army and put them in a state of confusion and shock. They could be likened to a scythe in a wheat field. They would basically hit the enemy with arrows. When attacked in melee, they would retreat while still shooting backwards. They could easily outrun heavy cavalry because they were lightly armed and their horses were bred for speed as opposed to strength. Akıncı forces carried swords also, so that in a field war, they could face the enemy first and fight melee.

Because of their mobility Akıncı were also used for reconnaissance and as a vanguard force to terrorize the local population before the advance of the main Ottoman forces.

Akıncı forces were led by certain families. Best known Akıncı families were Malkoçoğlu, Turhanlı and Mihalli.

OTTOMAN ART (1299-1923)

Osman, leader of a group of Turks living in and around Söğüt in northwestern Anatolia during the late Seijuk period, declared his independence towards the end of the 13th century. This was followed by a period of rapid expansion and conquest and by 1326 he made Bursa the capital of his domains. His successors, known as "Osmanlis" or "Ottomans", continued Osman's successful campaigns. In 1361 their capital was relocated to Edirne. In 1453, Osman's sixth successor, Mehmed II, conquered Istanbul making it the capital of the Ottoman Empire which was, by the middle of the 16th century, to extend as far as Asia and North Africa and incorporate much of southeastern Europe.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Ottoman art from its earliest years is that patterns and styles designed by court-employed artists ofthe Ehli Hiref organization were employed by craftsmen and artisans in all the metalwork, ceramics, tiles, fabrics, and carpets that were made to order for the court. As a result of this practice, there developed a unique and uniform "courtly style". In works of the Early Ottoman period, the most widely-used decorative motifs were rumis enriched with stylized hatayi blossoms, palmettes, and lotuses on floral scroll and geometric compositions. Cloud bands also begin appearing during the late 15th century.

The first half of the 16th century was witness to the development of the Classical Ottoman style. The chief painter to the court of Süleyman I was Şahkulu and under his tutelage there developed a courtly style known as "saz" whose principal elements are hatayi blossoms and large serrate leaves that twist and rum among which birds and fantastic creatures are occasionally placed at random. The triple-dot "çintemanis" representing a leopard's spots and the pairs of wavy lines or clouds representing a tiger's stripes become prevalent during this period.

Under the direction of an artist by the name of Kara Memi, who became head of the court studios towards the middle of the 16th century, naturalist floral designs consisting of tulips, roses, hyacinths, fruit trees in blossom, and cypresses begin to appear and become the distinctive theme of Ottoman art. These naturally-executed flowers were employed according to specific compositional frameworks adhering to the principles of symmetry and infinitely-extensible patterns. Motifs are set individually on diagonally-arranged axes, on vertically-extending floral scroll, and in inedaltions.

During the 17th century Ottoman art suffered a decline. During the so-called "Tulip Period" of the early 18th century, an effort was made to reverse this and recapture some of the magnificence of the 16th century. As a result of increased relations between the Ottointn Empire and the west during this period, the influences of European art begin to make themselves felt: the floral motifs of the Classical period are now arranged in bouquets while an attempt is made to capture the effects of light and shade by means of tonal gradations. Dishes of fruit, landscapes with perspective, and scenes depicting celebrations and styles of dress (characteristic of the work of the miniaturist, Levni) are among the most popular themes of this period.

As a result of steadily-increasing interest in European art and life-styles during the late 18th century, there emerged a style of art known as "Turkish Rococo" that was widely employed incorporating garlands of flowers, large acanthus leaves, baskets and dishes full of fruit, ribbons and bows, oyster shells, and cornucopia that were used extensively in a wide range of applications in everything from architecture to minor handicrafts.

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29 Haziran 2007 Cuma

Istanbul Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

Turkish and Islamic Works Museum is the first Turkish museum covering the Turkish and Islamic art works wholly. The establishment works that have been started at the end of 19th century have been completed in 1913 and the museum has been opened for visit in the soup kitchen building located in Süleymaniye Mosque complex, which is one of the most important works of Mimar Sinan, with the name of “Evkaf - ı İslamiyet Müzesi” (Islamic Foundations Museum). After the announcement of the republic, it has taken the name “Turkish and Islamic Works Museum”.

The museum has been moved to İbrahim Pasha Palace from the soup kitchen building in 1983. Ibrahim Pasha Palace, which is one of the most important samples of 16th Century Ottoman civil architecture samples is on the stages of the historical hippodrome, the history of which goes back to the Roman Period. This building, the precise construction reason and date are not known, has been presented to İbrahim Pasha by Kanuni Sultan Süleyman in 1520, who would be his grand vizier for 13 years.

İbrahim Pasha Palace, which is claimed to be bigger and more magnificent than Topkapı Palace by the history has been the stage of many weddings, feasts and celebrations as well as rebellions and turmoil and called with the name of İbrahim Pasha after the death of this person in 1536. It has been used by other grand viziers, and had functions such as barracks, embassy palace, register office, Janissary band house, sewing workshop and prison.

The palace located around four big internal courtyards has been made of stone in contrast with many Ottoman civilian buildings, most of which are wooden, therefore it could reach today and has been repaired between the years 1966 - 1983 and has been born again as the new building of Turkish and Islamic Works Museum. The section, which is used as a museum today is the big ceremony hall of the palace and the 2nd courtyard surrounding it, which have been the subject of all Ottoman miniatures of the palace and the gravures and tables of Western artists.

Turkish and Islamic Works Museum has been awarded with the Special Jury Award of Museum of the Year Competition of the European Council in 1984 and with the prize given by European Council - Unesco for its studies for making the children love the culture inheritance.

Turkish and Islamic Works Museum, that is among the important museums of the world in its class has works from almost all periods and all types of Islamic art with its collection exceeding forty thousand works.

Carpet Section

The carpet section forming the richest collection of carpet art in the world had a separate importance and caused the museum’s being famous as a “Carpet Museum” for long years. The museum has the richest carpet collection of not only Turkey, but also the world. Besides rare Seljuk carpets, prayer rugs and animal figured carpets belonging to the 15th centuries and the carpets produced in Anatolia between the 15th - 17th centuries and called as “Holbein Carpet” in the West inspired by the geometrically figured or kufi writing are the most valuable parts of this section.

Turkish and Islamic Works Museum carpet collection that became richer with Iranian and Caucasian carpets and famous Uşak and palace carpet samples is a reference, which the ones carrying out a serious research on the carpet art in the world must apply to.

Hand Writings and Calligraphy Section

Koran - ı Kerims constituting a big part of the writing collection of Turkish and Islamic Works Museum from 7th century to the 20th century come from a large geographical region where Islam has spread over.

It is one of the rare collections, where Emevi, Abbasi, Egypt and Syria Tulunoğulları, Fatımi, Eyyubi, Memluk, Moğol, Türkmen, Seljuk, Timuri, Safavi, Kaçar and Anatolian Principalities and Ottoman calligraphy creations can be observed all together.

Among the hand writings, except Korans, there are books (some of them with pictures) written about various subjects and these draw attention both in terms of their writing styles and their coatings.

Imperial edicts, warrants bearing the signatures of Ottoman sultans, the sultan’s signatures each of which is a work of art, Turkish and Iranian miniature writings make Turkish and Islamic Works Museum one of the most important museums of the world.

Section of Wooden Works

The most important parts of this collection are the samples of Anatolian Wood art of 9th - 10th century.

Besides the unique parts that remained from the Anatolian Seljuks and principalities, mother - of - pearl, ivory, tortoiseshell ornamented wooden works of the Ottoman Period, unique samples of inlaying art, Koran part cases, bookrests, drawers are the interesting parts of this rich collection.

Stone Art Section

Stone works belonging to Emevi, Abbasi, Memluk, Seljuk, Ottoman periods, some of which have motifs and some of which have figures, but all of which have writings have been gathered in Turkish and Islamic Works Museum. Unique and elite samples of stone art of Seljuk Period, grave stones on which hunting scenes, fairy creatures such as sphinx, griphon, dragon, early - period stone works with kufi writings, inscriptions written in different methods that are projections of Ottoman calligraphy art are important both in quality and in quantity.

Section of Ceramic and Glass

In this collection consisting mostly of the ceramic works found in the excavations made between 1908 - 14, the ones from Samarra, Rakka, Tel Halep, Keşan are in the first ranks.

It is possible to see the stages of Early - Islamic Period ceramic art in the collection of Turkish and Islamic Works Museum. The mosaic, mihrab and wall encaustic tile samples belonging to the Anatolian Principalities and Seljuk Periods and the plaster ornaments of Konya Kılıçaslan Palace constitute another important part of the collection. Ottoman encaustic tile and ceramic art samples end with near - period Kütahya and Çanakkale ceramics.

The glass collection starts with the 9th century Islamic glass art samples and includes 15th century Memluk candles, Ottoman period glass art samples.

Metal Art Section

Turkish and Islamic Works Museum Metal Art Collection starting with the unique samples belonging to the Great Seljuk Empire period and mortar, censer, long - spouted ewer, mirror and dirhems constitute an important collection with the door knockers of Cizre Ulu Mosque and 14th century candelabrums ornamented with constellation and planet symbols, which have an important place in Islamic metal art.

Among the Ottoman metal art samples starting from the 16th century and reaching the 19th century, there are silver, brass, tombac (ornamented with valuable stones) crests, candles, rose water cans, censers, washtub / ewer sets.

Ethnography Section

Ethnographic parts collected for long years have found the possibility of being exhibited with the transfer of Turkish and Islamic Works Museum to İbrahim Pasha Palace.

The youngest part of the museum is exhibited in this collection, consisting of carpet - kilim looms collected from various regions of Anatolia, wool painting techniques, public weaaving and ornamenting art samples, clothes in their regional enhancements, house goods, hand arts, hand art instruments, nomad tents exhibited in places special to them.

Address: Ibrahim Pasa Sarayi At Meydani 46, Sultanahmet
Operating days and hours: Closed Mondays / 09.00 - 17.00

26 Haziran 2007 Salı


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sultan Mehmed II, whose great grand-father Bayezid I had previously built a fortress on the Asian side of the Bosporus called Anadolu Hisarı, now built a second castle outside the walls of Constantinople on the European side, which would increase Turkish influence on the straits. An especially relevant aspect of this fortress was its ability to prevent help from Genoese colonies on the Black Sea coast from reaching the city. This castle was called Rumeli Hisarı; Rumeli and Anadolu being the names of European and Asian portions of the Ottoman Empire, respectively. The new fortress is also known as Boğazkesen which has a dual meaning in Turkish; strait-blocker or throat-cutter, emphasizing its strategic position. The Greek name of the fortress, Laimokopia, also bears the same double-meaning.

Constantine appealed to Western Europe for help, but his request did not meet the expected attention. Ever since the mutual excommunication of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in 1054, the Roman Catholic west had been trying to re-integrate the east; union had been attempted before at Lyons in 1274 and, indeed, some Paleologan emperors had been received in the Latin Church since. Emperor John VIII Palaeologus had attempted to negotiate Union with Pope Eugene IV, and the Council held in 1439 resulted in the proclamation, in Florence, of a Bull of Union. In the following years, a massive propaganda initiative was undertaken by anti-unionist forces in Constantinople and the population was in fact bitterly divided. Latent ethnic hatred between Greeks and Italians stemming from the events of 1204 and the sack of Constantinople by the Latins, also played a significant role, and finally the Union failed, greatly annoying Pope Nicholas V and the Roman Catholic church.

However, even if he had been more eager to help, Pope Nicholas V did not have the influence the Byzantines thought he had over the Western Kings and princes, and these had not the wherewithal to contribute to the effort, especially in light of France and England being weakened from the Hundred Years' War, Iberian Kingdoms being in the final part of the Reconquista, the internecine fighting in the German Principalities, and Hungary and Poland's defeat at the Battle of Varna of 1444. Although some troops did arrive from the city states of what today is the north of Italy, the Western contribution was not adequate to counterbalance the Ottoman strength.

The army defending Constantinople itself totalled about 7,000 men, 2,000 of whom were foreigners, mostly from Venice and Genoa (which had vested interests in the city); it also included a number of western adventurers. The city had about 20 km of walls (Theodosian Walls: 5.5 km; sea walls along the Golden Horn: 7 km; sea walls along the Sea of Marmara: 7.5 km), probably the strongest set of fortified walls in existence at the time. The Ottomans, on the other hand, had a larger force. It was thought to number around 100,000 men, including 20,000 Janissaries; recent estimates span between 80,000 soldiers and 5,000 Janissaries and 150,000 soldiers, including mounted troops and 6,000-10,000 Janissaries. Contemporary witnesses of the siege provide higher numbers for the military power of the sultan (Nicolò Barbaro: 160,000; the Florentine merchant Jacopo Tedaldi and the great logothete George Sphrantzes: 200,000; the cardinal Isidore of Kiev and the archbishop of Mytilene Leonardo di Chio: 300,000). Mehmed also built a fleet to besiege the city from the sea (partially manned by Greek sailors from Gallipoli). Contemporary estimates of the strength of the Ottoman fleet span between about 100 ships (Tedaldi), 145 (Barbaro), 160 (Ubertino Pusculo), 200-250 (Isidore of Kiev, Leonardo di Chio) to 430 (Sphrantzes).

On April 5, as the sultan himself arrived with his last troops, the defenders took up their positions. Constantine and his Greek troops guarded the Mesoteichon, the middle section of the land walls, where they were crossed by the river Lycus. Guistiniani was stationed to the north of the emperor, at the Charisian Gate and the Myriandrion; later during the siege, he was shifted to the Mesoteichon to join Constantine, leaving the Myriandron to the defense of the Bocchiardi brothers. Minotto and his Venetians were stationed in the Blachernae palace, together with Teodoro Caristo, the Langasco brothers, and archbishop Leonardo di Chio. To the left of the emperor, further south, were the commanders Cataneo, with Genoese troops, and Theophilus Palaeologus, who guarded the Pegae Gate with Greek soldiers. The section of the land walls from the Pegae Gate to the Golden Gate (itself guarded by a certain Genoese called Manuel) was defended by the Venetian Filippo Contarini, while Demetrius Cantacuzenus had taken position on the southernmost part of the Theodosian wall. The sea walls were manned more sparsely, with Jacobo Contarini at Stoudion, a makeshift defense force of Greek monks to his left hand, and prince Orhan at the Harbour of Eleutherius. Péré Julia was stationed at the Great Palace with Genoese troops; cardinal Isidore of Kiev guarded the tip of the peninsula near the boom. The sea walls at the southern shore of the Golden Horn were defended by Venetian and Genoese sailors under Gabriele Trevisano. Two tactical reserves were kept behind in the city, one in the Petra district just behind the land walls and one near the Church of the Holy Apostles, under the command of Lucas Notaras and Nicephorus Palaeologus, respectively. The Genoese Alviso Diedo commanded the ships in the harbour.

The Ottomans employed a Hungarian (other sources report German) engineer called Urban who was a specialist in the construction of cannons, which were still relatively new weapons. He built an enormous cannon, nearly twenty-seven feet (more than 8 m) in length and 2.5 feet (about 75 cm) in diameter, which could fire a 1200 lb (544 kg) ball as far as one mile. It was dubbed "the Basilic". Although the Byzantines also had cannons, they were much smaller and their recoil tended to damage their own walls. Urban's cannon had several drawbacks, however. It could hardly hit anything, not even as large as Constantinople; it took three hours to reload; the cannon balls were in very short supply; and the cannon collapsed under its own recoil after six weeks (this fact however is disputed, being only reported in the letter of archbishop Leonardo di Chio and the later and often unreliable Russian chronicle of Nestor Iskinder).

Another expert that was employed by the Ottomans was Ciriaco dei Pizzicolli, also known as Ciriaco of Ancona, traveller and collector of antiquities.

Siege and final assault of the city

Sultan Mehmed II planned to attack the Theodosian Walls, the intricate series of walls and ditches protecting Constantinople from an attack from the west, the only part of the city not surrounded by water. His army encamped outside the city on the Monday after Easter, April 2, 1453.

Having previously established a large foundry approximately 150 miles away Mehmed now had to undergo the painstaking process of transporting his massive pieces of artillery. The largest of these was said to have been accompanied by a crew of 90 oxen and over 400 men. Prior to the siege of Constantinople it is known that the Ottomans held the ability to cast medium-sized cannon, yet nothing near the range of some pieces they were able to put to field. Instrumental to this Ottoman advancement in arms production was a somewhat mysterious figure by the name of Urban. The master founder imediatley tried to peddle his skills to the city's invaders. . Guaranteeing Mehmed that he could cast cannons powerful enough to break down the greatest fortifications ever constructed, every resource was placed at his fingertips. In a move of unprecedented technicality, working in a makeshift foundry, Urban pushed the limits of his art and cast what was likely the largest contemporary gun ever made—27 feet long and large enough for a full grown man to crawl into. The creation of such a weapon was such a feat for its time that it took on an air of religious reverence. Urban's accomplishments in dealing with such fine tolerances on such a massive scale place his work as one of the greatest engineering feats of the time yet nothing is certainly known about his demise. For weeks Mehmed's massive cannon fired on the walls, but it was unable to sufficiently penetrate them, and due to its imprecision and extremely slow rate of reloading the Byzantines were able to repair most of the damage after each shot.

Meanwhile, Mehmed's fleet could not enter the Golden Horn due to the boom the Byzantines had laid across the entrance, and indeed had not made a real attempt at doing so; its main task was to prevent any ships from outside from entering the Golden Horn. On 20 April, however, a small flotilla of four Christian ships managed to slip in after some heavy fighting, causing embarrassment to the Sultan. To circumvent the boom, Mehmed ordered the construction of a road of greased logs across Galata on the north side of the Golden Horn, and rolled his ships across on 22 April. This succeeded in stopping the flow of supplies from Genovese ships and demoralized the Byzantine defenders. On the night of 28 April, an attempt was made to destroy the Ottoman ships already in the Golden Horn using fire ships, but the Ottomans had been warned in advance and forced the Christians to retreat with heavy losses. From then on, the defenders were forced to disperse part of their forces to the Golden Horn walls, causing defense in other walls to weaken.

The Turks made numerous frontal assaults on the wall, but were repelled with heavy losses. From mid-May to 25 May, the Ottomans sought to break through the walls by constructing underground tunnels in an effort to sap them. Many of the sappers were Serbians sent from Novo Brdo by the Serbian Despot. They were placed under the rule of Zaganos Pasha. However, the Byzantines employed an engineer named Johannes Grant (who was said to be German but was probably Scottish), who had countertunnels dug, allowing Byzantine troops to enter the tunnels and kill the Turkish workers. The Byzantines intercepted the first Serbian tunnel on the night of 16 May. Subsequent tunneling efforts were interrupted on 21, 23, and 25 May, destroying them with Greek fire and vigorous combat. On 23 May, the Byzantines captured and tortured two Turkish officers, who revealed the location of all the Turkish tunnels, which were then destroyed.

Mehmed offered to raise the siege if they gave him the city. When this was declined, Mehmed planned to overpower the walls by sheer force, knowing that the weak Byzantine defenders would be worn out before he ran out of troops.

On May 22, 1453, the moon, symbol of Constantinople, rose in dark eclipse, fulfilling a prophecy on the city's demise. Four days later, the whole city was blotted out by a thick fog, a condition unknown in that part of the world in May. When the fog lifted that evening, "flames engulfed the dome of the Hagia Sophia, and lights, too, could be seen from the walls, glimmering in the distant countryside far behind the Turkish camp (to the west),". This was interpreted by some as the Holy Spirit departing from the Cathedral.

On the morning of May 29 the attack began. The first wave of attackers, the azabs (auxiliaries), were poorly trained and equipped, and were meant only to kill as many Byzantine defenders as possible. The second assault, consisting largely of Anatolians, focused on a section of the Blachernae walls in the northwest part of the city, which had been partially damaged by the cannon. This section of the walls had been built much more recently, in the eleventh century, and was much weaker; the crusaders in 1204 had broken through the walls there. The Ottoman attackers also managed to break through, but were just as quickly pushed back out by the Byzantine defenders. The Byzantines also managed for a time to hold off the third attack by the Sultan's elite Janissaries, but the Genovese general in charge of the land troops, Giovanni Giustiniani, was grievously wounded during the attack, and his evacuation from the ramparts caused a panic in the ranks of the defenders. Sources hostile towards the Genoese (such as the Venetian Nicolò Barbaro), however, report that Giustiniani was only lightly wounded or not wounded at all, but, overwhelmed by fear, simulated the wound to abandon the battlefield, determining the fall of the city. Giustiniani was carried to Chios, where he succumbed to his wounds a few days later.

Some historians suggest that the Kerkoporta gate in the Blachernae section had been left unlocked, and the Ottomans soon discovered this mistake (there was no question of bribery or deceit by the Ottomans; the gate had simply been overlooked, probably because rubble from a cannon attack had obscured or blocked the door). The Ottomans rushed in. Constantine XI himself led the last defense of the city, and throwing aside his purple regalia, led the final charge against the oncoming Ottomans, dying in the ensuing battle in the streets, like his soldiers.

Soon the first enemy flags were seen on the walls. The Emperor and his commanders were trying frantically to rally their troops and push back the enemy. It was too late. Waves of Janissaries, followed by other regular units of the Ottoman army, were crashing throught the open Gate, mixed with fleeing and slaughtered Christian soldiers. Then the Emperor, realizing that everything was lost, removed his Imperial insignia, and followed by his cousin Theophilus Palaeologus, the Castilian Don Francisco of Toledo, and John Dalmatus, all four holding their swords, charged into the sea of the enemy soldiers, hitting left and right in a final act of defiance. They were never seen again. Now thousands of Ottoman soldiers were pouring into the city. One after the other the city Gates were opened. The Ottoman flags began appearing on the walls, on the towers, on the Palace at Blachernae. Civilians in panic were rushing to the churches. Others locked themselves in their homes, some continued fighting in the streets, crowds of Greeks and foreigners were rushing towards the port area. The allied ships were still there and began collecting refugees.


The Art of Marbling

From theOttomans.org

It is not possible to tell exactly when people started painting papers using the techniques of ebru which is one of the most important of paper decorating arts. Although it is possible to find ebru papers in the bindings of centuries old books, these cannot be used to date ebru papers as these books may be restored years after they have been written and ebru papers on their bindings may have been used during a later repair. Only ebru papers with a written date on them can be used as evidence for the age of that ebru paper. Besides the oldest ebru papers dated in this manner are the papers used in Arifi's "Guy-i Cevgan" in the Museum of Topkapi Palace collection which is dated to 1539, two papers in the Library of Istanbul University which were used for two calligraphies of Mir Ali of Herat which are dated to 1539, a paper used for Maliki Deylemi's calligraphies from Ugur Derman's Collection which is dated to 1554 and three papers used in one of the copies of Fuzuli's book, "Hadikat-us sueda" (Garden of Happiness) which are dated to 1595 can be used as evidence for the history of Turkish ebru. The artists who made the first three ebrus are unknown whereas in the opening page of Fuzuli's book, after the name of the book, "Hadikat-us sueda" in red ink, "Ma Sebek Mehmet Ebrisi" (with ebru of Sebek Mehmet) is written.Three ebru papers with pale colours are used inside the book and on the last page the date is given as "1004" (1595 ).From the sentence on the first page, we learn that the name of the marbler who has been mentioned as "Sebek" in the booklet "Tertib-i Risale-i Ebri" is Mehmet and the papers used in this book are made by this marbler. The last page indicates the date that the book has been written.

We don't have the chance of identifying all of our marblers by name since ebru papers haven't been signed during our history of ebru. The following are the marblers who made important contribution to our ebru tradition as mentioned previously.

No information other than the given above is available for Sebek Mehmet Efendi. His death must be before the publication of "Tertib-i Risale-i Ebri", 1608 since it is said "rahimehullah" (May God bless his soul) for him in this booklet. It is understood from the words "Nusha-i Sebek" (booklet of Sebek) in the "Tertib-i Risale-i Ebri" that he has an unknown booklet.

He is from Istanbul. He is known as "hatip" (preacher) because he was the preacher of Ayasofya Mosque. The date of his birth is unknown. Because he is mentioned as "pir-i mubarek" (holly old master) in the "Tuhfe-i Hattatin", he must have been quite old when he died in April 1773. He has learnt "tuluth-nesh" calligraphy from Zuhdi Ismail Aga. Because he is the inventor of ebru figures created by dropping concentric dyes and reshaping them with a needle, ebru papers containing such figures are called "hatip ebrusu". His ebru papers which were identified by their distinctive colours and hatip patterns have been extremely popular and avidly collected during his lifetime. He died in the fire which destroyed his home in Hocapasa district of Istanbul.

There is not much information about the life of Sheikh Sadik Efendi who was born in the city of Vabakne in Bukhara. He was the sheikh of the Ozbekler Tekkesi (Uzbekh Dervish Convent) in Sultantepesi, Uskudar. We know that he learnt the art of ebru when he was in Bukhara and he taught it to his two sons Edhem and Salih. It is read from his tombstone in the Dergah that he died on the 11th of July 1846.

Ibrahim Edhem Efendi who was the Sheikh of Uskudar Ozbekler Tekkesi is considered as the most distinguished marbler of the last century. He was the grandfather of Turkey's ex-ambassador to Washington, Munir Ertegun (1882-1944). He was born in the Ozbekler Tekkesi in 1829. He has been educated by his father Sadik Efendi, his uncle and the scholars from Bukhara visiting the Tekke. He was proficient in Turkish, Arabic, Persian and Cagatai. He learnt ta'lik script from Carsambalı Arif Bey at a quite an old age. He was a carpenter, metal caster, weaver, printer, architect, scientist and a mathematician. He was appointed as the first principal to Sultanahmet School of Crafts in 1869 and it was here that the first lead pipes were cast in Turkey. Producing ebru papers was one of his many talents which made him famous as Hezarfen (owner of a thousand crafts). Besides Aziz Efendi and Sami Efendi, the most distinguished of his students is Necmeddin Okyay.He died on the 8th of January 1904 and buried in the cemetery of the Tekke.

He was born on the 29th of January 1885 in Uskudar. He was the master marbler of the twentieth century. Necmeddin Okyay was educated in theology but he is best known as a calligrapher and marbler. Besides calligraphy and marbling, he was a master of ink-making, traditional bookbinding, rose-growing, archery etc. He learnt ebru from Hezarfen Edhem Efendi. He taught calligraphy at Medresetu'l Hattatin (School of Calligraphy) and traditional bookbinding and ebru at the Academy of Fine Arts. He taught ebru to his sons Sami (1910-12 June 1933) and Sacid (1915-19 April 1999) Okyay and to his nephew Mustafa Duzgunman (1920-12 September 1990) .Before Necmeddin Okyay, we had very primitive flower ebrus. He started a new style in our ebru history by creating flower designs which are admired by the marblers of the world. He is also the inventor of calligraphy with marbling. At the beginning he used to prepare stencils of calligraphies, glue them on the paper to be marbled using gum Arabic which is a very weak adeshive and remove the stencil after the paper has been marbled. Later he noticed that the parts of the paper which has gum Arabic resist the dyes and he started to write with gum Arabic instead of ink. The most famous of calligraphies produced by Necmeddin Okyay as described is the "Lafza-i Celal" ( name of God ).

He was the second son of Necmeddin Okyay. He was born in Uskudar in 1910. He learnt ebru from his father and made unbelievably beautiful and technically difficult ebrus during his very short life. Besides ebru, he was a very talented illumination, engraving, lacquer and traditional bookbinding artist.

He was the third and youngest son of Necmeddin Okyay. He was born in Uskudar in 1915. He taught traditional bookbinding and ebru at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1936 to 1973 until he retired.He died on the 19th of April 1999 and buried at the Karacaahmet Cemetery, next to his father.

Ottoman Architecture

From theOttomans.org

The grand tradition of Ottoman architecture, established in the 16th century, was derived from two main sources. One was the rather complex development of new architectural forms that occurred all over Anatolia, especially at Manisa, Iznik, Bursa, and Selçuk in the 14th and early 15th centuries. In addition to the usual mosques, mausoleums, and madrasahs, a number of buildings called tekke s were constructed to house dervishes (members of mystical fraternities) and other holy men who lived communally. The tekke (or zeviye) was often joined to a mosque or mausoleum. The entire complex was then called a külliye. All these buildings continued to develop the domed, central-plan structure, constructed by the Seljuqs in Anatolia. The other source of Ottoman architecture is Christian art. The Byzantine tradition, especially as embodied in Hagia Sophia, became a major source of inspiration. Byzantine influence appears in such features as stone and brick used together or in the use of pendentive dome construction. Also artistically influential were the contacts that the early Ottomans had with Italy. Thus, in several mosques at Bursa, Tur., there are stylistic parallels in the designs of the exterior facade and of windows, gates, and roofs to features found in Italian architecture. A distinctive feature of Ottoman architecture is that it drew from both Islamic and European artistic traditions and was, therefore, a part of both.

The apogee of Ottoman architecture was achieved in the great series of külliyes and mosques that still dominate the Istanbul skyline: the Fatih külliye (1463–70), the Bayezid Mosque (after 1491), the Selim Mosque (1522), the Sehzade külliye (1548), and the Süleyman külliye (after 1550). The Sehzade and Süleyman külliyes were built by Sinan, the greatest Ottoman architect, whose masterpiece is the Selim Mosque at Edirne, Tur. (1569–75). All of these buildings exhibit total clarity and logic in both plan and elevation; every part has been considered in relation to the whole, and each architectural element has acquired a hierarchic function in the total composition. Whatever is unnecessary has been eliminated. This simplicity of design in the late 15th and 16th centuries has often been attributed to the fact that Sinan and many Ottoman architects were first trained as military engineers. Everything in these buildings was subordinated to an imposing central dome. A sort of cascade of descending half domes, vaults, and ascending buttresses leads the eye up and down the building's exterior. Minarets, slender and numerous, frame the exterior composition, while the open space of the surrounding courts prevents the building from being swallowed by the surrounding city. These masterpieces of Ottoman architecture seem to be the final perfection of two great traditions: a stylistic and aesthetic tradition that had been indigenous to Istanbul since the construction of the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia in the 6th century and the other Islamic tradition of domical construction dating to the 10th century.

While mosques and külliyes are the most characteristic monuments of Ottoman architecture, important secular buildings were also built: baths, caravansaries, and especially the huge palace complex of Topkapi Saray at Istanbul, in which 300 years of royal architecture are preserved in its elaborate pavilions, halls, and fountains.

25 Haziran 2007 Pazartesi

House of Osman

The "Ottoman dynasty" (c. 1290–1922) or as an institution "House of Osman" was unprecedented and unequaled in the Islamic world for its size and duration. The Ottoman sultan, pâdişâh or "lord of kings", served as the empire's sole regent and was considered to be the embodiment of its government, though he did not always exercise complete control.

Throughout Ottoman history, however — despite the supreme de jure authority of the sultans and the occasional exercise of de facto authority by Grand Viziers — there were many instances in which local governors acted independently, and even in opposition to the ruler. On eleven occasions, the sultan was deposed because he was perceived by his enemies as a threat to the state. New sultans were always chosen from among the sons of the previous sultan, but there was a strong educational system in place that was geared towards eliminating the unfit and establishing support amongst the ruling elite for the son before he was actually crowned. There were only two attempts in the whole of Ottoman history to unseat the ruling Osmanlı dynasty, both failures, which is suggestive of a political system which for an extended period was able to manage its revolutions without unnecessary instability.

After the dissolution of the empire, the new republic abolished the Caliphate and Sultanate and declared the Ottoman Dynasty as persona non grata of Turkey. Fifty years later, in 1974, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey granted descendants of the former dynasty the right to acquire Turkish citizenship. The current head of the House of Osman is Ertuğrul Osman V living in New York City.

…the Ottoman family was ethnically Turkish in its origins, as were some of its supporters and subjects. But … the dynasty immediately lost this "Turkish" ethnic identification through intermarriage with many different ethnicities. As for a "Turkish empire", state power relied on a similarly heterogeneous mix of peoples. The Ottoman empire succeeded because it incorporated the energies of the vastly varied peoples it encountered, quickly transcending its roots in the Turkish nomadic migrations from Central Asia into the Middle East.

Imperial Harem

Coffee delight at the Harem

Coffee delight at the Harem

The Harem was one of the most important powers of the Ottoman court. It was ruled by the Valide Sultan (also known as the Baş Kadın, or "Chief Lady"), mother of the reigning sultan, who held supreme power over the Harem and thus a powerful position in the court. On occasion, the Valide Sultan would become involved in state politics and through her influence could diminish the power and position of the sultan. For a period of time beginning in the 16th century and extending into the 17th, the women of the Harem effectively controlled the state in what was termed the "Sultanate of Women" (Kadınlar Saltanatı).

Harem of Topkapı Palace

Harem of Topkapı Palace

The harem had its own internal organization and order of formulating policies. Beneath the Valide Sultan in the hierarchy was the Haseki Sultan, the mother of the sultan's first-born son, who had the best chance of becoming the next Valide Sultan. The sultan also had four other official wives, who were each called Haseki Kadın. Next in rank below the sultan's wives were his eight favourite concubines (ikbâls or hâs odalıks), and then the other concubines whom the sultan favoured and who were termed gözde. Next in rank were the concubines of other court officials. Pupils (acemî) and novices (câriye or şâhgird) were younger women who were either waiting to be married off to someone or who had not yet graduated out of the Harem School.

Palace schools

"Palace schools" were not a single track but in two. First one was the Madrasa (Ottoman Turkish: Medrese) for the Muslims, which educated the scholars and the state officials in accordance with Islamic tradition. The financial burden of the Medrese was covered by vakifs, which gave a popular chance to children of poor families in changing their life by moving to higher social levels and income. Second track was a free-boarding school for the Christians the Enderûn, which recruited annual 3,000 students from Christian young males between 8 and 20 years old which come from one in forty families among the communities settled in Rumelia and/or the Balkans, a process named Devshirmeh (Devşirme). Orphans, single child, married boys, the Jews, Russians, shepherd's sons were exempted. Ottomans have been fairly successful in this trans- [or forced] culturation of students, which many statesmen were products of this process. This system functioned strictly for bureaucratic purposes, (ideally) the graduates were permanently devoted to government service and had no interest in forming relations with lower social groups. The incoming students were called the inner boys (Ottoman Turkish:iç oglanlar). It took seven years of professional development to graduate. The apprenticeship began with working in the Sultan's services; then mastering natural and Islamic sciences (formal education); and the last stage was developing their physical fitnesses and acquiring some vocational or artistic skills. It is reported by Madeline Zilfi that European visitors of the time commented "In making appointments, Sultan pays no regard to any pretensions on the score of wealth or rank. It is by merits that man rise..Among the Turks, honors, high posts and Judgeships are rewards of great ability and good service".

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Suleyman I (Ottoman Turkish: سليمان Sulaymān, Turkish: Süleyman; formally Kanuni Sultan Süleyman in Turkish) (November 6, 1494 – September 5/6, 1566), was the tenth and longest‐serving Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning from 1520 to 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the Islamic world, as the Lawgiver (in Turkish Kanuni;

Arabic: القانونى, al‐Qānūnī), deriving from his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. Within the empire, Suleiman was known as a fair ruler and an opponent of corruption. As well as being a capable goldsmith and distinguished poet, Suleiman was also a great patron of artists and philosophers, overseeing the golden age of the Ottoman Empire's cultural development. Suleiman was considered one of the pre‐eminent rulers of 16th‐century Europe, a respected rival to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1519–56), Francis I of France (1515–47), Henry VIII of England (1509–47), Sigismund II of Poland (1548–72), and Ivan IV of Russia (1530–84). Under his leadership, the Ottoman Empire reached its Golden Age and became a world power. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies to conquer Belgrade, Rhodes, and most of Hungary, laid the Siege of Vienna, and annexed most of the Middle East and huge territories in North Africa as far west as Algeria. For a short period, Ottomans achieved naval dominance in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf. The Ottoman Empire continued to expand for a century after his death. Besides his military achievements, he had a literary bent, and was a disciple of Aristotle, he kept a daily diary when at war and wrote poetry when at peace.

Military campaigns

Conquests in Europe

Upon succeeding his father, Suleiman began a series of military conquests, first putting down a revolt led by the Ottoman‐appointed governor of Damascus in 1521. Suleiman soon made preparations for the conquest of Belgrade from The Kingdom of Hungary — something his great‐grandfather Mehmed II had failed to achieve. Its capture was vital in eliminating the Hungarians who following the defeats of the Serbs, Bulgars and Byzantines, remained the only formidable force who could block further Ottoman gains in Europe. Suleiman encircled Belgrade and began a series of heavy bombardments from an island in the Danube. With a garrison of only seven hundred men, and receiving no aid from Hungary, Belgrade fell in August 1521.

News of the conquest of one of Christendom's major strongholds spread fear across Europe. As the ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire to Istanbul was to note,

The capture of Belgrade was at the origin of the dramatic events which engulfed Hungary. It led to the death of King Lewis, the capture of Buda, the occupation of Transylvania, the ruin of a flourishing kingdom and the fear of neighbouring nations that they would suffer the same fate…

The road to Hungary and Austria laid open, however Suleiman diverted his attention to the Eastern Mediterranean island Rhodes whose proximity to Asia Minor and the Levant had posed a perennial problem to Ottoman interests. In the summer of 1522, taking advantage of the navy he inherited from his father, Suleiman dispatched an armada of some four hundred ships whilst personally leading an army of 100,000 across Asia Minor to a point opposite the island. Following a siege of five months with brutal encounters, Rhodes capitulated and Suleiman allowed the Knights of Rhodes to depart, forming their new base in Malta. As relations between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire deteriorated, Suleiman resumed his campaign in Eastern Europe and on August 29, 1526, he defeated Louis II of Hungary (1516–26) at the Battle of Mohács. In its wake, Hungarian resistance collapsed and the Ottoman Empire became the pre‐eminent power in Eastern Europe. Upon encountering the lifeless body of King Louis, Suleiman is said to have lamented:

I came in arms against him but it was not my wish that he should be thus cut off while he scarcely tasted the sweets of life and royalty.

Following the collapse of the Hungarian kingdom, a power struggle ensued. Some Hungarian nobles proposed that Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (1519–64), who was ruler of neighbouring Austria and tied to Louis II's family by marriage, be King of Hungary, citing previous agreements that the Habsburgs would take the Hungarian throne if Louis died without heirs. However, other nobles turned to the nobleman John Zápolya, who was supported by Suleiman, and who remained unrecognized by the Christian powers of Europe. A three‐sided conflict ensued as Ferdinand moved to assert his rule over as much of the Hungarian kingdom as he could, resulting in a three‐way partition of the Kingdom by 1541: Suleiman claimed most of present‐day Hungary, known as the Great Alföld (see Ottoman Hungary), and after eliminating the threat of the rebellious Stephen Maylad, he had Zápolya's family installed as rulers of the independent principality of Transylvania, as a vassal state of the Empire. Ferdinand claimed "Royal Hungary", including present‐day Slovakia, western Croatia, and adjacent territories, temporarily fixing the border between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans. Under Charles V and his brother Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, the Habsburgs occupied Buda and took Hungary. As a result, in 1529, Suleiman once again marched through the valley of the Danube and reoccupied Buda and in the following autumn laid siege to Vienna. It was to be the Ottoman Empires most ambitious expedition and the apogee of its drive towards the West. With a reinforced garrison of 20,000 men, the Austrians would inflict upon Suleiman his first defeat and sow the seeds of a bitter Ottoman‐Hapsburg rivalry which lasted until the 20th century. A second attempt to conquer Vienna failed in 1532, with Suleiman retreating before reaching Vienna. In both cases, the Ottoman army was plagued by bad weather (forcing them to leave behind essential siege equipment) and was hobbled by the overstretched supply lines.

Regardless of the defeat, Suleiman had assured the Ottoman Empire a powerful role in the political landscape of Europe.

Conquests in Asia

As Suleiman stabilised his European frontiers, he now turned his attention to the ever present threat posed by the Shi'a Safavid dynasty of Persia (Iran). Two events in particular were to precipitate a recurrence of tensions. First, Shah Tahmasp had the Baghdad governor loyal to Suleiman killed and replaced with an adherent of the Shah, and second, the governor of Bitlis had defected and sworn allegiance to Safavids. As a result, in 1533, Suleiman ordered his Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha to lead an army into Asia where he retook Bitlis and occupied Tabriz without resistance. Having joined Ibrahim in 1534, Suleiman made a push towards Persia, only to find the Shah sacrificing territory instead of facing a pitched battle, resorting to a harassment of the Ottoman army as it proceeded along the harsh interior. The following year, Suleiman and Ibrahim made a grand entrance into Baghdad, with its commander surrendering the city, cementing Suleiman as the leader of the Islamic world and the legitimate successor to the Abbasid Caliphs.

Attempting to defeat the Shah once and for all, Suleiman embarked upon a second campaign between 1548–1549. Just as in the previous attempt, Shah Tahmasp I avoided confrontation with the Ottoman army and instead chose to retreat, torching Azerbaijan in the process and exposing the Ottoman army to the harsh winter of the Caucasus. Suleiman abandoned the campaign with temporary Ottoman gains in Tabriz and Azerbaijan region of Iran, and a lasting presence in the province of Van, and some forts in Georgia.

In 1553, Suleiman began his third and final campaign against the Shah. Having initially lost territories in Erzurum to the Shah's son, Suleiman retaliated by recapturing Erzurum, crossing the Upper Euphrates and laying waste to parts of Persia. The Shah's army continued its strategy of avoiding the Ottomans leading to a stalemate from which neither army made any considerable gain. In 1554, a settlement was signed which was to conclude Suleiman's Asiatic campaigns, they included the return of Tabriz, but secured Baghdad, lower Mesopotamia, the mouths of the river Euphrates and Tigris, as well as part of the Persian Gulf,[23] the Shah also promised to cease all raids into Ottoman territory.

Mediterranean and North Africa

Having consolidated his conquests on land, Suleiman was greeted with bad news that the fortress of Koron In Morea had been lost to Charles V’s admiral, Andrea Doria. The presence of the Spanish in the Eastern Mediterrenean concerned Suleiman, who saw it as an early indication of Charles V intention to rival Ottoman dominance in the region. Thus recognizing the need to re‐assert the navy's pre‐eminence in the Mediterranean, Suleiman appointed an exceptional naval commander in the form of Khair ad Din, known to Europeans as Barbarossa. Once appointed admiral‐in‐chief, Barbarossa was charged with re‐building the Ottoman fleet, to the point the Ottoman navy equalled in number all those of the other Mediterranean countries put together. In 1535 Charles V won an important victory against the Ottomans at Tunis, which together with the war against Venice the following year, led Suleiman to accept proposals from Francis I France to forge an alliance with Suleiman, both of whom for shared a mutual rivalry with Charles. In 1538, the Spanish fleet was defeated at the Battle of Preveza by Barbarossa, securing the eastern Mediterranean for the Turks for 33 years until the defeat at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

East of Morocco, huge territories of North Africa were annexed. The Barbary States of Tripolitania, Tunisia, and Algeria became autonomous provinces of the Empire, and served as the leading edge of Suleiman's conflict with Charles V, whose attempt to drive out the Turks failed in 1541. The piracy carried on thereafter by the Barbary pirates of North Africa remained part of the wars against Spain, and the Ottoman expansion was associated with naval dominance for a short period in the Mediterranean Sea. Ottoman navies also controlled the Red Sea, and held the Persian Gulf until 1554, when their ships were defeated by the navy of the Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese would continue to contest Suleiman I's forces for control of Aden, in present‐day Yemen.

Francis I was persuaded to sign a peace treaty with Charles V in 1538, however he again allied himself with the Suleiman in 1542. In 1543 Charles allied himself with Henry VIII of England and forced Francis to sign the Truce of Crepy‐en‐Laonnois. Charles signed a humiliating treaty with Suleiman to gain some respite from the huge expenses of the war. In 1544, when Spain declared war on France, the French King Francis asked for help from Suleiman. He then sent a fleet headed by Barbarossa who was victorious over the Spaniards, and managed to retake Naples from them. Suleiman bestowed on him the title of Beyler Bey (Commander of Commanders). One result of the alliance was the fierce sea duel between Dragut and Andrea Doria, which left the northern Mediterranean European and the southern Mediterranean in Islamic hands.

When the Knights Hospitallers were re‐established as the Knights of Malta in 1530, their actions against Muslim navies quickly drew the ire of the Ottomans, who assembled another massive army in order to dislodge the Knights from Malta. In 1565 they invaded, starting the Great Siege of Malta, which began on May 18 and lasted until September 8, and is portrayed vividly in the frescoes of Matteo Perez d'Aleccio in the Hall of St. Michael and St. George. At first the battle looked to be a repeat of the one on Rhodes, with most of the cities destroyed and about half the Knights killed in battle, but a relief force from Spain entered the battle, resulting in the loss of 30,000 Ottoman troops.

The Siege of Malta in 1565: Arrival of the Turkish fleet, by Matteo Perez d' Aleccio
The Siege of Malta in 1565: Arrival of the Turkish fleet, by Matteo Perez d' Aleccio

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The Divan (Council)

Bâb-ı Âlî, the Sublime Porte Though the state apparatus of the Ottoman Empire underwent many reforms during its long history, a number of its basic structures remained essentially the same. Chief among these was the primacy of the sultan. Despite important decisions usually being made by the Divan, ultimate authority always rested with the sultan. The Divan, in the years when the Ottoman state was still a Beylik, was composed of the elders of the tribe. Its composition was later modified to include military officers and local elites (such as religious and political advisors). These individuals became known as viziers. Later still, beginning in the year 1320, a Grand Vizier (or Sadrazam) was appointed in order to assume certain of the sultan's responsibilities. The Sublime Porte, which became synonymous with the Ottoman government, was in fact the gate to the Grand Vizier's headquarters, and the place where the sultan formally greeted foreign ambassadors. At times throughout Ottoman history, the authority of the Grand Vizier was to equal (and on some occasions even surpass) that of the sultan. Though the sultan was the supreme monarch, the politics of the state had a number of advisors and ministers (Viziers), gathered around the council was known as Divan, or after 17th century the specific name Porte which was initially the name of the residence/administrative center for the Grand Vizier (Paşakapısı, later Babiali). Sultans' political and executive authority was delegated to viziers. Viziers were headed by the Grand Vizier. It was the Grand Vizier's duty to inform the sultan of the opinion of the Porte. The Grand Vizier had considerable independence from the Sultan with almost unlimited powers of appointment, dismissal and supervision; beginning with the late 16th century, Sultans became withdrawn from politics and Grand Vizier became the de facto head of state. The Porte consisted of three viziers in the 14th century; by the 17th century, the number had grown to eleven, four of whom served as "Viziers of the Dome" (the most important ministers after the Grand Vizier).

Sultan Ahmed III and his Viziers receiving foreign ambassadors at Topkapı Palace

Sultan Ahmed III and his Viziers receiving foreign ambassadors at Topkapı Palace