BIRDHOUSES: MINIATURE MANSIONS OF ISTANBUL

A very compassionate offering to feathered friends, the history of bird houses adorning mosques, inns and bridges around Turkey go back a long way. An important expression of love for animals, these birdhouses are an element of Ottoman-era architecture with their intricate designs and tiny architecture
21 Ekim 2016 Cuma

SPORTS CULTURE IN OTTOMAN SOCIETY

Early in the 14th century, sports competitions in the Ottoman Empire mostly involved war games. In later centuries, football clubs were established and matches became common. In the final decades, paddling, gymnastics and fencing gained popularity at the imperial palace and schools
14 Ekim 2016 Cuma

TURQUERIE: EVOLUTION OF TURKISH THEME IN EUROPEAN ART, STYLE

In 18th-century Europe, especially with the arrival of Ottoman embassies to the royal courts, Turkish fashion, also named 'Turquerie,' emerged sumptuously influencing fine arts, architecture and music
7 Ekim 2016 Cuma

THE BALYAN FAMILY: ARMENIAN MASTERS BEHIND OTTOMAN ARCHITECTURE

The Balyan family was one of the most well-known Armenian families during the Ottoman era. Coming from Central Anatolia, family members served as imperial architects for years and are remembered as the masterminds behind many palaces, mosques and barracks like the Dolmabahçe Mosque and the Beylerbeyi Palace
30 Eylül 2016 Cuma

WORLD'S FIRST HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

Islam is a religion that prioritizes and gives great importance to science and education. The world's first higher education institutions were established by Muslims in the Islamic world, setting examples for future universities in Europe
23 Eylül 2016 Cuma

THE KULELI INCIDENT: AN OTTOMAN COUP ATTEMPT

Although it is a lesser-known story in the Ottoman history and relatively unexamined one, the Kuleli Incident was recognized as a coup attempt to topple Sultan Abdülmecid by a secret committee including soldiers and religious men
16 Eylül 2016 Cuma

THE SOCIAL DIVIDE BEHIND THE SYRIAN WAR

The Alawites, also called Nusayri is a Shiite offshoot, makes up around 10 percent of Syria's population. The Assad family ruling Syria for years comes from the Alawite background. The ongoing war that has turned Syria into a firestorm also has a religious side accompanied by sectarian cleansing
9 Eylül 2016 Cuma

SYRIA: FROM THE DAWN OF CIVILIZATİION TO CHAOS OF WAR

In ancient times, Syria was a land of trade, culture and flourishing civilizations. Throughout the centuries, the area was under the rule of different powers from Romans to Seljuks, being home to numerous world heritage sites. This sacred land is now witnessing this century's worst conflict
2 Eylül 2016 Cuma

FEB 28: A 'POST-MODERN' COUP OF RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL OPRESSION

The military's ultimatum on Feb. 28, 1997 brought another period of oppression in Turkey, this time for the conservative majority. Called as the 'post-modern coup,' the military ousted the Welfare Party-led government and many people faced impediments in education, working and social life
26 Ağustos 2016 Cuma

1971 MILITARY MEMORANDUM: A POLITICAL DOWNTURN

In the late 1960s, Turkey was experiencing hard times economically that brought unrest around the country. On March 12, 1971, a military memorandum was issued to ‘restore order,' but it is widely referred to as the military's second intervention in the Republican era eleven years after the 1960 coup
19 Ağustos 2016 Cuma

THE 1980 COUP: FEARFUL PERIOD AMID POLITICAL CRACKDOWN

The coup orchestrated by the right-wing junta under Gen. Kenan Evren hit Turkey on Sept. 12, 1980, causing unrest accompanied by a flow of arrests, torture, extrajudicial killing and political and social crackdown
12 Ağustos 2016 Cuma

THE 1960 COUP: FIRST ATTACK ON TURKISH DEMOCRACY

The 1960 coup was the first coup in Turkey's history, at a time when tensions between the government and the opposition were high and the ruling Democrat Party led by Prime Minister Menderes was losing power. On May 27, the military toppled the government and the prime minister and president were tried for treason. Menderes was executed
8 Ağustos 2016 Pazartesi

TREATY OF LAUSANNE: TRIUMPH OR LOSS?

Officially resolving the conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies after the World War I, the Treaty of Lausanne, which marks its 93th anniversary this year, is still open for discussion as it had both pros and cons
29 Temmuz 2016 Cuma

A BRIEF HISTORY OF COUPS IN TURKEYTORY OF COUPS IN TURKEY

History is full of coup attempts used by certain groups to gain power. From the late period of the Ottoman Empire to the present day, Turkey has seen successful and failed coups many times with varying results
22 Temmuz 2016 Cuma

UNWRAPPING THE HISTORY OF PAPER AND ITS INFLUENCE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Mankind has always found ways to record their thoughts over ages. First, they used leaves, silk and clay tablets. After the invention of paper and later its transfer to Europe through Islamic societies, not only did information become widespread but the intellectual world was given its fuel
15 Temmuz 2016 Cuma

A TRAVEL DIARY FROM MAGHRIB TO THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

A diverse country in North Africa, Morocco has everything to satisfy a traveler's needs from its mystical atmosphere and colorful, narrow streets to Andalusian-style mosques
8 Temmuz 2016 Cuma

RAMADAN BAYRAM: SHARE, REJOICE, WORSHIP

Muslims around the world will celebrate Ramadan Bayram, a three-day holiday marking the end of fasting. Bayram traditions have diversified from the early days of Islam, but for all, it is a time of joy and enjoy festivities
4 Temmuz 2016 Pazartesi

PRINCESS EMINE NECIBE: A LOST TALE FROM CAIRO TO ISTANBUL

Situated on Istanbul's Bebek coast, the current Egyptian General-Consulate building was once owned by Princess Emine Necibe, the only woman that took the title pasha during the Ottoman era. From the dynasty of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Emine was one of the fanciest figures in the early 20th century and her memory is still alive at the mansion named after her
24 Haziran 2016 Cuma

THE KARAMANLIDES: A TURKISH-SPEAKING GREEK ORTHODOX COMMUNITY IN ANATOLIA

Prior to the population exchange between Turkey and Greece, Anatolia was home to a large Greek Orthodox community called the Karamanlides, who spoke Turkish but used the Greek alphabet to write it. Today, there are very few Karamanlides left in Anatolia
17 Haziran 2016 Cuma

DATES: THE SACRED FRUIT DURING RAMADAN

As a symbol of abundance, dates are a very popular Ramadan staple native to the Middle East and Prophet Muhammad used to advise eating them while breaking the fast. Dates are a rich source of fiber, potassium and calcium, which help keep the body healthy
10 Haziran 2016 Cuma

THE SOCIAL ROLE OF WAQFS DURING THE OTTOMAN ERA

Ottoman charity showed itself throughout its history. A number of foundations, known as 'waqfs' served the public and were an important means to offer a helping hand and share with those in need
3 Haziran 2016 Cuma

SHAMANISM: A PRACTICE OF EARLY TURKIC BELIEFS

For a long time, shamans were commonly seen in a vast region from Siberia to India, Africa and the Americas. Most Turkic peoples had Shamanistic traditions and believed in the superiority of the creator called Kök Tangri, meaning Sky God
27 Mayıs 2016 Cuma

A MONETARY HISTORY OF ISLAMIC SOCIETIES

The use of money dates back thousands of years. As in other cultures, minting of coins and banknotes was a reflection of a ruler's power in Islamic societies, although their shapes and names have changed over and over again
20 Mayıs 2016 Cuma

FEZ: A TIME-HONORED OTTOMAN HAT FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN

The fez used to be common headwear in Mediterranean countries and originated from Morocco. It was a popular accessory used by Ottoman elites and soldiers that became a symbol of a common Ottoman identity in the 19th century
16 Mayıs 2016 Pazartesi

THE ABDULLAH BROTHERS: PIONEERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE LATE OTTOMAN PERIOD

The Abdullah Brothers, three Ottoman Armenian brothers named Vichen, Hovsep and Kevork Abdullahyan ran a profitable studio in Istanbul as well as other locations like Cairo. In the 19th century, the brothers were named the royal photographers to the imperial family and took numerous photographs of the period's prestigious figures such as the Prince of Wales and Mark Twain
6 Mayıs 2016 Cuma

THE SIEGE OF KUT: AN UNFORGOTTEN OTTOMAN VICTORY

The town of Kut al-Amara in Iraq had been under siege for around five months during World War I. Without sufficient artillery, Ottoman forces encircled the town and besieged the British-Indian garrison. Although it is not very well-known, the siege was the last victory for the Ottoman army, which celebrates its 100th anniversary today
29 Nisan 2016 Cuma

HEALING IN ISLAMIC SCIENCE AND MEDICINE

Spanning from the eighth century to the 15th century, the Islamic golden age saw many advances in science and medicine. These developments continued during the time of the Seljuks and Ottomans and its legacy is still alive. The Imperial School of Medicine was established upon the order of Sultan Mahmut II in the 19th century. The students were given a modern medical education and today it serves as a university campus that includes the faculty of medicine
23 Nisan 2016 Cumartesi

BEDESTEN: THE OTTOMAN PRECURSOR TO THE SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX

'Bedesten,' a covered bazaar with thick domes, used to operate as a trade center where precious textiles and jewels were sold and was an early form of banking where locals could store their luxury goods. In Istanbul there are three bedestens, two are in the Grand Bazaar and the other is located in Galata
18 Nisan 2016 Pazartesi

THE ART of THE MEDDAH: TRADITIONAL TURKISH STORYTELLING

Long-established, traditional Turkish storytellers, known as 'meddah,' used to perform at coffeehouses, palaces and markets, illuminating certain subjects to audiences while entertaining them with absorbing, critical and satirical stories.
8 Nisan 2016 Cuma

RETHINKING THE IMPERIAL HAREM: WHAT DID LIFE LOOK LIKE FOR OTTOMAN PALACE WOMEN?

Perceptions of the Ottoman harem have changed over time, but contrary to the prevailing opinions that criticize it, the harem always preserved its structure as a school for jariyahs from different ethnicities and bore some similarities with elite schools for girls run in the period
1 Nisan 2016 Cuma