THE SPANISH TREASURE LYING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ATLANTIC

After the Spanish reached the shores of the Americas they began exploiting the continent, but struggled against pirates while carrying plundered treasure back to Europe. Even though other powers cut them down to size in the 19th century, it created many areas with Spanish culture and the Spanish language
14 Ağustos 2015 Cuma

THE HISTORY of FRATRICIDE in the OTTOMAN EMPIRE

Undoubtedly, fratricide is one of the most controversial topics in Ottoman history. Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror's Law of Governance imparted the right of executing the male members of the dynasty to his son in order to prevent an interregnum. There were different practices regarding fratricide throughout the empire's history, with most of them seen as legitimate, but some executions, done to prevent a possible revolt, were criticized as illegitimate
6 Ağustos 2015 Perşembe

THE HISTORICAL CITY GATES OF ISTANBUL

Built in the 5th century, the walls of Istanbul, which are some of the oldest remaining city walls, were used for military and public purposes in the past. Today, most of the gates to the city are associated with the name of neighborhoods that settled around them throughout history
31 Temmuz 2015 Cuma

THE STORY OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE'S CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY

The Ottoman Empire imposed a constitutional monarchy for the second time on July 23, 1908, 30 years after the first unsuccessful attempt. While the sultan's authority was limited, power shifted to the military and bureaucracy, which dragged the country into WWI
24 Temmuz 2015 Cuma

CELEBRATING THE JOYOUS HOLIDAY OF EID AL-FITR

Today marks the first day of Eid al-Fitr, one of the two holiest holidays for Muslims. Even though people see it as an opportunity to take a vacation, we should see it as a chance to come together and spend time with our friends and family
17 Temmuz 2015 Cuma

SYKES-PICOT: THE WESTERN AGREEMENT THAT SEALED THE MIDDLE EAST'S DOOM

During World War I, the Allied forces defeated the Ottoman Empire and redrew the map of the Middle East for the post-war European colonial period. In order to protect their interests, artificial borders were drawn by diplomats that ignored regional features and sowed the seeds of conflict that continue today
10 Temmuz 2015 Cuma

A TRAITOR OR A HERO? THE EXECUTION OF SHEIKH SAID

June 29 marked the execution anniversary of Sheikh Said. He was labeled as a British spy and separatist traitor by the official discourse of the Republic. However, he was considered a hero by the Kurdish people and a man who sacrificed his life for the sake of his ideals. As opposed to the popular belief, his rebellion started from a simple, local incident, and was not an organized nationalist or religious movement
4 Temmuz 2015 Cumartesi

HATS: A POLITICAL SYMBOL OF TURKISH HISTORY

Hats have been much more than just a fashion accessory since the beginning of Turkish Republic: They have also been at the center of an important political issue. A reform involving hat-wearing and a revolt against it caused many lives to be lost during the early Republic period
26 Haziran 2015 Cuma

RAMADAN FESTIVITIES BRING LIVELY ATMOSPHERE

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, has a different atmosphere from the other months of the year. This atmosphere owes its uniqueness to iftar tables, vigorous Tarawih prayers and the people who pack the mosques
19 Haziran 2015 Cuma

LEGENDS ABOUT TAQI AL-DIN AND THE DEMOLISHED OTTOMAN OBSERVATORY

It is rumored that the very first Ottoman observatory was founded in the 17th century and demolished soon after. Several stories have been attributed to the observatory and its founder, Taqi al-Din, throughout history, but the truth is hidden between the lines of these legends and stories
12 Haziran 2015 Cuma

MYTHS AND REALITY ABOUT THE PRINTING PRESS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

For many people, the late arrival of printing is the reason why the Ottomans left behind other great powers, something they attributed to bigotry. In reality, the first printing press in the Ottoman Empire dates back to the same period of that of in Europe. However, it did not gain popularity. But why?
8 Haziran 2015 Pazartesi

THE CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE: THE HERALDING IN A NEW ERA

The conquest of Constantinople by the Turks on May 29, 1453 is more than just the ordinary fall of a city. The conquest was a turning point both in the Turkish and Islamic history and the history of the world
29 Mayıs 2015 Cuma

A CHURCH, A MOSQUE AND FINALLY A MUSEUM: THE NEARLY 1,500-YEAR-OLD STORY OF THE HAGIA SOPHIA

Built by the Byzantines as a church, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. It was later converted into a museum after the declaration of the Turkish Republic. Its situation has always being controversial during the Republican periodand there have been different initiativestaken by politicians to change its status
23 Mayıs 2015 Cumartesi

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: A SHELTER FOR ALL KINDS OF REFUGEES

Throughout its history, not only Muslims but also non-Muslim people and groups who were exposed to discrimination because of their religion, ethnicity or lifestyle resorted to taking shelter in the Ottoman Empire. In turn, they were openly welcomed by Ottoman society
16 Mayıs 2015 Cumartesi

THE MOSQUE THAT STANDS ON THE SEA: KILIÇ ALI PASHA MOSQUE

The Kılıç Ali Pasha Mosque is a beautiful structure that decorates the Bosporus on the Tophane Pier on Istanbul’s European side. It was built by Mimar Sinan by filling the sea with rocks, and was named after Kılıç Ali Pasha, one of the most prominent figures in Ottoman maritime history
9 Mayıs 2015 Cumartesi

THE ROLES OF MAJOR POWERS DURING THE 1915 ARMENİAN İNCİDENTS

Today, the 1915 events are not discussed between Armenia and Turkey, but major powers take up the issue. This is a historical process, as eastern Anatolia of the Ottoman Empire, where most Armenians were living, was an area that saw a power struggle between France, Russia and the U.K., where each had their own projects for region
1 Mayıs 2015 Cuma

HOW WERE THE 1915 INCIDENTS CONFRONTED BY THE OTTOMANS?

The pains endured in 1915 by Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire, due to a powerful diaspora, have become an international issue of propaganda. Ankara denies the claims of genocide, defending that the matter was nothing but the relocation of Armenians who were close to the Russian front for military security and that the real massacre was done by Armenians
24 Nisan 2015 Cuma

MYSTERIOUS SCHOLAR BETWEEN EAST AND WEST: LEGEND OF JAMAL AL-DIN AL-AFGHANI

Jamal al-Din al-Afghani whose influence continues to this day, is one of the most debated personalities of recent history. Was he a great reformist who aimed to revive the Muslim world, or a mad man who thought he was the Mahdi, or a spy?
17 Nisan 2015 Cuma

A UNIQUE PERIOD IN TURKISH HISTORY: THE TULIP ERA

Historians refer to the years between 1718 and 1730 as the ‘Tulip Era' in Ottoman history. It references the people who were fascinated by the flower and their interest in tulip gardens. However, it is not just a period that saw high aesthetic tastes on the rise, but draws interest as a peaceful and prosperous time between periods of intense war
10 Nisan 2015 Cuma

YEMEN: SEARCHING FOR A SIGN OF PEACE

Being a cradle of some of the world's oldest civilizations, Yemen has not been able to establish a stable political structure for almost a century due to its divided groups. Now, the country is experiencing another bloody civil conflict followed by yet another foreign intervention
3 Nisan 2015 Cuma

FROM KAFFA TO ISTANBUL: COFFEE'S JOURNEY TO TURKEY

Originating from the Kaffa region of Ethiopia, coffee was introduced to Turks in the early Ottoman period. Gradually,it gained an important place in Ottoman culture and became popular among patrons of coffee houses in Istanbul
27 Mart 2015 Cuma

JIHAD: A MISUNDERSTOOD ISLAMIC TERM

The Islamic term ‘jihad,' meaning ‘struggle' in Arabic, is misinterpreted in today's lexicon. It does not mean forcing someone to abide by Islamic rules because, as it says in the Quran, ‘There is no compulsion in religion'
20 Mart 2015 Cuma

THE BITTER STORY OF THE OTTOMAN DYNASTY’S EXILE

On March 3, 1924, the leaders of the newly-formed Turkish Republic ordered the exile of the members of the Ottoman royal family. This did not just mean deportation, but also meant the beginning of a journey that included harsh living conditions in different parts of the world
13 Mart 2015 Cuma

THE HISTORIC JOURNEY OF YOGURT: FROM TURKIC PEOPLES TO THE WORLD

While debates continue about the origins of yogurt, certain scientific studies indicate that Turkic peoples may have been the first to discover this salutary food. Later, it spread to other continents with mass migrations
6 Mart 2015 Cuma

THE HISTORICAL ADVENTURE OF THE TOMB OF SULEYMAN SHAH

Last week, the Turkish Army relocated the Tomb of Süleyman Shah to a location closer to the Turkish border. Yet, there have been some controversies about the identity of the remains in the tomb, which belong to a predecessor of the Ottoman Empire
27 Şubat 2015 Cuma

SHOULD TURKEY SWITCH TO A PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM?

The post-coup Constitution of 1982 introduced a tragic presidential practice in Turkey that gives a largely ceremonial role to presidents who were elected by Parliament. Now, it is reasonable to implement a more systematic practice by adopting a presidential model
20 Şubat 2015 Cuma

WAHHABISM: PURE ISLAM OR EXTREMISM?

The followers of Wahhabism claim that they are trying to purify Islam and see themselves as devotees of early Muslims and their practices. However, it is a mistake to include Wahhabis within the framework of mainstream Sunni Islam, as their interpretation and methods differ significantly
13 Şubat 2015 Cuma

WORLD WAR I: THE HEAVY TOLL OF A DEADLY CONFLICT

The declaration of World War I, one of deadliest conflicts in history, led to major transformations in the societies of both the victors and the losers. As one of the losers, the Ottoman Empire paid an especially heavy price, as those responsible who had plunged the empire into the war fled and left the destruction behind
6 Şubat 2015 Cuma

LOOKING BACK ON THE LIFE OF A KING

King Abdullah, the late king of Saudi Arabia, died at the age of 90 last week. The new king, Salman, is 80-years-old and his half-brother Muqrin, 72, has been announced as the new crown prince, meaning the period of elderly kings will continue in the country
27 Ocak 2015 Salı

THE OTTOMANS’ EXEMPLARY TREATMENT OF STREET ANİMALS

Many foundations, shelters and hospitals were established during the Ottoman era dedicated to the protection of street animals, as people considered doing so a religious responsibility and feared the effects of mistreating animals
19 Ocak 2015 Pazartesi