Ekrem Buğra Ekinci, 1987’de Ankara Hukuk Fakültesi’ni bitirdi. Avukatlık stajı yaptı.

Ankara’da başladığı kariyerini İstanbul’da sürdürdü.
Doktorasını 1996’da İstanbul Hukuk Fakültesi’nde tamamladı.

Türkiye ve Daily Sabah gazetelerinde yazmaktadır.
Devam
 
SICILY: AN ETERNAL MEETING POINT BETWEEN AFRICA AND EUROPE

27 Kasım 2015 Cuma

Having harbored different civilizations for centuries, the gorgeous island of Sicily offers unparalled cultural richness bearing both Islamic and European heritage

A big island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily looks like a ball that the boot-shaped peninsula of Italy is about to kick. Lying at the intersection of trade routes, the island has fertile lands.

Historically, Sicily has experienced a different development to northern Italy. The people of Sicily do not even come from the same ethnic group as the north Italians. The two regions were officially unified in the 19th century, but even today a Sicilian and someone from Milano will speak in different Italian dialects. As the biggest and most crowded island in the Mediterranean, Sicily is closer to the African and Middle Eastern world geographically.

In antiquity, Phoenicians and Greeks established trade colonies there. The island was then ruled by Romans. Muslim Arabs began to sail around Sicily's coasts from 652. At first, they conquered the island of Pantelleria in 700 and then the entirety of Sicily in 827. The conquest took 75 years to complete. The island was called "Siqilliyya" and an independent kingdom was formed on its southwestern, centered on Mazara del Vallo, a harbor town. In the meantime, Muslims conquered Italy's other harbors including Ragusa, Bari, Reggio and Benevento as well as the islands of Ponza, Ischia, Malta, Gozo, Sardinia and Corsica. Muslims rebuilt some war-torn cities like Palermo while Islamic works of art influenced European architecture. Many plants grown by Muslims were also introduced to Europe through Sicily.

Over the years, Islamic rule weakened in the region and Muslim rulers fell out with one another. In 1606, Normans took over the island. They not only gave Muslims freedom, but also did not interfere with Islamic law. Frederick II of Sicily, who assigned Muslim scholars as advisers and later became the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, was accused of adopting Islam and excommunicated by the pope because he entitled the provisions of Islamic law in 1231. Nevertheless, Muslims did not want to live under the rule of non-Muslims and a revolt broke out. They, however, failed and resorted to leaving the island. Even so, Muslims left an indelible mark on the island as well as in Europe. Normans adopted the Muslims' palace administration, correspondence principles, army regulations and coining system. Arabic works were also translated into Latin. Many great scholars were raised on the island.

The island of Pantelleria was the last Sicilian land that the Muslims lost, in 1149. Even in the 16th century, half of the island's population was Muslim. When Italian unity was formed in 1860, Sicilian intellectuals such as Amari proposed the island's liberty by pointing out the heritage left from Islamic civilization.

Following the invasion of the Normans, southern Italy and Sicily turned to the West and adopted Catholicism. Yet, Sicily could not escape the influence of the East, Arabs and Byzantines. Today, women living in Sicily's villages cover their heads like Muslim women do. There are even women who do not show their face to men. Funeral ceremonies and pudicity practices are similar to those adopted in the East. Currently, around 30,000 Muslims, most of whom are North African, live on the island.

The legacy of the East may even appear where few would expect. In the 11th century, Hasan al-Sabbah established a sect and independent state in Iran, favoring the argument that Islam has both a visible and an invisible side. Sabbah was told to drug his soldiers with hashish to make them loyal to him. His soldiers assassinated many Sunni statesmen and scholars who considered Sabbah an enemy. He collaborated with the Crusaders and in the 13th century, Sabbah's sect, which had survived for about two centuries, was finally eliminated by the Mongols and some of its members took refuge in Sicily. It was told that the "Mafia," a criminal group opposed to France and then becoming bandits, was formed from them. The word "Mafia" is believed to take its origin from the Arabic word "mahfiyya," which means secret. Today, this serene and poor island is renowned for the Mafia and draws many tourists thanks to the movie "The Godfather."

The capital city of the island, Palermo, is a typical Mediterranean city with narrow streets. Built on the foundations of Great Mosque, the city's cathedral still bears the traces of Muslim craftsmanship. Arabic text located at the entrance column of the main building is a testament to the past. The main building of the Norman Palace in Palermo was also inherited from Muslims. The arabesque-ornamented "masjid" of the palace now serves as a magnificent chapel. It is possible to see the influence of Andalusia in the Maghreb architecture on columns and ceiling ornaments of palaces and churches in Sicily. The city doors of Porto Nuovo in Palermo feature sculptures symbolizing Muslims. The most interesting place in Palermo is Catacombe dei Cappuccini (Catacombs of the Capuchins). In 1599, a Capuchin monk mummified his dead friend and put him in the vault of the monastery. Afterwards, other priests in the monastery followed in his footsteps. In time, being buried in the monastery's vault became a symbol of social status and the wealthy of the city had their dead bodies mummified for a fee, and their relatives visited the vault and prayed for them.

The dead body was first dried at a temporary resting place, after which the mummified body was put in its permanent place on the wall while some were put in glass coffins. However, once relatives of the dead stopped donating money to the monastery, the mummified body was taken to the shelves.

The last person who was mummified and buried in the vault was Monk Ricardo, in 1871. When the vault and the burial rituals surfaced, it caused a sensation and the vault was closed upon the orders of the Pope. Astonishingly, the burial rituals must have continued in secret as mummified bodies dating back to the 1920s were discovered. The dampish halls are categorized as men, women, virgins, children, priests, monks, lawyers et cetera. There are about 8,000 bodies, and some of them have not yet decayed.

Some 1,252 dead bodies in the vault were mummified, and a number of them have been identified. While we were touring, experts were trying to determine the ages of the bodies based on their teeth using special devices. The body which was the last to be buried belongs to a 2-year-old girl named Rosalia Lombardo and her body has been preserved incredibly. Her embalming was performed by Dr. Alfredo Salafia. He used glistering for excessive dryness, formalin to exterminate bacteria; alcohol to keep the body dry and salicylic acid to kill fungus. He also used zinc salt to achieve the stiffness of the body.

Syracuse is the most beautiful city of Sicily. It was established on the foothills of Mount Etna, which is still an active volcano. The city is also the homeland of Archimedes. Everything on the city is located on a piece of land that is connected to the main land with three bridges. The bones and belongings of Santa Lucia (Saint Lucy), the saint of the blind, who was killed by the Romans in the fourth century, are preserved in the Syracuse Cathedral.

The town of Taormina, near Syracuse, is worth seeing. The town, which was conquered by the Arabs in 902 and named "Tâbermine," has an incredible view of the Mediterranean. Corjava Palace, originally built by Muslims, still stands there.

On the other hand, there is nothing much to see in Catania. The city which is called "Qataaniyya" by Muslims has one of Italy's largest harbors, and is perhaps the biggest harbor in the whole of Europe. The city is the homeland of well-known composer Bellini and the city features an opera building named after him.


 Önceki Yazılar
19.05.2017 - MAY 19: START OF THE ANKARA MOVEMENT

12.05.2017 - BEING A TRADESMAN NOT AN EASY JOB IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

05.05.2017 - SPRING IS FINALLY HERE: HIDIRELLEZ

28.04.2017 - SABBATAISM AND DOENMEHS IN OTTOMAN SOCIETY

21.04.2017 - OTTOMAN HUMANITARIAN AID TO THE IRISH GRIPPED BY FAMINE

14.04.2017 - GREAT COLONIAL EMPIRE ESTABLISHED BY A SMALL COUNTRY

07.04.2017 - CALLIGRAPHY AS INCORPOREAL PROTECTOR OF OTTOMAN HOUSES

24.03.2017 - MODERN INSURANCE SYSTEM HAS ITS ROOTS IN MEDIEVAL ANATOLIA

17.03.2017 - PRINTING PRESS AS A TURKISH INVENTION

10.03.2017 - THE PALESTINE ISSUE THAT COST SULTAN ABDULHAMID II THE OTTOMAN THRONE

03.03.2017 - THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE IN HISTORY

24.02.2017 - THE MEMORIES OF ARMENIAN OLYMPIANS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

17.02.2017 - RUMELIAN TURKS: OTTOMAN MIGRANTS FROM BALKANS TO ANATOLIA

10.02.2017 - IN THE PURSUIT OF ROYAL OTTOMAN FAMILY'S TANGLED INHERITANCE

03.02.2017 - MUHAMMED ALI PASHA'S CAIRO AND EGYPT UNDER OTTOMAN RULE

27.01.2017 - JOURNEY OF TOBACCO FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO OTTOMAN EMPIRE

20.01.2017 - CYPRUS DISPUTE: AN ISLAND AT A CROSSROADS

18.01.2017 - Graves of Ottoman princes, sons of Sultan Abdulhamid II in ruins in France’s Bobigny cemetery

13.01.2017 - A FAREWELL TO LAST HEIR OF OTTOMAN EMPIRE PRINCE OSMAN BAYEZID

10.01.2017 - New heir to the former Ottoman throne witnesses horrors of Syrian civil war in Damascus

06.01.2017 - OTTOMAN-ERA CLOCK TOWERS TELLING TIME FROM BALKANS TO MIDDLE EAST

23.12.2016 - ALEPPO: AN ANCIENT CITY RUINED IN MODERN-ERA DESTRUCTION

16.12.2016 - THE HISTORY OF ROWING ALONG THE BOSPORUS IN OTTOMAN ISTANBUL

10.12.2016 - TEA: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A TURKISH OBSESSION

02.12.2016 - THE EVOLUTION OF OTTOMAN-ERA SECRET SERVICES

25.11.2016 - HISTORIC FOUNTAINS AND WATER CULTURE IN OTTOMAN ISTANBUL

11.11.2016 - MUMMIES OF ANATOLIA STILL A MATTER OF INTEREST

04.11.2016 - AGE OF FIRE: THE DISASTER THAT MENACE OTTOMAN CITIES

28.10.2016 - HEJAZ RAILWAY: A HISTORIC LINE TO ISLAM'S HOLIEST CITIES

21.10.2016 - BIRDHOUSES: MINIATURE MANSIONS OF ISTANBUL

14.10.2016 - SPORTS CULTURE IN OTTOMAN SOCIETY

07.10.2016 - TURQUERIE: EVOLUTION OF TURKISH THEME IN EUROPEAN ART, STYLE

30.09.2016 - THE BALYAN FAMILY: ARMENIAN MASTERS BEHIND OTTOMAN ARCHITECTURE

23.09.2016 - WORLD'S FIRST HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

16.09.2016 - THE KULELI INCIDENT: AN OTTOMAN COUP ATTEMPT

09.09.2016 - THE SOCIAL DIVIDE BEHIND THE SYRIAN WAR

02.09.2016 - SYRİA: FROM THE DAWN OF CİVİLİZATİON TO CHAOS OF WAR

26.08.2016 - FEB 28: A 'POST-MODERN' COUP OF RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL OPRESSION

19.08.2016 - 1971 MILITARY MEMORANDUM: A POLITICAL DOWNTURN

12.08.2016 - THE 1980 COUP: FEARFUL PERIOD AMID POLITICAL CRACKDOWN

08.08.2016 - THE 1960 COUP: FIRST ATTACK ON TURKISH DEMOCRACY

29.07.2016 - TREATY OF LAUSANNE: TRIUMPH OR LOSS?

22.07.2016 - A BRIEF HISTORY OF COUPS IN TURKEYTORY OF COUPS IN TURKEY

15.07.2016 - UNWRAPPING THE HISTORY OF PAPER AND ITS INFLUENCE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD

08.07.2016 - A TRAVEL DIARY FROM MAGHRIB TO THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

04.07.2016 - RAMADAN BAYRAM: SHARE, REJOICE, WORSHIP

24.06.2016 - PRINCESS EMINE NECIBE: A LOST TALE FROM CAIRO TO ISTANBUL

17.06.2016 - THE KARAMANLIDES: A TURKISH-SPEAKING GREEK ORTHODOX COMMUNITY IN ANATOLIA

10.06.2016 - DATES: THE SACRED FRUIT DURING RAMADAN

03.06.2016 - THE SOCIAL ROLE OF WAQFS DURING THE OTTOMAN ERA

27.05.2016 - SHAMANISM: A PRACTICE OF EARLY TURKIC BELIEFS

20.05.2016 - A MONETARY HISTORY OF ISLAMIC SOCIETIES

16.05.2016 - FEZ: A TIME-HONORED OTTOMAN HAT FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN

06.05.2016 - THE ABDULLAH BROTHERS: PIONEERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE LATE OTTOMAN PERIOD

29.04.2016 - THE SIEGE OF KUT: AN UNFORGOTTEN OTTOMAN VICTORY

23.04.2016 - HEALING IN ISLAMIC SCIENCE AND MEDICINE

18.04.2016 - BEDESTEN: THE OTTOMAN PRECURSOR TO THE SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX

08.04.2016 - THE ART of THE MEDDAH: TRADITIONAL TURKISH STORYTELLING

01.04.2016 - RETHINKING THE IMPERIAL HAREM: WHAT DID LIFE LOOK LIKE FOR OTTOMAN PALACE WOMEN?

25.03.2016 - THE ROMA: A LIFE OF CONSTANT TRAVEL

18.03.2016 - TWO SIDES OF THE GALLIPOLI WAR

11.03.2016 - EUROPE MUST KEEP THE TRADITION OF LIVING TOGETHER

04.03.2016 - THE HOLODOMOR: A MANUFACTURED HUMAN TRAGEDY

26.02.2016 - JAMRAH: THE HERALD of SPRİNG

19.02.2016 - HANDKERCHIEFS: THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF LOVE

12.02.2016 - KARAITE JEWS: THE READERS of HEBREW SCRIPTURES

05.02.2016 - 150 PERSONAE NON GRATAE: THE BLACK LIST OF THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED REPUBLIC

29.01.2016 - WHY THE ISLAMIC WORLD FELL BEHIND IN SCIENCE

22.01.2016 - ADA KALEH: A TURKISH ISLAND IN THE DANUBE RIVER

15.01.2016 - THE MOSUL QUESTION: A CLASH FOR OIL

09.01.2016 - THE GOOD OLD DAYS, WHEN DUMPING SNOW IN THE BOSPORUS WAS AMUSEMENT

01.01.2016 - NEWSPAPERS: AN INTELLECTUAL LEGACY of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE

18.12.2015 - THE GALATA BANKERS: FINANCING OTTOMAN STATE

11.12.2015 - A BRIEF HISTORY OF TURKISH-RUSSIAN RELATIONS

04.12.2015 - FRAMING WOMEN'S STATUS THROUGH THE AGES

20.11.2015 - TURKISH-ARAB RELATIONS FROM PAST TO TODAY

13.11.2015 - SLAVERY AND ISLAM: A TRANSFORMATIVE MEETING

30.10.2015 - THE BRIEF HISTORY of ELECTIONS in TURKEY

23.10.2015 - ASHURA: THE TRADITIONAL DESSERT EMBRACING PEOPLE FROM EVERY RELIGION

16.10.2015 - TURKISH CHEESES OFFER A VARIETY OF TASTES

09.10.2015 - TRANSFORMATION OF OTTOMAN COFFEEHOUSES TO THE PRESENT

02.10.2015 - THE STORY OF THE STAR AND CRESCENT ON THE ARMS OF TWO EUROPEAN CITIES

25.09.2015 - QURBAN BAYRAM: HOW DO MUSLIMS CELEBRATE A HOLY FEAST?

18.09.2015 - MAHPEYKER KOSEM SULTAN: THE WOMAN WHO OVERSAW 3 GENERATIONS of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE

11.09.2015 - LITERACY IN OTTOMAN SOCIETY WAS HIGHER THAN BELIEVED

04.09.2015 - HOSTILITY BETWEEN SELIM I AND ISMAIL I UNDERLIES SECTARIAN DIFFERENCES

28.08.2015 - IMAM SHAMIL: A PIONEER OF THE CAUCUSES'S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM

22.08.2015 - THE DEVŞIRME SYSTEM: A LADDER TO THE TOP OF THE STATE FOR NON-MUSLIMS

14.08.2015 - THE SPANISH TREASURE LYING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ATLANTIC

06.08.2015 - THE HISTORY of FRATRICIDE in the OTTOMAN EMPIRE

31.07.2015 - THE HISTORICAL CITY GATES OF ISTANBUL

24.07.2015 - THE STORY OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE'S CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY

17.07.2015 - CELEBRATING THE JOYOUS HOLIDAY OF EID AL-FITR

10.07.2015 - SYKES-PICOT: THE WESTERN AGREEMENT THAT SEALED THE MIDDLE EAST'S DOOM

04.07.2015 - A TRAITOR OR A HERO? THE EXECUTION OF SHEIKH SAID

26.06.2015 - HATS: A POLITICAL SYMBOL OF TURKISH HISTORY

19.06.2015 - RAMADAN FESTIVITIES BRING LIVELY ATMOSPHERE

12.06.2015 - LEGENDS ABOUT TAQI AL-DIN AND THE DEMOLISHED OTTOMAN OBSERVATORY

08.06.2015 - MYTHS AND REALITY ABOUT THE PRINTING PRESS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

29.05.2015 - THE CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE: THE HERALDING IN A NEW ERA

23.05.2015 - A CHURCH, A MOSQUE AND FINALLY A MUSEUM: THE NEARLY 1,500-YEAR-OLD STORY OF THE HAGIA SOPHIA

16.05.2015 - THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: A SHELTER FOR ALL KINDS OF REFUGEES

09.05.2015 - THE MOSQUE THAT STANDS ON THE SEA: KILIÇ ALI PASHA MOSQUE

02.05.2015 - THE ROLES OF MAJOR POWERS DURING THE 1915 ARMENIAN INCIDENTS

24.04.2015 - HOW WERE THE 1915 INCIDENTS CONFRONTED BY THE OTTOMANS?

17.04.2015 - MYSTERIOUS SCHOLAR BETWEEN EAST AND WEST: LEGEND OF JAMAL AL-DIN AL-AFGHANI

10.04.2015 - A UNIQUE PERIOD IN TURKISH HISTORY: THE TULIP ERA

03.04.2015 - YEMEN: SEARCHING FOR A SIGN OF PEACE

27.03.2015 - FROM KAFFA TO ISTANBUL: COFFEE'S JOURNEY TO TURKEY

20.03.2015 - JIHAD: A MISUNDERSTOOD ISLAMIC TERM

13.03.2015 - THE BITTER STORY OF THE OTTOMAN DYNASTY’S EXILE

06.03.2015 - THE HISTORIC JOURNEY OF YOGURT: FROM TURKIC PEOPLES TO THE WORLD

27.02.2015 - THE HISTORICAL ADVENTURE OF THE TOMB OF SULEYMAN SHAH

20.02.2015 - SHOULD TURKEY SWITCH TO A PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM?

13.02.2015 - WAHHABISM: PURE ISLAM OR EXTREMISM?

06.02.2015 - WORLD WAR I: THE HEAVY TOLL OF A DEADLY CONFLİCT

27.01.2015 - LOOKING BACK ON THE LIFE OF A KING

19.01.2015 - THE OTTOMANS’ EXEMPLARY TREATMENT OF STREET ANİMALS

09.01.2015 - HURREM SULTAN: A BELOVED WIFE OR MASTER MANIPULATOR?

03.01.2015 - AN ANCESTRAL LANGUAGE WITH A DIFFERENT ALPHABET

26.12.2014 - DISCOVER THE SEALS OF OTTOMAN SULTANS

02.12.2014 - MEMORIES OF ISTANBUL SHELTERED IN FIREPROOF LIBRARIES

10.09.2014 - SEA BATHING, THE GOOD OLD FASHION WAY

07.06.2014 - SMILE AND SAY 'CHEESE'

13.05.2014 - THE OTTOMAN AQUADUCT LEGACY

25.04.2014 - WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ARMENIANS (MILLET-I SADIKA)?

20.04.2014 - OTTOMAN MILITARY MARCHING BAND

12.04.2014 - MUSLIMS COME FIRST IN THE HISTORY OF CONSTITUTIONS

05.04.2014 - ISTANBUL COMES TO BLOOM WITH TULIPS

28.03.2014 - AN EXOTIC COMMUNITY IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: THE LEVANTINES

21.03.2014 - CELEBRATE WITH SWEETS ALL YEAR ROUND

21.03.2014 - MURDERS FOR A FALSE PARADISE: THE HASHSHASHINS

10.03.2014 - NOTABLE LIFE OF MIHRIMAH SULTAN

10.03.2014 - SULTAN SULEIMAN'S INACCURATE PORTRAYAL ON TV SHOW

07.03.2014 - CRIMEA BETWEEN TWO FIRES