If you assumed this was the story of Crusader Knight Raymond of St. Egidier, Seljuq King Kilij Arslan, then you already know what happens next. If not, you can read about it here.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
The image at left is from a German work called the Death of Simon Magus. Simon Magus, or Simon the Magician was an early gnostic who not only appears in the Acts of the Apostles but also in today's map.
Thanks to Fergus Reoch for alerting us to this amazing Karamanlica map of the United States from 1877. (Karamanlica is Turkish written in a slightly modified Greek script, but then I suspect our readers already knew that). Fergus drew our attention to Γενι Πρανζβικ, or Yeni Brunswick, and ΤΙΓΙΑΡΙ ΧΙΝΤΙ (ΑΣΗΛ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΒΙ) ΙΝΤΙΑΝ ΤΕΡΡΙΤΟΡΙ [Diyari Hinti, (Asil Amerikavi) Indian Territory] among other highlights. There is also Memaliki Kanata (the dot above the T, if I recall correctly, makes it a D), Amerika-i Şomali-i Ingliz, Kenthki, Oxaio and my favorites, Gioyta for Utah and Oyagiomink for Wyoming. The maps of the other countries on the side are there for comparison.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
So our question for today is "Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries combined, were there more fezzes manufactured at Istanbul's famed Feshane, on the Golden Horn, or in all the regalia companies in the American midwest combined. Reader speculation, informed or otherwise, is encouraged.
Also, it seems a little petty to point this out, but given how quickly this fez came apart when I tried to look inside of it, the idea of calling it a first quality fez is absurd.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Today's post comes out of my effort to make the case that the Iraqi-Syrian border is an odd place from which to claim the end of the the Sykes-Picot treaty and the Middle East state system it created. Among other things, the French and British imperialists behind Sykes-Picot apparently cared so little about the stretch of border that the ISIS has over-run that they didn't bother demarcating it for about a decade, and even then were sufficiently indifferent that they let the League of Nations arbitrate their conflicting claims.
The map above shows the work of a League Commission assigned to arbitrate between rival interpretations of the border's path between the Tigris an Euphrates Rivers. (click here for a close up of the map, courtesy of the Rumsey collection). A 1970 report from the US state department offers the step by step written narrative of the commission's decision. As the report explains:
The Convention, which defined the boundaries of Iraq and Syria, is titled, the Franco-British Convention of December 23, 1920, on certain points connected with the Mandates for Syria and the Lebanon, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. It provided for the demarcation of the frontiers by an Anglo-French Boundary Commission but delimited the boundary only in general terms, subject to later determination. On February 3, 1922, the two powers signed another agreement which differed only slightly from the original delimitation. The boundary as it is today is based on the League of Nations Report of the Commission entrusted by the Council with the study of the Frontier between Syria and Iraq, Geneva, September 10, 1932.
|The Sinjar Sector, from Google Earth|
1. Tigris-Sinjar Sector From the confluence of the Eastern Kabur and the Tigris, the thalweg of the Tigris to about one kilometre below Pesh Kabur; thence a straight line to Tell Dahraya (point 384); thence a straight line as far as Tell Khoda-ed-Deir (point 391).
2. Sinjar Sector Majority Proposal.From Tell Khoda-ed-Deir (Point 391), a straight line to Tell Rhuli (trigonometrical point 402); thence to trig. pt. 645; thence to trig. pt. 573; thence to trig. pt. 395, and terminating at Tell Sfug (trig. pt. 332).
3. Salt-deposit Sector
From Tell Sfug (trig. pt. 332) in a straight line to trigonometrical point 331; thence to trig. pt. 280; thence to trig. pt. 259; thence to trig. pt. 276; thence to trig. pt. 230; thence to trig. pt. 236; thence to trig. pt. 231; thence to the ruins of the small military post on the border of the Buara salt deposit (point 164, 3.6 kilometres W.N.W. of trig. pt. 172); thence to trig. pt. 167; thence to El Gara (trig. pt. 193); thence to trig. pt. 174; thence to the Jebel Baghuz (trig. pt. L.S. 29, not indicated on the map).
4. Euphrates Sector
|And a slightly greener picture|
5. Euphrates-Jebel Tenf Sector
From the Leachman boundary-stone in a straight line to the point situated 30 kilometres from the minaret of Abu Kemal on the straight line joining that minaret to the point situated 3.2 kilometres north of Tell Romah; thence this latter line as far as its intersection with the frontier between Iraq and Transjordan.15
The State Dept. report concludes by noting that the Commission also included a minority report more favorable to French interests that was rejected by the League. This proposal "followed a line southeastward from Tell Rhuli, through a pass in the Jabal Sinjar, referred as "Bab-ech-Chilu," then to Tell Yusef Beg, then in a straight line rejoining the majority proposed line at "Tell Sfug." The League, in a token gesture of fulfilling the stated mission of the Mandates, decided that the French version would have meant splitting the Jabal Sinjar, where "most of the Yazidi people lived."
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
View a full sized map here
In the 568th installment of our never-ending series about Middle Eastern borders, today we have a British map from 1922, courtesy of the Rumsey Collection, showing the Middle East after its division between France and Britain but before the demarcation of its present-day states (part of Anatolia, too, is still under Greek occupation, while the borders of the proposed Armenian mandate appear in the Northeast).
As can be seen, the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement split the Middle East into French and British controlled regions shown on this map as the undotted red line between Iraq and Syria. Subsequent subdivisions, for example between Syria and Lebanon or Jordan and Iraq were only finalized later. Ironically, while they British are often accused of creating an unworkable Iraqi state by joining together land inhabited by Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, the French had originally proposed sub-dividing Syria into separate Alawite and Druze mini-states. Faced with protests by Arab nationalists who saw it as a cynical attempt at divide and rule, the French abandoned the plan, creating modern Syria.
If anyone knows anything about the French military zone in Eastern Syria, the tentative borders of the Kurdish region in Iraq or why the border of Alexandretta are shown as an oddly small triangle please share. Or, to see more historic maps of Syria, check out Chris Gratien's collection on the subject.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
"Today for Turkey to become a tourist country is a dream. Two years earlier I went to Istanbul. It had historic and natural beauty but I only stayed two days. And I have no intention of going back. Because you can't even find a restaurant with good vegetables or a hotel with a good view.... Istanbul just has nature and history. Besides this you can't find anything.
"In Istanbul nothing remains of the legendary East... Think about it. In Paris there are plenty of places showing Eastern dances that are open every night. People who go to Istanbul expecting to see better ones will be shocked.
"To make Istanbul a tourist city if nothing else in at least some places a few legal rights must be recognized. For example in my opinion in an area including Beyoglu, Harbiye and Karakoy:
a) legal gambling
b) establishments open till dawn
c) permission for naked "variety" shows
d) all kinds of liquor freely sold
e) all hotels open to men and women
f) free exchange of all money
"Tourists want to see a lot of things with a little time and a little money. For this reason you must gather everything in the center, like Paris. You must transport the historic relics from a number of cities to Istanbul. As long as you don't give equal attention to comfort and entertainment alongside historic and natural beauty you will not be able to draw tourists to Istanbul. Even for those like me who actually visit it will remain as a beautiful film that they will watch once and move on without ever watching again."