Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Edirne Ethnography

Another fascinating map from the IRCICA library, which brings together some of the best maps and worst lighting in Istanbul. It appeared in collection of seven or eight maps prepared by the Askeri Matbaasi, or military press, in Istanbul during the very early years of the Republic showing the military situation of the Edirne district during the Balkan Wars. The other maps cover the standard geographic features and strategic terrain you might expect to see in a military history. This map, though, shows the region's "ethnography," or what now might be called the human terrain. Specifically, it shows the villages in the area classified as "Muslim" (red), Rum, (Blue) or Bulgar (black).  Like this Ottoman ethnographic map of the Middle East from 1915, today's map is a reminder of the moment in history when religious and national affiliation (indeed the Muslim/Rum/Bulgar classification shows the ambiguous relationship between the two) became part of the military landscape.