Category: turkey

Galata Tower in Turkey / İstanbul 1880

Galata Tower in Turkey / İstanbul 1880

via reddit

Incredible photographs inside Derinkuyu, an ancient multi-level…

Incredible photographs inside Derinkuyu, an ancient multi-level underground city of the Median Empire in Turkey.

Tarabya, Turkey in 1870, photo by Pascal Sebah

Tarabya, Turkey in 1870, photo by Pascal Sebah

via reddit

Ancient Grinding Stone Discovered In Turkey

And it looks like it could grind grain today. Seriously, wow, great condition.

The grinding stone is about 2,700 years old. It was found in a Urartian castle, Cavustep, which was built by the Urartian King Sardur II in 750 BCE. Urartu was an Iron-Age kingdom in eastern Turkey.

ASIA MINOR: ANCIENT Asia Minor is a geographic…


ANCIENT Asia Minor is a geographic region located in the south-western part of Asia comprising most of what is present-day Turkey. The earliest reference to the region comes from tablets of the Akkadian Dynasty (2334-2083 BCE) where it is known as “The Land of the Hatti” and was inhabited by the Hittites. The Hittites themselves referred to the land as “Assuwa” (or, earlier, Aswiya) which actually only designated the area around the delta of the river Cayster in Lydia but came to be applied to the entire region. Assuwa is considered the Bronze Age origin for the name `Asia’ as the Romans later designated the area.  It was called, by the Greeks, “Anatolia” (literally, ‘place of the rising sun’, for those lands to the east of Greece).

The name ‘Asia Minor’ (from the Greek `Mikra Asia’ – Little Asia)  was first coined by the Christian historian Orosius (c. 375-418 CE) in his work Seven Books of History Against the Pagans in 400 CE to differentiate the main of Asia from that region which had been evangelized by the Apostle Paul (which included sites known from Paul’s Epistles in the Bible such as Ephesus and Galicia). The Byzantine Empire of the 9th century CE referred to the region as “East Thema” which meant, simply, Eastern Administrative Division, and later sailors called it “The Levant” which meant `the rising’ or `to rise’ referring to how the land rose up out on the horizon of the sea.

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Where Oghuz Lives

Oghuz is a sub-branch of the Turkish language family. Approximately 110 million people speak an Oghuz language, and they are broadly able to understand each other.

The fun thing about looking at Oghuz languages’ distribution: it maps out, very clearly, the historical migration of Turks from Central Asia to the Anatolian peninsula.

The Moon Star Flag: How Turkey’s Flag Came To …

The Turkish national flag is mostly red, with a white star and a crescent in the center. Ottoman Sultan Selim III formalized the look in 1793, but the flag is actually much older.

The crescent-and-star combination has been used in Turkey since Hellenistic times (400s to 100 BCE). It likely came from ancient Mesopotamian iconocraphy. Ancient depictions of the symbol always show the crescent with horns pointing upward and with the star placed inside the crescent, for reasons that have been lost to time. When it came to Turkey, they gave it their own meanings. For Byzantium the moon symbolized Diana, also known as Artemis, the patron goddess of the city.

In 1453, when the city was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, the flag remained unchanged. With time, it became not just Istanbul’s flag but the Ottoman flag, with its design formalized in 1793 and its status as national flag formalized in 1844. Turks affectionately call the flag “ay yildiz” – the “moon star” flag.

Many nations that were once part of Ottoman Empire adopted the star-and-crescent when they gained independence, including Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. In the 1900s the symbol became associated with not just the Ottomans, but with Islam in general, and many states that were never part of the Ottoman Empire adopted it too, including Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Maldives. Pretty amazing that an ancient Mesopotamian symbol is flown around the world today.

A Tale of Two Brothers

Mihailo and Mahmud Anđelović were separated as infants. Although they belonged to a branch of the aristocratic Greek family Angelos, their branch had taken refuge in Serbia after the Ottoman conquest of Thessaly in 1394.

The family could not escape the Ottomans entirely. Mahmud was captured by Ottoman Turks as an infant, brought up near Edirne in Turkey, and converted to Islam. Mahmud grew up to be smart and capable. He rose through the Ottoman bureaucracy to become beylerbey (senior provincial governor) of Rumelia in 1451, and Grand Vizier in 1455.

Mahmud’s brother Mihailo (or Michael in English) stayed in Serbia. He served as a Serbian court official under the reigns of Đurađ and Lazar Branković. Serbia at the time was a state bordering the Ottoman Empire, and was largely dominated by the Ottoman Empire.

The two brothers were eventually reunited! But under strange circumstances. In the negotiations between Serbian ruler Lazar Branković and Ottoman emperor Mehmed II in 1457, Mihailo was sent to represent and negotiate for Lazar, and Mahmud represented and negotiated for Mehmed II!

THE HITTITES: THE Hittites occupied the ancien…


THE Hittites occupied the ancient region of Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey) prior to 1700 BCE, developed a culture apparently from the indigenous Hatti (and possibly the Hurrian) people, and expanded their territories into an empire which rivaled, and threatened, the established nation of Egypt.

They are repeatedly mentioned throughout the Hebrew Tanakh (also known as the Christian Old Testament) as the adversaries of the Israelites and their god. According to Genesis 10, they were the descendants of Heth, son of Canaan, who was the son of Ham, born of Noah (Genesis 10: 1-6). The name they are known by today, therefore, comes from the Bible and from the Amarna Letters of Egypt which reference a “Kingdom of Kheta” identified today as the `Kingdom of Hatti’ (the designation the land of the Hittites was known by) but their own documents refer to them as Nesili, as do others of the time.  

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This Helmet Has A Tail

Technically, its a Thracian helmet from the Odrysian Kingdom, between 431 and 424 BCE. But really, does it not look like a tail?