From Iskender to Mehmed Il: Change in Royal Imagery

The paper examines two Ottoman artists' interpretation of a theme, which has been popular in the history of Islamic book painting. ln fact, most of the manuscripts of the Shahnama of Firdausi and the Iskandarnama of Nizâmi, contain a painting which illustrates how Qaydafa (or Nushaba), the Queen of Maghrib, recognizes Iskender, who is visiting her in the disguise of his own envoy, by using his portrait which was made secretly on her order beforehand. ln almost all of these paintings, dating from the 15-17th centuries, the "portrait", which shows Iskender in the cliché form of the portraits in Islamic book painting, has been an essential iconographical detail. However, the two Ottoman artists' interpretations of the same topic in the two copies of the Ottoman translation of Firdausi's Shahnama point out the "Ottoman" approach to portrait painting, to Iskender's portrait particularly. The personage depicted in these portraits, in three-quarter view bust form (entirely different from the full-length frontal portraits), with his distinctive facial features, his headgear and outfit, is not an imaginary or casual image of Iskender. Instead, it is a portrait of a real person, the celebrated Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II. After the comparisons of the portraits of Iskender with that of Mehmed II painted by several Ottoman artists, the paper tries to answer the question why Iskender is transformed and given Mehmed II's identity in the hands of Ottoman artists.

Serpil Bagci

Some Thoughts on a 19th Century Ottoman Inquiry into Artistic Past

My presentation involves an official Ottoman effort to define, conserve and display the empire's architectural heritage. I concentrate on a text entitled the Usul-i Mi 'mari-yi Osmani which was commissioned by the Ottoman government for the 1873 World Exhibition in Vienna. It was an elaborate attempt to fabricate a history for Ottoman architecture, to promote it as a "national style" and to justify its universal status vis-à-vis the privileged styles of the "civilized world". I am specifically interested in delineating the multiple audiences targeted in the text; i.e. how the western conceptual tools and norms of representation were appropriated in order to find a niche for Ottoman architecture within the history of world architecture as it was formulated in the West. And, furthermore, how these strategies of representation coincided with internal political aims and dynastic claims within the Ottoman realm itself. I believe that the delineation of the specific objectives followed in the writing of this text will offer a closer view of the mind-set and the multiple concerns of the Ottoman architect working in a period of intense modernization.

Ahmet Ersoy

19th Century Official Buildings of Kastamonu

The integration of administrative, juridical, military, educational, and other institutions rooted in western concepts in the XVIIIth century has also brought along western architectural plan organizations in Ottoman society and urban life. These dwellings which were different from traditional architecture norms have found place first of ail in Istanbul; later they diffused all over the country. ln the first stage, military edifices, then governmental buildings were constructed. ln parallel with changes in the administrative structure of the government, modern educational buildings and other official buildings followed them in almost every Anatolian city and settlernent.

Kastamonu, a city which was conquered by Ottomans in 1461 and existed as a medium size city since then, was inevitably influenced by these changes. From the beginning of the XIXth century, construction activities gradually increased with the economic growth. This period was influenced and determined by the efforts of integration of the western institutions into Ottoman city's structure.

The first building in Kastamonu was the casern built for the Ottoman military forces. Afterwards dwellings as the penitentiary, schools, prison, bank offices, hospital, town hall, etc., took place in Kastamonu. The difference between the architectural styles of these buildings and traditional Ottoman architectural concepts contributed to the modern aspect of Kastamonu's panorama. Most of those edifices are disappearing witnesses of the social, cultural, economical and technological constitution of their period of construction.

Kemal Kutgün Eyüpgiller

Vizierial Undertakings in the Making of the Ottoman Capital

The reconstruction of Constantinople under the initiative of Mehmed II (1429-1481) mirrored, and was an integral part of, the transition of the expanding Ottoman state into a centralized empire. Under Mehmed's rule the city became the object of a grand urban project which aimed not only at reviving the empty and dilapidated Byzantine city, but at endowing it with the civil, religious, intellectual, and commercial centers, the monumental façade and the working structure befitting the imperial capital.

This paper investigates the role of the early vizierial foundations in the formation of the Ottoman capital. The establishment of socio-religious complexes by Mahmud Pasha, Rum Mehmed Pasha and Murad Pasha have to date been discussed mostly in relation to their function as urban nuclei of emerging districts. There are, however, further aspects to these undertakings which render them essential in the making of the Ottoman capital, as well as in the initiation of a new pattern of architectural patronage by the ruling elite. With their prominent sites, architectural features, and extensive functions, the vizierial foundations contributed to the formation of spaces representing Ottoman rule in the city. At the same time, together with the sultanic undertakings, they established the patterns of use of urban space which would shape the city in the following centuries. Thus, the new military elite of the centralized state partook in the construction of Istanbul as the locus of the Ottoman Empire.

Çigdem Kafescioglu

The Waqf of the Ottoman Mutesselim of Jaffa in 1812: A Case of Provincial patronage?

This paper examines the relationship between such variables as wealth, power and self-image, through a single act of waqf endowment, to establish their role as initiators of provincial urbanisation. A significant wave of urbanisation prevailed in the Osmanli-Arab provinces in the second part of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th as an inevitable concomitant to the proliferation of the A'yan. Those local potentates practiced self-promotion in the form of material power and pious acts of waqf endowments. Whereas in political terms this was translated in the demands of Pashaliks and, sometimes, local revolts, in material culture it was translated in traditional forms of urbanisation.

As such this paper argues essentially for continuity: the continuity of the long 18th century until it was finally halted by Ibrahim Pasha's campaign in 1830. This continuity of course included continuity of administration as well as continuity of disintegration. The creation of a city centre in Jaffa in the first two decades of the 19th century demonstrates this idea. Its mutassalim Abu Nabbut undertook in the name of a pious act of Waqf a great building programme that was in fact continuing a traditional pattern of urbanisation that accompanied the self-enhancement campaign of the A'yan. The study is based on an unpublished waqf document dated 1227H/1812 A.D. with additions and alterations 1228-1232H/ 1813-1816 A.D. The analysis of the waqfiyya shows that Abu Nabbut, the founder of the waqf can be considered the founder of the modern port of Jaffa. He created a new city center with al its physical requirements. He rebuilt the city-walls and the mosque, built two Sabils in Jaffa, a kitabhane or madrasa, and a souq with 36 shops. Furthermore, for the maintenance of these buildings and their operational expenses he endowed 30 shops, 8 houses, including his own, cafes, tanneries and a further number of water mills all mentioned in his waqf.

The waqf founder was determined to use his wealth for the creation of a physical infrastructure for a potential powerbase. Furthermore both the buildings types and architectural styles of the endowment waqf seem to suggest that he was acting like a "ruler" and pro bably wanting to be seen as one.

Ruba Kana'an

Comparison of the Caravanserais in Anatolia and Asia in the Middle Ages

It is generally accepted that there is an architectural relationship between the Anatolian Seljuk caravanserais and the Central Asian ribats (the term Central Asia is used here only for Turkmenistan).

The ribat caravanserais on the trade routes of Central Asia and the caravanserais on the trade routes of Anatolia had the same function during the Middle Ages. Furthermore the antiquity of their relationship with the Central Asian ribats is shown by the fact that sorne of the Seljuk caravanserais in Anatolia used the term ribat in their inscriptions.

ln this paper, the Anatolian Seljuk caravanserais and the Central Asian caravanserais are compared and contrasted with reference to the materials used in their constructions, external appearances and plans.

Inci Kuyulu

A Group of Paintings from the 17th Century used for Picture Recitation

The subject of the paper is a series of Ottoman Sultan's portraits and a number of paintings depicting prophets kept in the Topkapi Palace Museum Library.

Evliya Çelebi, the famous Ottoman traveller of the 17th century, mentions in his work a group of artisans named as “Esnaf-i Falciyan-i Musavvir" living in Istanbul. These artisans were hanging in their shop paintings produced by former masters which depicted Sultans, Prophets, land and sea battles and scenes from literary works like Yusuf Zulaykha, Layla Majnun, Farhad Shirin or Warka Gulshah. Evliya says the clients looking at these paintings and choosing one of them were informed about their fortune by " Esnaf-i Falciyan-i Musavvir" who recited a poem which was inspired by the theme of the painting. Actually these artisans were performing picture recitations.

Can the single images of prophets and Ottoman Sultans kept in the Topkapi Palace Museum Library be the works used by this group of artisans who were performing picture recitations? Can they be a gift presented to a 17th century Ottoman Sultan?

The paper tries to answer these questions and deals with the technique and iconography of the paintings depicting Ottoman Sultans and scenes with Prophets.

Banu Mahir

Domestic Architecture, Notables, and Power: A Neighborhood in late Ottoman Damascus

ln this paper I have attempted to show how the domestic architecture and urbanism of the Sarouja quarter reflected the increasing power, influence and mobility of the Damascene notables in the 18th and 19th centuries. A recent field work has brought to light the fact that 15 beautiful houses with qa 'as (ceremonial rooms) richly decorated with wood paintings were built by this rising class of notables during the 19th century. ln addition, based on fieldwork and archival research, I tried to shed light on the structure and composition of Damascene houses. Sorne indicators of the notable families' social and economic importance at the time include the sheer surface area of the houses, as well as the utilization of expensive building materials such as marble and the incorporation of elements such as a qa'a and a bath.

I showed how powerful families or individuals of the late Ottoman period contributed to and shaped the process of Damascene neighborhood urbanization.

Abd al-Razzaq Moaz

Modernity and Modern Architecture in Kemalist Turkey

ln the Kemalist era, modern architecture mirrored the reform movement. Two periods can be distinguished in the architectural movement: the artificial construction of a modern architecture by little known architects like Ernst Egli, and the moderate modernity by Clemens Holzmeister who developed a new architecture for political representation, as in the governmental quarter of the new capital, Ankara. During a second wave, after 1933, architects from the avant-garde movement of Central Europe went into exile to Turkey. These persons like Martin Wagner and Bruno Taut started a revision of modernity under the influence of the Turkish traditional architecture and of the rich Ottoman tradition. At the end of the thirties Taut created a new form of representative architecture as chief architect of the Ministry of Education. A similar transformation happened in Palestine with Erich Mendelsohn's buildings.

The comparison between the architectural structures and forms in Holzmeister's government quarter and Taut's university buildings illustrates their different idea of representation and political iconography.

Bernd Nicolai

The Origin of the Seljukid Double-Headed Eagle as a Cosmological Symbol

Imdugud which was represented on seals as an eagle with two lion-heads, was a characteristic symbol of the twin-god (Sun-god) in Mesopotamia, for the Sun-god had a double character. He radiates benevolent (in spring) and malevolent (in summer) light at the same time. The Mitannians in Syria adopted the Egyptian winged-disk and assimilated it into a concept of a sky symbol placed on top of the 'pillar supporting heaven'. The Hattians borrowed the eagle and represented it on seals in Anatolia. Assyrians modified the Egyptian winged-disk in replacing the wings and tail of the sparrow hawk with the wings and tail of the eagle. The winged disk was transferred from Mesopotamia to Persia in Achaemenid times and depicted on monuments and on cylindrical seals as a sky symbol. The winged disk with the eagle's wings and tail and the eagle itself were also a symbol and keeper of the Sun- or Skygate which was located in the mountain chain limiting the earth on its sides. The eagle was one of the oldest cosmological symbols in Eurasia. Two-headed eagle (Ai, the Creator or Ai Toyon, the Creator of Light) was placed at the top of the Uralo-Altaic world tree. This practice seems to have a very long past preceding even the Mesopotamian beginnings. It is more constructive to interpret these old cosmological elements as the outcome of certain basic universal concepts existing in the cosmologies of sedentary and nomadic peoples of entire Asia. On the other hand there is a certain historical continuity in the Near Eastern art. The double or single-headed eagles in Seljukid art resemble their ancient Mesopotamian and Persian prototypes in respect to their style and application. The double-headed eagle can be found in Seljukid art as an abstracted figural element. The so-called arabesque decorations not only comprises the eagle as an abstracted figural element but the sacred tree as well. The Seljukid double-headed eagle is regarded as a heraldic symbol. This view still remains unsound. Likewise the Mesopotamian lion-headed eagle is treated as an emblem. It is related to the War- and Sun-god Ninurta whose cult under various local names was prominent in the cities represented by the lion-headed eagle. It did not belong to a single city, but to the cities where the Sun-god was the chief among the other gods. Its heavenly rather than earthly symbolism was more accentuated throughout the centuries. The Seljukid single- or double-headed eagle follows its prototype in this respect. There is enough knowledge to justify the specific heraldic quality of the double-headed eagles which can be found in many places in Islamic arts. The double- or single-headed eagle was primarily a messenger and a symbol of the earthly power granted by god.

Ali Uzay Peker

A 19th Century Interpretation of Çinili Kösk (Istanbul) in an Orientalist Manner

The impacts of a multi-dimensional European approach - Orientalism -were felt in the Ottoman capital too, from the mid 19th century onwards. A rich world of borrowed forms from various non-Ottoman Islamic artistic traditions is observed in about 30 designs in Istanbul: a complex instance in the history of architecture which can be defined as an "Orientalism in the Orient". The contrast caused by Indian, Persian and Moorish architectural motives was not as strong as it occurred in the western architecture where they were perceived as totally new and "exotic". Although there are also Ottoman examples, closer to the western perception, the general familiarity of sorne decorative and structural patterns led to the evaluation of the Ottoman forms in a revivalist manner. ln other words, Ottoman Orientalism of the 19th century functioned as a catalyst in the transformation process of the architecture from a totally western look to an Ottoman revivalist content.

ln most of the Ottoman-orientalist examples, the chosen architectural elements and decorative patterns were applied to frequently repeated building types, façades and interiors of the era. However, one particular design among them, that of the twin pavilions at the entrance of the former Ministry of Defense in Istanbul, attracts one's attention also because of its architectural mass and the revivalist elements re-designed to a new perspective. A closer examination of their architecture shows that they were inspired by a 15th century edifice, Çinili Kösk, a very early part of the Topkapi Palace complex. By being 19th century replicas of one of the earliest Ottoman buildings in the city on one hand, and by reflecting the orientalist taste with a Moorish touch on the other, they mark an important stage during the course of the revivalist searches for a national identity in late Ottoman architecture.

Turgut Saner

Ottoman Costume Albums: Between Mirabilia and Human Topography

This presentation examines aspects of the interaction between Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries through a contextual analysis of a particular type of document, the costume album. Costumes were a focal point of the early European exploration of foreign cultures: determined in many pre-modern societies by the wearer's ethnic and occupational identity, attire became an ideogrammatic system with which the West represented the Orient. Thus, illustrated albums featuring compilations of costumes evolved into metonyms for the mores of other cultures, as custom came to represent custom.

Ottoman costume albums have received considerable attention in recent years, much of which has tended to regard them as a sui generis expression of early orientalism. This paper situates European-produced albums depicting Ottoman costumes at the crossroads of two representational strands: on the one hand, the large corpus of printed books depicting European costumes, as well as related traditions such as the Dance of Death and the Town Cries; and on the other, the books of marvels depicting the monstrous races and fabulous creatures inhabiting the terra incognita.

Initially produced by European travelers and reproduced through systematic copying, costume albums depicting Ottomans were eventually produced within the Ottoman Empire itself, by local artists commissioned by western travellers. The ease with which Ottoman artists were able to respond to this foreign demand is tied once again to the presence of two cultural traditions, this time Ottoman: encyclopaedic compilations focused on a particular subject such as biographical dictionaries of poets; and performative representations of Ottoman society in court ceremonial, guild parades, and later, shadow puppet theater.

Leslie Meral Schick

Aya Mavra (Santa Maura) in Ottoman Times (1479-1684):
A Survey of the Ottoman Architecture in Aya Mavra on the Island of Levkas

The fortress of Aya Mavra is situated on a small island in the shallow lagoon between mainland Greece and the Ionian island of Levkas. The origin of the stronghold dates back to the early 14th century when the first, small, fortress was built by the ltalian Orsini family. Until the Ottoman conquest in 1479 the Tocchi family ruled in Santa Maura. Both the Tocchi and the later Venetian rulers of the island (1502-1505 and from 1684 onwards) restored and/or enlarged the existing fortress. This led to the assumption that the fortress was built by the Venetians. In consequence the Ottoman contribution to the building history of the fortress remained completely unknown. This paper deals with the Ottoman period exclusively. The research is largely based on document and map material from Turkish, Venetian and Greek archives and libraries. It sheds new light on the extensive Ottoman building activities in Aya Mavra, and thus reveals a hitherto unknown but important period in the building history of AyaMavra.

Enrico A. van Teillingen

The Ottoman Contribution to 16th Century Shirazi Manuscript Production

This paper surveys the evidence found in the extant illustrated 16th century Persian Shirazi manuscripts of the Topkapi Palace Museum Library in conjunction with the evidence from the surviving documents in the Topkapi Palace Museum archives to determine the role played by the Ottoman book collectors in creating an increased demand for Persian luxury manuscripts. This dernand was met by the prolific workshops of Shiraz as is implied by the accumulation of large numbers of Persian Shirazi manuscripts through various means in Ottoman collections. The Ottoman demand was there not only because the Ottoman collectors wanted to purchase these manuscripts for their own libraries and as presents for higher dignitaries of the Ottoman realm, but also because the Safavid officials wanted them for presentation to their Ottoman counterparts. As a result of the extended Ottoman-Safavid hostilities of the 16th century, the officials of the two states had increased contact which led to a more intensive cultural exchange. This in turn contributed to an increased activity in the production of the better quality Shirazi illustrated manuscripts.

Lale Uluç

Ottoman Damascus of the 19th Century: Art- and City Development as an Expression of Changing Times

ln the 19th century a new administrative centre emerged extra muros westward of the Damascene historical city centre, which differed functionally, structurally and artistically from the local building tradition. It is generally assumed that this modernization of the character of the Damascene city amounted to an europeanization. The aim of the paper is first to elucidate that it is not an immediate influence from Europe but an "osmanisation" of the architecture, and secondly that the development of a new administrative city centre as such is an expression of the Ottoman will for reform.

The Tanzîmat, which reformed, among other things, the administrative structures of the Ottoman empire, obviously changed the structures of Damascus as the capital city of the vilâyet of Syria. Particularly since the 1860's, the Ottoman city, with new fashioned administrative buildings developed around the Marga square. The architecture of these buildings differed clearly from traditional buildings. Unmistakably, Ottoman buildings, especially Anatolian konaks, served as models. Particularly from the 19th century onwards Ottoman perception of European art was copied.

The transformation of Damascene architecture was not limited to official buildings only, but also influenced private life. With the city houses, the real gem of Damascene architecture, one can grasp the developmental process from local building tradition to imperial style. The interior decoration and the design of the façade changed in such a way that the Damascenes themselves called those building units Istanbûlî (in the manner of Istanbul).

The centralisation of the Ottoman state bound Damascus more to Istanbul than ever before. ln the 19th century all domains of architecture were orientated towards Istanbul, so that we can speak of an osmanisation of the general character of the Damascene city.

Stefan Weber

The Theme "Peasants/Farmers" in Turkish Painting

Modernization in the Turkish Republic necessitated a cultural and art policy different than during the Ottoman Empire. Art and artists have supported reforms and helped to the definition of the Republic's visual image.

Starting in 1922, Atatürk emphasized in his various speeches that Turkey's real masters were peasants and in this context he suggested that artists should consider this subject in their paintings. Therefore the new Turkish Republic, that won the Independence war with the help of peasants, praised the peasants and farmers. Artists adopted subjects related to peasants and farmers in their paintings. They considered agriculture as the basis of production and development. The subject of peasants and farmers has been used repeatedly by the artists almost till today within different ideological and political context.

Zeynep Yasa Yaman