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Ottoman-Era Photographs Take on New Meaning in Their Digital Life (2018) (blogs.getty.edu)
95 points by prismatic 5 months ago | hide | past | web | 20 comments | favorite

To whomever posted this, thank you. My father was from Turkey, and he often spoke longingly of his homeland. The images included here were transporting. I only wish he were still around so that I could sit there and thumb through them with him.

If you haven't gone before, you must visit!

For those that don't know, Turkey (Ottoman Empire) ruled for over 600 years over a very large empire. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire Quite a few times they tried taking over proper Europe, like Italy (Pope was there) and Austria. They ruled the Balkans, Northern Africa, Saudi Arabia, Caucasus etc etc. They didn't invest anything in occupied areas but didn't directly force conversions to Islam. Conversions had a lot of benefits of course so quite a few people did over the centuries.

Eventually Russia and European powers did them in, empire was rotting for centuries...

(Turkey's Erdogan is now trying to be the Sunni leader, only to be opposed by Saudi Arabia, which was pwnd by the Turks for centuries.)

As an aside (while I'm enjoying my morning cuppa), the Ottomans, via their control of the world coffee trade in the 1600s, served as the conduit through which Europe and India learned of, and began drinking coffee, both around the same time.

The full story is quite interesting, involving people risking death to subvert Ottoman attempts to protect their coffee monopoly's "Intellectual Property", which was fertile non-roasted coffee beans.

>but didn't directly force conversions to Islam

Well, not for the general population. But they did it lots of times...


"They began as an elite corps of slaves made up of kidnapped young Christian boys who were converted to Islam"

Also I think there was an extra tax for other abrahamic, and if you married into you had to convert.

>Eventually Russia and European powers did them in, empire was rotting for centuries...

The Russian winter is the only major European power that has never lost a war.

True, but they actually they fought mostly around the Black Sea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Russo-Turkish_w... Several times both sides had allies...and eventually Russia helped the Balkan Orthodox states claim independence from the Ottomans. Death by a thousand cuts, but 600+ years is impressive.

Yeah, it was definitely a long slow decline. I prefer not to let facts get in the way of my jokes though.

IIRC they got pwned pretty good by the Russian winter (well, the post-winter mud season) at some point in the 1500s(?) though.

The Ottoman Empire did not rule North Africa since they were never capable of conquering Morocco, they only got Algeria to join the empire since algeria was looking for protection from Spain.

OK, all but one. Algeria or any other "Algeria" would have no chance against the Ottoman army. They kept coming and coming and coming...

I was surprised to see an enormous sign saying YORKSHIRE, although i suppose if a Yorkshireman put up a sign it would hardly be a small one. Having squinted at the pixels, i think it was probably an advert, or an office sign, for an insurance company:


There's another sign for an insurance company, Aachen & Munich, below it.

Latin labels on the buildings are very interesting. Because, we switched to latin in 1928.

You mean to the Latin alphabet from the Arabic one, right?

Is the full set of images available for viewing online by the general public or only for "Experts"?

From the comments to the article:

> Annelisa Stephan on December 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm

> You can browse all the photos at the following link: http://primo.getty.edu/GRI:GETTY_ALMA21118428440001551

> Click the links to the right of the screen reading “Connect to digitized images of…” to browse the various series. From there, select an item by clicking the blue title link. Once you are in a record for an individual image or album, click the thumbnail image to the right of the screen to see it larger and, in the case of albums, page through the contents.

Very easy to miss seeing the image thumbnail, it appears on the extreme right, and if you don't scroll horizontally, not visible.

Even with that description, I can't find it.

Could someone who has actually bothered to read the article (unlike me) elucidate in what way the photographs have changed in meaning? Thanks.

One way is through changes in context, by organizing them by origin and theme so that they contribute to a larger narrative. Another is through enriching them with metadata that would not be obvious from simply looking at the image.

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