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The Hamidian Quest for Tribal Origins

Episode 379
with Ahmet Ersoy & Deniz Türker hosted by Matthew Ghazarianand Zeinab Azarbadegan
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How did the Ottomans come to visually represent their mythical origins? And to what ends? In this episode we speak with Ahmet Ersoy and Deniz Türker about the formation, development, and visualization of Ertuğrul sancak, the mythical birthplace of the Ottoman dynasty. In 1886, Sultan Abdülhamid II commissioned an expedition of military photographers, painters, and cartographers to record the region, its architecture, and its nomadic tribes. Ersoy and Türker talk to us this mission and its economic and diplomatic ramifications, drawing on their recent exhibition, Ottoman Arcadia, at the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul. Our discussion touches on the proliferation and dissemination of visual materials during the reign of Abdülhamid II (1876-1909), as well as his massive collection of visual mater…

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