Studies on Ottoman Geography

Ottoman geographers first translated many Arabic and Persian books aiming at discovering the scientifically prolific ground prepared previously by Muslim geographers. Starting especially from the XVIth century a lot of newly compiled works ranging from general geography, sea geography, travel, memoirs, diary, distance books (which shows the distance between two overnight stopping places) to cartography appeared. The zenith was reached in the XVIIth century with Katip Çelebi, Evliya Çelebi and Ebubekir b. Behram. The XVIIIth Century seemed to be a period of brand-new works following the trace of aforementioned books as well as an important period where crucial books in the field were published by İbrahim Muteferrika's personal exertion. Although there was a fall in the number of original geography works in the XIXth century, geographical dictionaries were prepared; at the beginning of XXth century geography was given place in the madrasa curriculum, which stimulated the publication of new books in the field. Ottoman geographers, who wrote so many essential books in number and quality, were not given the attention they deserve. Modern geographers have, to a great extent, not interested in the field and, the vacuum has been filled mainly by historians, linguists, theologians, and art-historians.


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