The Hamidian Quest for Tribal Origins | Ahmet Ersoy & Deniz Türker

E379 | 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 materials held today as part of the Yıldız Palace Library. More at Deniz Türker is a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University's Centre of Islamic Studies. A specialist of late-Ottoman art and architecture, her various research interests are centred on domestic spaces, gardens and landscapes, as well as collecting trends and the shape and nature of archives. Ahmet Ersoy is Associate Professor at the History Department at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. His work deals with the history of the Late Ottoman Empire with a special focus on the changing role and status of visual culture during a period of westernizing change. CREDITS Episode No. 379 Release Date: 18 September 2018 Recording Location: Istanbul Audio editing by Matthew Ghazarian Music: Istanbul'dan Ayva Gelir Nar Gelir - Azize Tozem and Sari Recep Harmandali - Recep Efendi, Cemal Efendi Images and bibliography courtesy of Ahmet Ersoy and Deniz Türker available at

Ottoman History Podcast