[FIRST BOOK ON THE EUROPEAN DISCOVERY AND CONQUEST OF AMERICA IN TURKISH] Amerika kit'asinin hîn-i kesf ü istîlâsinda zuhûra... [i.e. The History and Unfortunate Events that Occurred During the European Conquest of America..,]
ES-SEYYID MEHMED RA'IF, (19th century), (Text and calligraphy by).
N.p., [Kostantiniyye - i.e. Constantinople], [1273 AH] = 1857 AD.
Lithographed Edition. First and Only Edition of this first Turkish book exclusively related to America. This very rare work (both in scarce institutional holdings and market rarity) is the first book in Turkish to describe the discovery and conquest of America. Thus, it is an important and early source on America in the Islamic world.
"The first treatise [in Turkish] dedicated exclusively to America" (Strauss).
It is printed in a format that is specific to the early printing period of the Ottoman Empire and is written in a tâliq script and has the appearance of a manuscript. It has neither a preface nor a proper title. The heading (serlevha) on the first page which is placed in a decorative floral design reads: "First chapter: On the Islands Discovered by the Venetian and Genoese seafarers, and, secondly, on the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus". It also contains the mandatory praise of the ruler, i.e., Sultan Abdülmecid, and indicates that it was "translated and transferred from some selected writings (ba'z-i evrâk-i müntahabe)".
The dramatic events of the discovery and of the different conquests by the Spaniards are vividly described in plain and simple language. Though it is not free from clichés adopted from Western sources, the darker aspects of the European expansion are not omitted. Particular interest is devoted to the fauna and flora of the American continent. The modern territorial divisions of the American continent, and briefly, its political history, are dealt with in a special chapter at the end of the book. This chapter comprises information about both North and South America from the Polar Regions (Arazi-i kutbiyye) and "Russian America" (Amerika-i Rusiyye) to the Banda Oriental (Banda) or the Cisplatine Republic (Çisplatin) and the Province of Patagonia (Patakonya Eyaleti). It takes into account the latest developments. The last event referred to is General Soulouque's takeover in Haiti. "[.] in Santa Domingo (Sen Domeng), i.e., the island of Haiti, a general from the Negro people appeared in the Frankish year of 1847 and beat the Spaniards and the French. Assuming the title of 'king', he is known today as Faustin I." (p. 54). In fact, General Soulouque (Emperor of Hayti, (1782-1867)) had assumed the title of 'Emperor' in 1849. His reign lasted until 1859. (Source: Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Americana by Johann Strauss).
Original wrappers. Occasionally slight stains on some pages and chipped on front cover, otherwise a very good copy. Roy. 8vo. (23 x 16 cm). In Ottoman script (Turkish with Arabic letters). 56 p. Litho. Only two copies in OCLC: (University of California, Los Angeles & Library of Congress, Karl Süssheim Collection, no. 1717.): 948879228.; TBTK 4412 / 5557.; Özege 1591 / 22639.
[FIRST BOOK ON THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA IN THE TURKISH LITERATURE] Amerika kit'asinin hîn-i kesf ü istîlâsinda zuhûra gelen vukûât-i garîbenin târîhi: Bahs-i evvel; Venedik ve Cenevizli gemicilerinin kesf eyledigi cezâyir ve sâniyen Kristof Kolomb'un Amerika'yi bulmasi beyânindadir: Bâzi evrâk-i müntehabeden zebân-i azbü'l-beyân-i Türkî'ye tercüme ve tahvîl ve mütâlaasina havâle-i çesm-i itibâr eden zevât. [i.e. The History and Unfortunate Events that Occurred During the European Conquest of America..,]