[COMPLETE RUN OF OTTOMAN SATYRIC MAGAZINE OF THE REVOLUTIONAL PERIOD] Kalem: Journal humoristique paraissant le jeudi = Kalem: Persembe günleri nesrolunur, edebî mizah gazetesi. No. 1-130

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CIMCÖZ, SALÂH (1875-1947); CELÂL ESAD [ARSEVEN, (1876-1971) (Directed by).

Tanin Matbaasi, Istanbul, 1908.

Handsome fine contemporary brown half moroccos. Six raised bands to spine, title, and issue numbers gilt lettered, floral decorations in compartments. 4to. (30 x 24 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters) and French. All pages with illustrations in text or full-page illustrations, all numbers with an Arabic numeral system, reversed collation, with two title pages: Ottoman recto and in French verso, numbers 35, 41, 44, 45 with title pages in colour. The rare poster is coming with the set inside the volumes as a supplement to the magazine.

Extremely rare togetherness of the complete set of 130 issues of the Ottoman Turkish-French satirical magazine "Kalem", richly illustrated with thousands of attractive illustrations and cartoons, started its publication life with the end of Sultan Abdulhamid II's repression regime in 1908. The collection provides an invaluable resource, reflecting and focusing on the radical changes in society after the Second Constitutional Revolution in New Ottoman State. The magazine was published weekly in 130 numbers between 21 August 1324 (3 September 1908) and 16 June 1327 (29 June 1911), starting immediately after the Second Ottoman Constitutional Revolution. It was a mixture of satire and a saloon magazine, focusing on politics, social life, and revolution. The only continuously running part of the magazine was Haftalik Dedikodu [i.e., Weekly Gossip].

“Kalem magazine began in September of 1908, less than two months following the Young Turk revolution that ushered in the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. Editor-directors Celal Esad Arseven and Selah Cimcoz opened the magazine with a provocative cartoon displaying an upper level Ottoman official sweeping the front steps of the Ministry of Education clean of its former bureaucrats.

The cartoons involved the original Turkish ones and borrowed from the German satirical publications like Simplicissimus, discussed and criticized the Empire of the period on a wide range of topics: The Ottoman Empire, which was compared to the "sick man" as a diplomatic, strategic, political, and military power, the Eastern Question, Foreign relations, wars, Ottoman bureaucracy, officials, the Ottoman dynasty, and Sultan Mehmet Resad who was one of the last sultans of the Empire who "became a puppet of the Revolutionary Committee of Union and Progress", popular political figures such as three leaders of the ruling party, ministers in the cabinet (especially Minister of Finance Cavid Bey), Kayzer of Germany, Riza Tevfik [Bölükbasi] (1869-1949).

"Riza Tevfik Bey -often afforded the title "feylesof" (philosopher)– is a recurring figure in the Kalem cartoons. He had trained to be a medical doctor, was a pugilist and wrestler, a Bektashi community leader, and freemason, and spoke English, French, Italian, Albanian, Armenian, Persian, Arabic, and Turkish (Wasti 83). He was also an Ottoman politician, writer, and poet, who had the unfortunate luck of being selected for the Turkish delegation of signatories to the Treaty of Sèvres, which spelled the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. He was a member of the Committee of Union and Progress, which had aligned itself with the Young Turks for their revolution. However, his "disillusionment with the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) came much earlier than that of many others" (Wasti 84).

Nevertheless, he was a wildly popular figure in Istanbul society at the time of these cartoons. In a caricature, he is instrumentalized as a symbol of the new wave of modernization, hope for constitutionalism, and mockery of all that came before. Born in what is now Bulgaria and educated in Beirut and Istanbul, Riza Tevfik represents all that the future could hold for a "modernized," already cosmopolitan Ottoman Empire, and the elitism that threatened the tentative CUP alliance with secularist, lower socio-economic class political parties.

In a second caricature, Riza Tevfik's reputation for bold confidence is reflected in his dismissal of colleague Selim Sirri's protestations that the trapeze may not hold them both. Riza Tevfik was known for his physical as well as intellectual acumen. Rendering him with certain stereotypically masculine traits such as strong arms, broad chest, muscular thighs, and thick, black hair on his head, as his mustache, and even indicated in his underarms, reinforces contemporary notions of the ideal Turkish man. Both caricatures represent Riza Tevfik bey at a dangerous intersection of model male and threatening elite." (Source: Satire After the Young Turk Revolution Cartoons from Kalem Magazine, 1908, University of Texas Exhibition).

The founders of the magazine were Salah (Selah) Cimcoz (1875-1947), a Turkish politician, and lawyer, and Celal Esat Arseven (1876-1971), a Turkish painter, writer, and parliamentarian. Arseven was the first to introduce the history of art and urbanistic architecture to Turkey. (Source: References: Tobias Heinzelmann, Die Balkankrise in der osmanischen Karikatur).

Duman 1080.; Only one complete set survives in institutions worldwide in OCLC (472569754: Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF).