[FIRST TURKISH GUIDE TO AFRICA] Afrîkâ delîli. [i.e. The guide to Africa].

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MEHMED MUHSIN, (?-1906). El-Felah Gazetesi Matbaasi., Cairo, [AH 1312] = 1894.

Original leather bound. 4to. (28 x 20 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 769, 13, 9, 2 p., 10 lithographed plates (two foldings), 3 large folding lithographed maps. Hegira 1312 = Gregorian 1894.

First and only edition of this first guide to Africa in the Ottoman / Turkish literature.

It is one of the earliest “Turkish Africana", describing the Ottoman Africa, titled 'African guide' published in Hegira 1312 / Gregorian 1894, written by Bandirmalizâde Mehmed Muhsin, who served as a state scribe in Ottoman Egypt during the administration of Gazi Ahmet Mukhtar Pasha (1839-1919) and later in the Imperial Council of Ottoman Empire.

The illustrations include schemes of pyramid complexes, profiles showing the pyramids' interiors (i.e. Pharaoh Seti I's pyramid), depictions on the walls of Egyptian and Nubian temples and pyramids, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs with supplementary notes and explanations, etc. In the Medhal section (pp. 8-116), the author describes Africa's nature, coasts, geography, islands, mountains, rivers in the first chapter (Nile, Niger, Congo, Zanbaz), continuing with other rivers in the second (Senegal, Ganza), the climate of Africa, the most famous lakes (Akhajar, Chad, Nigam, Big Uganda, Nyanza, Tanganika, Nyassa, Chad, Albert Nyanza, Bangveul, Istefani). The book also includes detailed descriptions of the mineral wealth, plants, animals, people, languages, religions, economy, industry, commerce, roads and gateways, railways, civilizations, political distribution, and major countries under different titles. In the 'Mebhas' chapter, Muhsin describes Egypt in full detail. The book has three folded maps (sized in open form as 53 x 70 cm, and one has a scale of 1/300,000) that show North East Africa from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great African Lakes. The first one shows the Nile and the shores of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea with attractive details; the second one shows the territory of modern Habesistan [i.e. Ethiopia], Eritrea, the Blue and White Niles; and the third map shows Hidiviyyet-i Celîle [i.e. modern South Sudan], and Equatorial Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi).

Özege 130.; Not in Kursun.; Koray I, 580.; Not in Karatay.; Library of Congress. Karl Süssheim Collection, No. 2109. Nine institutional copies in OCLC: 476243107, 234618157, 222796279.