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OTTOMAN CARTOGRAPHY – GEOGRAPHY : سملى خريطه سى جعرافجاى عمومى [General Geographical Maps]


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Small 4°, 146 pp. in Ottoman script and sporadic names in French and with black and white illustrations in text, 8 interleaved full page colour lithographed maps, contemporary dark green calf with embossed decoration and gilt lettering in Ottoman on the cover, patterned endpapers with gilt highlights (inside with sporadic old annotations and lines in grey, blue and red pencil, binding scuffed on the corners and spine, otherwise a good, clean used copy).

The richly illustrated geographical schoolbook book for Ottoman schools includes information on the Ottoman Empire and all the continents. The full page colour maps include a map of the world with its time zones, Europe, Turkey with its dominions on the Arabian Peninsula, Greece, Africa, America, Asia and Oceania with Australia and an in-set map of New Caledonia. The black and white illustrations showcase the city views from all over the world, including Australia, animals and Indigenous peoples of the continents. 

An impressive black and white fullpage map shows the Ottoman territory in Rumelia and Crete, the territories, which were lost by 1914, when this book was made.
The geographical book, was according to the gilt title on the cover, edited by Mehmet Şerefeddin Yaltkaya (1879-1947), Before WWI, Şerefeddin worked as a tutor at private schools and in 1914 he was in charge of improving the school system and the school books.
Military Press Tüccarzâde İbrahim Hilmi

İbrahim Hilmi Çığıraçan (1876 – 1963), born in Tulcea, today in Romania, was one of the first publishers in the Ottoman Empire. Opening his publishing shop in 1896 in Istanbul, under the name Kitaphane-i Islami (Islamic Library), Hilmi Bey started publishing mostly religious books.  Under the Young Turks regime, in the Second Constitutional Era, he became interested in military, geography and history, and changed the name of the press to Kitaphane-i İslam ve Askeri (Islamic and Military Library). Hilmi Bey published about 200 military books in 15 years. He was also publishing school books, which were during the war often sent for free to poor children in Anatolia.  The first big loss for Hilmi’s workshop was the governmental change of the Ottoman letters for the Latin ones and a law, that all the law and school books should be printed by the government. During his lifetime Hilmi published more than 1000 books on history, literature, politics, religion and social issues.

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