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Number: 3859
Continent: Africa
Region: Continent
Place Names:
Year of Origin: 1909
Title: [Africa - General continental map with Ottoman script]
Language: Arabic
Publish Origin: istanbul
Height: 8.5
Width: 13.0
Units: centimeters
Size Class.: Small
Color Type: Outline Color
Images of this map are not yet available.
Publisher: Mehmet ESREF [ESHREF]
Other Contributors: Sirket-i Muurettibiye ve Karacoglu Matbaas
Sirket-i Murettibiye Mattbaasi
Northernmost Latitude:
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Notes: [PENDING Swaen arrival] Ottoman script showing the continent of Africa from Mehmet 'Kucuk Atlas', a rare portfolio of loose-leaf maps with text in Ottoman Turkish, published in Istanbul in 1909. This attractive little Ottoman map of Africa captures the continent in the heady days following the European Powers' 'Scramble for Africa' and just before World War I. British, French, Portuguese, German and Belgian colonial possessions are shown. Curiously, however, the map shows much of northern African to still be within the Ottoman sphere, coloured pink, while supposedly transitional areas are shaded with pink lines; a generous interpretation of the Sublime Porte's authority, to say the least. In 1909, Algeria and Tunisia were controlled by France; Egypt and Sudan were British protectorates (albeit de jure Ottoman possessions); and while Libya would remain under Ottoman rule until 1912. The reality was that Ottoman authority was very thin on the ground in Africa. Nevertheless, the pink areas on the map show the historical Turkish zone of influence, when counting their traditional African provinces, plus the desert areas that fell under some form of Ottoman economic or political influence. The present map comes from Mehmet 'Kucuk' Atlas (Small Atlas), an unusual work of 128 loose-leaf postcard sized maps, housed within a portfolio cover and accompanied by a 32-page brochure. Even though the period before World War I saw a great flourishing of Ottoman cartography, the Kucuk Atlas was extraordinary in that it included a wide range of regional maps of Asia and Africa, as well as thematic maps, that in some cases are probably the only Ottoman maps of those subjects. The Kucuk Atlas is very rare, Worldcat lists only a single example, at the Bogazici University Library, Istanbul. All individual maps from the atlas are likewise rare. The present map comes from an incomplete example of the atlas, so is offered separately.
Last updated: Feb 12, 2021