The origins of the Turkish Angora cat

Records of the Turkish Angora have been around since the 16th century. It is even rumoured that Prophet Muhammad even owned a Turkish Angora. The Angora is called “Ankara kedisi” in Turkish, which translates as “Cat from Ankara (Angora).” The Turkish Angora is the national animal of Turkey. 

Thanks to its warming undercoat, the Turkish Angora is perfectly protected against the icy winds of the southern Caucasus in winter. In summer, its fur thins out considerably, which makes it insensitive to heat. 

Due to its gentle and elegant nature, it quickly became popular in the region. Still, it was not until the 1980s that the Turkish government allowed its export and worldwide breeding.

Turkish Angora cat

The appearance of the Turkish Angora

The Turkish Angora differs from the other well-known semi-long-haired breeds such as Maine Coon or Siberian cat. The Turkish Angora’s fur has much less undercoat, which is why it is less voluminous. 

On the other hand, the long top hair is very smooth and silky. Their physique is also unique for a semi-long-haired cat. The elongated, muscular and graceful body is supported by slender legs, which gives it a certain grace. The bushy tail is long and does not lose its fullness even in summer.

The most common color is white. This is where the odd-eyed color characteristic of the eyes occurs particularly often, in which one eye is blue and one is yellow. But be careful: in this case, the cat’s hearing ability on the side of the blue eye may be impaired. Breeders should therefore be able to prove that both parents passed an audiometric hearing test without any problems.

Turkish Angora cat comes in many different colours

Otherwise, the beautiful fur of the Turkish Angora can come in any color, except for Chocolate, Lilac, Fawn, and Point badges. There are no restrictions on eye colors either.

The Turkish Angora: character and attitude

With the Turkish Angora, you bring a playful and intelligent cat into your home, which also wants and should be constantly challenged. She loves creative or challenging toys and brain teasers. This clever velvet paw also learns small tricks or fetching, for example, very quickly. But extensive pats should not be neglected, as the Turkish Angora is very people-oriented and social.

Turkish Angora cat

For these reasons, the Turkish Angora should not be kept alone. She will only keep its zest for life and its lively manner if she receives sufficient attention. A playmate is essential here! Solitude is also a taboo for the Turkish Angora. Otherwise, the cozy cat is a very uncomplicated pet, and even newcomers to the cat attitude forgive one or the other mistake.

Never a dull moment with the Turkish Angora cat

The “primeval mother” of all longhair cats, The Turkish Angora cat is a great and uncomplicated family cat that confidently and lovingly brings pep into your everyday life. 

She will surprise you again and again with new ideas and games – never a dull moment with the Turkish Angora cat!


COVID vaccine founder becomes World’s richest Turk

Dr. Uğur Şahin , the CEO of the German BioNTech company, which developed the coronavirus vaccine, entered the Bloomberg’s 500 richest person list with a fortune of $ 5.12 billion and became the richest Turk in the World.

Dr. Uğur Şahin and wife Dr. While Özlem Türeci were the first scientists to develop the COVID19 vaccine, the value of their company increased rapidly in a short amount of time. It was noteworthy that Özlem Türeci was not included in Bloomberg’s list.

The stock value of the Germany-based BioNTech company, which developed the COVID19 vaccine with Pfizer, increased more than 250 percent this year. The rise in the value of BioNTech shares traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the US, made Dr. Şahin one of the richest 500 people in the world with a $ 5.1 billion fortune.


7 things you should know about the quintessential Turkish barbeque Ocakbasi

At the heart of any Turkish community anywhere in the world is an unquenchable love of the grill. Like Aussies, Americans or Latin Americans, Turks love their BBQs. As well as grilling food outside, Turks also have a very specific type of charcoal barbeque called Ocakbasi.

Ocakbasi literally translates to ‘fireside’ or ‘by the grill’ and Ocakbasi restaurants typically have one large hooded charcoal barbeques in the center of the restaurant. Small tables filled with customers surround this massive central barbeque giving the patrons opportunity to enjoy their drinks, conversate while watching their kebabs cook.

Ocakbasi is a tradition that goes all the way back to ancient times of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. From the ancient times, where horse-riding Turkic raiders gathering around the fire at their camps in the steppes of Central-Asia to Hun fighters or Ottoman raiders gathering around fire, watching shish kebabs cooking at their mobile camp fire in the middle of some forest in Central-Europe; Turks loved enjoy gathering around the fire, conversate and sip their drinks whilst watching meat cook.

During weddings and celebrations, there is always a cohort of folks, more interested in the lambs or something large, a camel rotating on spit, cooked for the guests than the celebration itself. The Ocakbasi is the celebration!

1. The commercial Ocakbasi first emerged in the late Ottoman period

During 19th century, commercial Ocakbasi restaurants were available in the Ottoman cities like Adana, Hatay and Gaziantep as well as Kirkuk (in Iraq) or Aleppo (in Syria).

2. Real estate prices helped kick start the commercial Ocakbasi

A catalyst to commercial Ocakbasi was rising real estate prices. The restauranteurs who couldn’t afford large spaces to fit in kitchen, oven, grill Iman Rajab Bachaand seating space adapted the current Ocakbasi design. They up their grill, lined chairs around it and sold their kebabs in this way. This has led to the creation of an industry where people gather around a stove and eat their meals without tables and kitchens.

3. Industrialization spread the Ocakbasi culture

The rapid industrialization in Repulican Turkey affected the social fabric of Anatolian towns. Many local craftsmen had to move to bigger cities. Many kebab masters from Adana, moved to Istanbul which helped introduce Ocakbasi reach a wider audience.

4. Ocakbasi has become a social forum in time

Although lack of space was the catalyst for Ocakbasi, sitting and eating in this tight space by the same fire has made it a place for socializing over time. The tight space and sharing the meal, made Ocakbasi the ideal place for the most intimate conversations.

5. Enter alcohol

Whilst the early kebab masters served turnip juice or ayran with the kebab; over time Alcoholic drinks took over as the ideal companion to kebabs. Along with alcohol, meze appetizers were added to the Ocakbasi culture as well.

6. Ocakbasi is for all socio-economic backgrounds

Whether you want to experience Ocakbasi at a shabby or a luxurious venue; the setup is more or less the same. The price is different but the layout, the food and the spirit remains the same.

7. The rise of self-service

With personalization becoming a staple of every service or product that is offered; Ocakbasi culture too got affected. There are many venues where you can personally pick your own selection of meats, put your own shish kebabs or other goodies on the barbeque and take it to your own table around the fire to share with your mates. Imagine the Aussie BBQ, in a commercial space in the city centre where you and your mates grab your choice of your meat, cook it together and share it around the fire.


Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar 10th most popular tourist attraction

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar was placed first among Europe’s tourist attractions; and 10th in the world; according to a report of the top 50 most popular sites published by the American travel magazine Travel and Leisure. 

Travel and Leisure magazine selected the world’s top 50 tourist attractions using data acquired from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and various publications covering the tourism sector. Other tourist attractions on the list included parks and natural wonders as well as historic and cultural monuments and sites.

The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi in Turkish); built in the 15th century during the Ottoman Empire; with its 64 passageways and streets containing 3;285 shops; is the most visited tourist attraction in Europe and the 10th most visited in the world; according to Travel and Leisure’s top 50; surpassing many renowned tourist attractions in Europe and the world such as the Taj Mahal; the Eiffel Tower and the British Museum.

At the top of the world attractions list is Times Square in New York; with 39;200;000 visitors; second is Central Park; also in New York; with 38 million visitors. All of the top nine places on the list are in the US; with the Grand Bazaar following them at number 10.

The Grand Bazaar surpassed Notre Dame Cathedral (13;650;000 visitors); the Louvre Museum (8.5 million visitors); the Eiffel Tower (6.7 million visitors) and Versailles Palace (5.9 million visitors)of France; the British Museum (5;842;138 visitors); Egypt’s pyramids (4 million visitors) and the Taj Mahal (3 million visitors) with 15 million visitors per year.


Basic Turkish phrases to survive your first Turkish interaction

All right. So you are going over to a Turkish friend’s home for dinner, and you want to show off some Turkish skills? Or your fiancée is Turkish, and you want to impress your future in-laws. Or perhaps you are traveling to Turkey or even moved to Turkey. You want to be familiar with your neighborhood. You are ready to go to step B: make friends with the Turks!

Turkish people are rather warm and welcoming. As you may already have the chance to experience, they love to chat, drink tea and share their food. So, do not be surprised if they try to have a conversation with you even if you know only two Turkish words or if they try to offer you tea at any time of day or night. In general, it is polite to accept the tea and use the few words that you know.

Below we explain some of the expressions that may be helpful during everyday Turkish life.


Upon entering someone’s home, you will be greeted with the expression Hoşgeldiniz [pronounced: Hosh-gell-deen-eez], to which you can answer Hoşbulduk [pronounced: Hosh-bull-dook]. Literally, these words mean “Welcome” and “Happy to be here”.

You may want to check to see if your host takes off their shoes before entering their home. If your hosts take their shoes off, you should also take off your shoes – when you enter a house that is not yours. And if you’re visiting, make sure you bring something with you. You can opt for baklava or chocolates. Get ready to drink tea until you drop.

You will most likely to be offered tea or coffee

If you are offered Turkish coffee, you are supposed to indicate how much sugar you want: şekersiz (without sugar) [pronounced: shake-air-seez], orta (with sugar) [pronounced: or-tah] or şekerli  (with a lot of sugar) [pronounced: shake-air-lee]. 

Do not ever stir the Turkish coffee with the spoon.


Most important for the Turks it is to make sure that their guests ( Misafir ) are not hungry. Aç misiniz? (pronounced: ach meh siniz) is a question that you must be prepared to respond to quickly, before gathering inundated with food. It literally means ‘are you hungry’?

We are sure that at this point you know how to respond: Evet  (pronounced: Ae-vet meaning:Yes) or Hayır  (pronounced: Ha-yeer meaning:no). In both cases, as indeed in English, accompanied the answer with ‘Thanks’ Teşekkürler (pronounced: Tae – shake- cure – lair) .

If you accepted food or your attempts to decline the food offer didn’t work, you should now be prepared to ‘stop’ the Turkish mothers or aunts who will attempt to fill you just like a Turkish ‘dolma’. In this case, Doydum, (pronounced: Doydooom – Literally meaning ‘I am satisfied’) can be a very useful expression, preferably followed a circular motion on the belly and satisfied face.

If you want to show appreciation, you must say Ellerinize Sağlık (pronounced: Ael-larry-knees-aeh Sagh-lik) which literally means ‘health to your hands’, which will no doubt be followed by a proud “Afiyet olsun” (‘ good appetite ” I’m glad you enjoyed ‘)


The origins of the Turkish flag

The flag of Turkey is the national flag and the national flag of the Republic of Turkey . It consists of a waning moon and five-pointed star, both in white on a red background. The flag is called Ay-Yildiz (literally, “star moon”), or a-sancak (the “Red Banner”) in Turkish .

The flag has a very complex origin. It is first virtually identical to the flag of the Ottoman Empire, with changes to the shape of the moon and the number of branches of the star from eight to five. The current flag was adopted in 1844, before its proportions are standard with the Law on Turkish Flag in 1936.

A historical moment in 1914 – Ottoman empire is declaring war against the allies

A historical moment in 1914 – Ottoman empire is declaring war against the allies

The star and crescent, now seen as symbols of Islam, have long been used in Asia Minor and some Turkic peoples before the arrival of Islam.

The Ottomans used different arrangements for different uses, such as using the green flag for the Islamic institutions and using red for secular institutions. In 1844 the eight-pointed star was replaced with a five-pointed flag and then reached its current form.

Ottoman Empire used a similar flag to modern Turkish flag in 1914

Ottoman Empire used a similar flag to modern Turkish flag in 1914

The origin of the crescent and star as symbols date time Babylon and the ancient Egypt. It has been suggested that the Turkish tribes during their migrations from Central Asia to Turkey around 800 AD, have adopted this symbol of local tribes and states in the area of the Middle East today, which adopted in turn these symbols.

Turkish flag at Gallipoli

The origin of the flag is subject to many legends in the country, and some contradict the history of the Ottoman flag. Here are some of the theories:

The Turkish flag’s Pre-Islamic origins

The crescent moon and star were holy symbols to the pre-Islamic Turkish tribes, while red is the colour cardinal to the south.

The Islamic legend

A crescent and a star appeared to Mehmed II the night of the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Crescent represents “God” and the star represents “Muhammed”

Roman succession – The New Rome

The crescent and star were used as symbols of Byzantium for centuries. The moon represented the Greek goddess Artemis, and star represented the Virgin Mary (which could be the inspiration behind the Islamic legend).

After conquering Constantinople, Turks adapted the symbol. The conquering king Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II called himself “the new Caesar” after conquering Istanbul in 1453. Ottoman Turks also kept many Roman administrative processes as they were after taking over Anatolia. 

The star and the crescent moon, however, were also symbols of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

Most popular theory; crescent and star’s reflection on the pool of blood.

This version has widely taught in public schools in Turkey. It was most likely supported in effort to raise a much more nationalist youth during cold war. According to this story; after the Turkish victory at the Battle of Manzikert,  the Seljuk Commander Alp Arslan saw the reflection of the crescent and a star on a pool of blood of Turkish warriors while he was reviewing the battlefield. Another version of this story takes place after the Turkish victory at the Battle of Mohács in Hungary.


Gallipoli and the Ottoman Jews

A travelling exhibition entitled ‘The Gallipoli War – The 1st World War and the Ottoman Jews’ will be available to public at Mekor Hayim Synagogue in the Turkish town of Canakkale between 15 March and 15 April. Canakkale is the city where Gallipoli campaign took place. The exhibition is organised by “The 500th Year Foundation”.

Jewish officers of the Ottoman army in Gallipoli

Jewish officers (from Ottoman Palestine – modern Israel) in Ottoman army

A total of 66 historical pieces consisting of visual materials and stories will be exhibited. The exhibition, which consists of five main sections, starts with a petition sent to the Ottoman King Abdulhamid II by the Ottoman Jews, calling him to allow Ottoman Jews to join the Ottoman army. There are also stories of Ottoman Jewish soldiers fighting for and sacrificing their lives for their country at the various fronts of the Ottoman army including Sarikamish, Galicia and the Gallipoli.

Dressed in his Turkish Officer uniform in Gallipoli - Moshe Sharett was the second Prime Minister of Israel, serving for a little under two years between David Ben-Gurion's two terms

Israel’s 2nd PM Moshe Sharett, dressed as a Turkish Officer in Gallipoli

About 558 non-Muslim Ottoman soldiers lost their lives during Gallipoli campaign. Although often overlooked, the participation of the Ottoman Jews in the Gallipoli campaign is highlighted at the exhibition which received considerable contribution from Çanakkale 18 Mart University Assoc. Dr. Mithat Atabay.

Moshe Sharett, The second Prime Minister of Israel, had also served as First Lieutenant in the Ottoman Army during the Gallipoli Campaign.


Soccer players and athletes who died in Gallipoli

The Anzac resilience and the Gallipoli campaign helped shape Australia’s national identity. Gallipoli Campaign however is a very important event in Turkish history as well. Gallipoli Battle was the last battle Ottoman Empire had to face after fighting against allied armies at various fronts in Africa, Asia, middle-east and Europe. It was the battle where the nation had to use its last resources – basically whoever was available to fight fought with whatever they had left to fight with. Therefore teachers, engineers, athletes, doctors and school principals from all Ottoman nations (including Greek, Armenian and Jewish volunteers) all had to sacrifice to help Turkish army at Gallipoli.

Hasnub Galib of Galatasaray, was a soccer and a hockey player. He died in Canakkale fighting the Anzacs

Hasnub Galib of Galatasaray, was a soccer and a hockey player. He died in Canakkale fighting the Anzacs

Turkish Soccer Federation published a list of soccer players who died during Balkan Wars(1912) and Defense of Canakkale (Gallipoli Campaign).

The list was compiled by Mehmet Yuce who sourced the names from the prominent Ottoman military magazine “Donanma” (The Navy) of the time.

The Donanma (Navy) magazine of the Ottoman Army

The cover of the Donanma (Navy) magazine of the Ottoman Army. The magazine featured the soccer players and athletes serving in the army during Gallipoli campaign.


Athletes and soccer players who died:

  • Kâzım Bey (sprinter- runner, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Âsım Bey (Soccer player, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Ali Bey (Soccer player, volunteer soldier)

Athletes and soccer players fought:

  • Muallim Kenan Bey (Boxing and wrestling instructor)
  • Ahmet Fetgeri Bey (Physical education instructor)
  • Alâaddin Bey (goalkeeper – Non-commissioned officer)
  • Mehmet Bey (Soccer player, volunteer soldier)
  • Fuad Bey (Soccer player and wrestler)
  • Resul Bey (Goalkeeper, sprinter, Army veterinarian)
  • Sabri Bey (Soccer player, Assistant Physio)
  • Genç Mehmet Bey (jumper, pilot)
  • Cemâl Efendi (defender, sprinter- runner, sub-officer)
  • Cevdet Efendi (Soccer player and sprinter- runner)
  • Aziz Efendi (hockey player, cannon officer)
  • İzzet Efendi (high jumper, navy)
  • Hikmet Bey (hammer thrower, navy)


The soccer players who died:

  • Abdurrahman Robenson Bey (general captain and scout leader, physio)
  • Hasnûn Gâlib Bey (soccer and hockey second team captain, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Neşet Bey (hockey team captain, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Hâlid Fuad Bey (son of Müşir Fuad Paşazâde) (second team Soccer player, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Mehmet Ali Bey (son of Enver Paşazâde) (Soccer player)
  • Refik Ata Bey (Soccer player)
  • Cemil Bey (Soccer player)
  • Hasib Bey (son of Ali Paşazâde)
  • Nazmi Bey (Soccer player)

The soccer players who were wounded:

  • Yusuf Ziya Bey (first-team soccer team inner forward, Non-commissioned officer)
  • YakubRobenson Bey (Soccer player, soldier)
  • Feyzi Robenson Bey(Soccer player, pilot)

Those who served during the war:

  • Celâl Bey (first-team soccer central forward, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Kemâl Niyazi Bey (team captain, cannon officer)
  • Ahmed Robenson Bey (rowing team captain and first-team soccer goal keeper, officer)
  • Kenan Bey (Boxing and wrestling team captain)
  • Emin Bülend Bey (soccer first-team team captain and left forward)
  • Emil Oberle Bey (soccer instructor and first-team central forward, heavy cannon operator)
  • Ahmed Adnan Bey (first-team soccer and hockey defender)
  • Ahmed Cevat Bey (first-team soccer and hockey defender, cannon operator)
  • Sedat Bey (first-team soccer left back)
  • Hüseyin Bey (first-team soccer right back, hockey defender)
  • Cevat Bey (first-team soccer team right back)
  • İbrahim Bey (first-team soccer team right back and hockey first-team team forward)
  • Jozef (Joseph) Oberle Bey (first-team soccer team right forward, volunteer at German army)
  • Nasreddin Bey (first-team soccer team forward)
  • Vehbi Bey (first-team soccer team right defender)
  • Sitar Bey (first-team soccer team forward)
  • Behçet Bey (first-team soccer team defender)
  • Naki Bey (reserve soccer team, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Edip Bey (reserve soccer team, second lieutenant)
  • Avni Bey (reserve soccer team, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Ahmet Ali Bey (reserve soccer team, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Ahmet Muhtar Bey (reserve soccer team, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Ömer Bey (reserve soccer team, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Muammer Bey (reserve soccer team, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Ferid Bey (reserve soccer team, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Âsım Bey (goalkeeper)
  • Mahir Sâfi Bey (rowing team, army driver)
  • Âkif Sâfi Bey (rowing team)
  • Ârif Bey (rowing and reserve soccer team)
  • Selim Bey (sailing captain)
  • Hüsameddin Bey (rowing team)
  • Emin Bey (sailing team)
  • İsmet Bey (hockey)
  • Sıdkı Bey (first-team hockey team goalkeeper)
  • Kemâl Bey (sailing)
  • Şükrü Bey (Sprinter)
  • Adnan Bey (scout team)
  • Osman Kenan Bey (scout)
  • Müfid Bey (scout team)
  • Kâzım Bey (scout team)
  • Neyir Bey (boxing team)
  • Cemâl Bey (soccer)
  • Cemâl Hüseyin Bey
  • İsmail Bey



Those who died and fought:

  • Gâlib Bey (first-team soccer team team captain)
  • Yahya Bey (physio)
  • Kemâl Bey (died)
  • Nüzhet Bey (first-team soccer)
  • Said Bey (first-team soccer)
  • Zeki Bey (supply officer)
  • Sâfi Bey (supply officer)
  • Hâfid Bey (Officer)
  • Cemî Bey
  • Nuri Bey (first-team soccer)
  • Sadık Bey (first-team soccer
  • Rüşdü Bey (scout)
  • Osman Bey (soccer)
  • Fahri Bey (rowing)
  • Sezai Bey
  • Burhaneddin Bey
  • Hulki Bey (rowing)
  • Ömer Bey (supply officer)
  • Garî Bey (soccer first-team)
  • Afif Bey (officer)
  • Bedri Bey (officer)
  • Hâfid Bey (officer)
  • Ferik Bey (officer)
  • Kemâl Bey (officer)
  • Emin Bey (officer)
  • Zeki Bey (physio)
  • Nebil Bey
  • Vasıf Bey
  • Şevki Bey
  • Servet Bey
  • Kenan Bey
  • Sabri Bey (first-team soccer)
  • İsmail Bey
  • Ata Bey
  • Rauf Bey
  • Şakir Bey (supply, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Vehbi Bey (soccer first-team)
  • Ârif Bey (soccer first-team )
  • Nureddin Bey (died)
  • Mehmed Bey (second lieutenant)
  • Nureddin Bey
  • Cemâl Bey
  • Wilhelm Kohlhammer (soccer, German soldier)
  • Mehmed Nasuhi Bey (soccer, supply officer)
  • Edhem Bey (soccer, supply officer)
  • Manço Salahaddin Bey
  • Süreyya Mithat Bey (first-team soccer)
  • Mustafa Behçet Bey (physio)
  • Müfid Bey (supply officer)
  • Sami Bey (supply officer)
  • Mithat Bey
Arif Bey, was perhaps the most famous of the Fenerbahce players who fought in the war (Standing on back line, the second from right).

Arif Bey, was perhaps the most famous of the Fenerbahce players who fought in the war (Standing on back line, the second from right).




Those who serverd:

  • Kemâl Bey (center forward, officer)
  • Raif Bey (defender, officer)
  • Efhem Bey (defender, officer)
  • İlhami Bey (goalkeeper, officer)
  • Nasuhi Bey (forward, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Macid Bey (forward, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Hüseyin Bey (defender, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Hâlid Bey (forward, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Şevket Bey (defender, chemist)
  • Azmi Bey (defender, Assistant Physio)
  • Sadullah Bey (defender, corporal)
  • Hüsnü Bey (defender, officer)
  • Kemâl Bey (forward, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Salahaddin Bey (defender, supply officer)
  • İbrahim Bey (defender, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Mehmet Bey (defender, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Cevat Bey (defender, pilot)
  • Yusuf Kenan Bey (defender, officer)
  • Mısırlı Yusuf Bey (forward, officer)
  • İbrahim Zemçi Bey (defender, private)
  • Hayrettin Bey (defender, red-crescent)
  • Rasim Bey (forward, officer)
  • Mehmet Ali Bey (defender, officer)
  • Hakkı Bey (defender, secretary)
  • Ali Osman Bey (defender, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Remzi Bey (forward, officer)
  • Şemsi Bey (goalkeeper, sub officer)
  • Kadıköylü Hasan Bey (center defender, army driver)
  • Saadettin Bey (goalkeeper, officer)
  • Raif Bey (defender, officer)
  • Kâzım Bey (defender, officer)
  • Fazıl Kani Bey (defender, Non-commissioned officer)
  • Eşref Bey (goalkeeper, Non-commissioned officer
  • Mazhar Bey (goalkeeper, Non-commissioned officer)
Ahmet Fetgeri, who served during the war, was among the founders of Besiktas Gymnastics Club.

Ahmet Fetgeri, who served during the war, was among the founders of Besiktas Gymnastics Club.


Those who died:

  • Mehmet Sedat Bey (club doctor)

Those who served:

  • İbrahim Bey (supply officer, gymnast)
  • Mehmet Fuat Bey (baytar, soccer team forward)
  • Fahri Bey (baytar, Non-commissioned officer, soccer team forward)
  • Burhan Bey (supply officer, soccer team forward)
  • Hulûsi Bey (supply officer, soccer team centre defender, captain)
  • Vefik Bey (supply officer, soccer team defender)
  • Nureddin Bey (supply officer, soccer team defender)
  • Suat Bey (supply officer, soccer team forward)
  • Nuri Bey (supply officer, gymnast
  • Saim Bey (soldier, gymnast)
  • Şerafeddin Bey (soldier, gymnast)
  • Hayri Bey (soldier, soccer team defender)
  • Vâhid Bey (soldier, gymnast)
  • Abdullah Bey (soldier, soccer team forward)
  • Muzaffer Bey (soldier, soccer team defender)

The great Anatolian catastrophe – Meds Yeghern

Who knows, all the evil haunting us, the endless mass killings and our inability to recover from afflictions may be due to a century-old curse and a century-old lie.

What do you think? This is perhaps the malediction uttered by Armenians — children, civilian women and men alike — who died moaning and buried without a coffin. It may be the storms created in our souls by the still-agonizing specters of all our ill-fated citizens, including Greeks and Syriacs and later, Alevis and Kurds.

Perhaps the massacres that have not been accounted for since 1915 and the “prices” that have remained unpaid are now being paid back in different venues by the grandchildren. The curses uttered in return for the lives taken, the lives stolen, the homes plundered, the churches destroyed, the schools confiscated and the property extorted…

May God make you pay for it for all your offspring to come.

Are we paying back the price of all the injustices committed so far?

Does repayment manifest itself in the form of the audacity of being unable to confront our past sins or in the form of indecency, which has become our habit due to our chronic indulgence in unfairness?

It seems as if our society has been decaying for a century, festering all around.

Despite this century-old malediction, 2015 will pass with the debate, “Was there really genocide?” remaining unanswered. We will watch how the current tenants of the state exert vast efforts to cover up this shame and postpone any move to confront it. If it were in their hands, they would just skip the year 2015.

The denialist prose that consists of three wizened arguments, which amount to upheaval, collaboration with the enemy and victimization — it is the Armenians who killed us — will continue to be parroted in a series of conferences. And we will dance to our own tunes.

On April 24-25, 2015 an official ceremony will be held on the occasion of Anzac Day in Gallipoli, not in connection with the genocide. And we will hear abundant tales about heroism in the Dardanelles. But we will find none to listen to our narrative.

How many more maledictions need to happen to us before we will be inclined:

  • To reckon with our bloody nation-building process?
  • To know and remember how an innocuous, hardworking, productive, talented and peaceful people were destroyed by the warrior people of Anatolia and to empathize with their grandchildren in remembrance?
  • To feel the gist of the tyranny that made unfortunate Armenians cry, “Ur eir Astvadz” (Where were you God?) in the summer of 1915, which was as dark and cold as death?
  • To realize that the population of Armenians has dwindled from millions in 1915’s Ottoman Empire to virtually none today. The remaining Armenians have either concealed their true identities or were converted to Islam, after sweeping aside the puzzle, “Was it genocide or not?” or the question “Who killed whom?” and purely listening to our conscience?
  • To understand, as Hrant Dink put it, a full-fledged cultural genocide and the loss of a tremendous amount of civilization?
  • To realize that the biggest loss to this country is that non-Muslim citizens of this land no longer live here?
  • To comprehend why the genocide — which Armenians of those dark days would refer to as the Great Catastrophe (Meds Yeghern) — is a disaster that befell not only Armenians, but the entire country?
  • To see that the loss of our non-Muslim citizens who were killed, banished or forced to flee amounts to the loss of brainpower, bourgeoisie, culture and civilization?
  • To calculate the curse of the goods, property and children confiscated?
  • To duly understand the wisdom of the author Yaşar Kemal, who wrote: “Another bird cannot prosper in an abandoned nest; the one who destroys a nest cannot have a nest; oppression breeds oppression“?
  • To even realize that those who would reject all the aforementioned points would do so because of a loss wisdom deriving from the genocide.

The “Armenian genocide” is the Great Catastrophe of Anatolia, and the mother of all taboos in this land. Its curse will continue to haunt us as long as we fail to talk about, recognize, understand and reckon with it.

Its centennial anniversary actually offers us a historic opportunity to dispense with our habits, understand the Other and start with the collective therapy.


This article was originally published by Cengiz Aktar in 2015 on TZ portal.


The Blue Mosque story

The Blue Mosque is one of the masterpieces of Ottoman architecture, and one of the most beautiful mosques in the world.

The mosque’s Turkish name is, Sultan Ahmet Camii, which is a reference to its founder and sponsor, the Ottoman emperor Ahmet I. However, due to the colour of the blue covering three-quarters of the mosque walls, it is known as the Blue Mosque.

Blue mosque's walls are covered with Iznik tiles

Some 21,000 tiles with over fifty different designs were produced in Iznik by all the factories of the city for Blue Mosque.

The construction of the mosque which took place between 1606 and 1617, swallowed a ton of money, sparking sharp criticism both within the locals and among religious scholars.

The architect Mehmet Agha, had reviewed all the major buildings previously made in Istanbul and the rest of the empire before designing what would become the Blue Mosque. There are thus a number of elements already present in the achievements of his predecessors – and especially those of Sinan – alongside innovations of his own.

The central dome of the mosque has a rectangular base, with a large central space and covered galleries lit by a series of small domes, all features that are found in mosques designed by Sinan, including the Shehzade mosque.

Blue mosque has six minarets

Blue Mosque – The mosque with six minarets

Compared to the older mosques, cathedrals, Ayasofia (St. Sophia), the Blue Mosque is both more proportionate and more elegant – with a dome less impressive (23 meters diameter) and placed lower (it rises to 43 meters), but also incomparably bright, thanks to the countless windows with elegant stained glass surrounding domes and semi-domes.

Among the innovations, there are particular ablution taps placed along the adjoining galleries to the court, and the number of minarets: six, a first for all mosques other than the Sacred Mosque surrounding Kabah in Mecca. This particular innovation triggered most of the criticism from some of the religious leaders of that time, for they believed no building should competed, with the Sacred Mosque (al-Masjid al-haram). Wise and circumspect, The Ottoman sultan had a seventh minaret added to the mosque in Mecca to combat this criticism.