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TURKISH JERUSALEM (1516-1917) - page 12 / 36





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Mehmet Tütüncü

numerous architectural works that are decorated with inscriptions. Today this Turkish Jerusalem is not easy to see. There was no Turkish Quarter, but Turkish was spoken in the streets of Jerusalem. It was the official language of decrees of court and the rulers, Kaymakam, Pashas, and Kadi’s. Moreover, the soldiers were Turks and they defended Jerusalem as part of their homeland.

Ottoman Turks built the Walls and Citadel of Jerusalem and they decorated the Muslim holy Aqsa Mosque and the Qubbat as- Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) with tiles. The Mawlawi and Naqshibandi dervishes from Turkey and Central Asia built their lodges. These are all visible proof that there was a Turkish Jerusalem. This book is about the last 400 years of Turkish Rule in Jerusalem. And especially about the most visible aspect of Ottoman rule: the inscriptions.

The idea for this book was born during a visit to Israel in 2004. Between the Jews, Christians and all others who claimed Jerusalem as their holy city, the Turkish rule was longest but also the most neglected.

This book describes the Jerusalem inscriptions written during the Ottoman times mostly on stones, but also inscriptions on metals and wood are included. In the second part of this book inscriptions from other cities of Ottoman Palestine are published.

A Cd-rom accompanies the book where all the original pictures of the inscriptions are enclosed so that one can study in detail the inscriptions. Any amendments or corrections to my readings are welcome.

By writing this book I hope to encourage the research to the heritage of Turks in Jerusalem. With the accompanied maps one can discover and walk in the streets and monuments of Ottoman Turkish Jerusalem.

Mehmet Tütüncü Haarlem, 10 Muharrem 1427 (8 February 2006)


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