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Monastir

(1,966 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
(classical orthography, Munastīr, popular pronunciation Mnestīr, Mestīr; nisba Mestīrī), a town and port in the Sahel, the eastern coast of Tunisia, near the site of the ancient Ruspina at the end of a cape which runs out to the south-east of Sūsa. Due to the proximity and special position of three little islands, the anchorage of Monastir is considered the best on the east coast of Tunisia (U.S. Hydrographie Office, Sailing directions for the Mediterranean , i, 9F-16; France, Service hydrographique de la marine, Instructions nautiques , série D (II), Paris …

Ṣaḳi̊z

(2,737 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
(the Ottoman Turkish name for Chios, the Greek name of this island and of its capital; ṣaḳi̊z means “gum mastic”, a testimony to the product for which Chios was famous), an island in the eastern Aegean alongside the Turkish coast, from which only 8 km/5 miles separate it at the narrowest point of the strait of Chios ( Ṣaḳi̊z bog̲h̲azi̊ ); the large peninsula of Karaburun on the mainland, jutting north, separates the island’s northern half from the gulf and port of Smyrna [see izmir in Suppl.]. With an area of 841 km2, it is the fifth largest island of the Aegean after Crete [see iḳrītis̲h̲ …

Ṭorg̲h̲ud Reʾīs

(757 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, Turkish corsair, naval commander and governor (b. early 16th century near Muǧla, western Anatolia, d. 1565 in Malta; better known as Dragut in European literature). The maritime career of this son of a peasant began when he joined the Levends, Turkish mariners operating off the Aegean coast [see lewend ]. It was as commander of Levend ships that he participated in the battle of Prevesa (1538). His subsequent area of operation was the central and western Mediterranean, where in the wake of K̲h̲ayr al-Dīn Barbarossa’s successes [see k̲h̲ayr al-dīn pas̲h̲a ], Turkish seamen and Janissa…

Merič

(815 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, the Turkish name of a river called Hebros in classical Greek and Maritsa in Bulgarian. It is the principal river of the south-eastern Balkans and, under the Ottomans, of the eyālet of the Rumeli. Al-Idrīsī ( Opus geographicum, Naples 1977, 796 = 4th section of the 5th climate) mentions it as nahr Mārisū ; on his map of 1154, however, we read nahr Ak̲h̲īlū (K. Miller, Mappae arabicae, Bd. I, pt. 2, Blatt V, Bd. II, 122, 126). From its source in the north-western spur of the Rhodope mountains south of Sofia, the Merič flows eastwards through Bulgaria, forming a broad valle…

Tas̲h̲oz

(490 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
(Tkisg. form of the Greek Thasos), an island in the northernmost part of the Aegean Sea near the coast of Greece, not far from the port city of Kavala [see ḳawāla ]. Its round shape and large size (area 393 km2; population 13,000) give Thasos a distinctive identity, enhanced by a fairly mountainous wooded interior (Ipsari, the highest peak, 1,123 m/3,683 feet). The administrative centre is a port city of the same name, also called Limenas, facing the mainland. Thasos, like Lesbos [see midilli ] and Lemnos [see limni ], was a fief granted to the Genoese family o…

Marmara Deñizi

(1,743 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, the Turkish name of the Sea of Marmara. 1. The Sea itself. (a) Geography . This is a small sea within the borders of Turkey, communicating with the Aegean Sea through the Dardanelles [see čanaḳ-ḳalʿe bog̲h̲azi̊ ] and with the Black Sea through the Bosphorus [see bog̲h̲az-iči ]. Istanbul is the most prominent city on its shore. The Sea has a surface area of 11,350 km.2; its ¶ greatest length, from the Dardanelles to the end of the Gulf of Izmit, is 260 km; its width between Silivri on the Thracian side and Bandirma on the Anatolian side is 80 km. Its greatest d…

Pīrī Reʾīs

(2,165 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
b. Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Meḥmed, a Turkish mariner, cartographer and author (b. probably Gallipoli, date of birth unknown; d. Cairo, 961/1553-4). His uncle, Kemāl Reʾīs [ q.v.], served as a captain in the Ottoman fleet but was especially notorious among Mediterranean Christians for his exploits as a corsair; it was in this earlier profession by his uncle’s side that Pīrī Reʾīs first learned the trade of seaman. Generally welcomed by their Arab fellow-Muslims to use the coasts of Tunisia and Algeria as a base, refuge and place fo…

Turfan

(2,062 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, a fertile oasis town in the Uyg̲h̲ur Sinkiang Autonomous Region (Eastern or Chinese Turkestan) of the People’s Republic of China [see sinkiang ], and district centre of a hsien or county of the same name. Native Uyg̲h̲ur Turks pronounce the name as Turpan, the Chinese as Tu-lu-fan. The Turks, who constitute the basic population, have been Muslims since the dawn of the modern era, and today use a modified Arabic alphabet for their script. There is also a sizable Chinese constituency, and Uyg̲h̲ur Turkish and Chinese are the ¶ two official languages. The historical term “Uyg̲h̲ur” f…

Menderes

(1,921 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, the name of three rivers of Anatolia which are known in modern Turkish by this name, usually preceded by the pertinent epithet: Büyük ("Big"), Küçük ("Little"), and Eski ("Old"). They are the classical Maiandros, Kaystros and Skamandros. 1. Büyük Menderes . It is part of the geological and hydrological features of western Anatolia that consist of latitudinal mountain chains flanking long valleys, the latter used and enlarged by rivers that flow into the Aegean Sea. These valleys, the mountain slopes along them a…

On Iki Ada

(813 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, Turkish rendering of the Dodecanese (Dodekanesos, “Twelve Islands”), the greater part of the Southern Sporades archipelago; they are grouped in a north-west to south-east direction in the south-eastern segment of the Aegean along the Turkish coast. The concept and even the number is somewhat artificial and underwent different interpretations and political expressions in the course of history, hence the relativity of the definition as to how many and which islands constitute this archipelago. T…

ʿUlūd̲j̲ ʿAlī

(775 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, Mediterranean corsair, Ottoman administrator and Grand Admiral of the Turkish fleet ( Ḳapudan Pas̲h̲a [ q.v.]; b. ca . 926/1520 in Calabria, d. 995/1587 in Istanbul). In western literature, his name has been routinely distorted or Italianised, the most frequent form being Occhiali. The name Ḳi̊li̊d̲j̲ ʿAlī (“ʿAlī the Sword"), preferred by modern Turkish historiography, was conferred on him in the aftermath of the Battle of Lepanto [see ʿaynabak̲h̲ti̊ ], together with the post of Ḳapudan Pas̲h̲a, as a reward for scoring a partial victory in the otherwise disastrous defeat. ¶ Like many…

Rodos

(3,125 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, Turkish name (popular pronunciation also Rados) for Rhodes (Greek Rhodos, Latin Rhodus, both fern.), an island and port city near the southwestern corner of Turkey, since 1948 a Greek possession and administrative centre of the nomos of Dodekanesos [see on i̇ki̇ ada ]. Rhodes stands out for its relatively large size (1,404 km2; the second largest island of the eastern Aegean after Lesbos (see midilli); maximum length between capes Kumburnu and Praso, 80 km, maximum breadth between capes Lardos and Armenistis, 38 km), regular shape (an extended ellipse with …

Minūrḳa

(884 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, Minorca, name of the easternmost of the Balearic islands; it lies about 40 km east-north-east of Majorca [see mayūrḳa ]. Its area of 669 km2 is dwarfed by that of the centrally located Majorca (3,640 km2), but it slightly surpasses that of Ibiza (572 km2 [see yābisa ]). Minorca’s elongated latitudinal shape is marked by two excellent harbours, at its western and south-eastern extremities, Ciudadela and Mahón, both of Carthaginian date. For the greater part of the four centuries or more of Islamic rule on the islands, Minorca was politically and culturally eclipsed…

Mīnāʾ

(8,089 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
(a.), port, harbour. (a) The term. Arabic mīnāʾ has been little used in either Persian or Turkish, although it is routinely listed in their dictionaries (thus J.W. Redhouse, A Turkish and English lexicon, 205; F. Steingass, A comprehensive Persian-English dictionary, 1364; ʿAlī-Akbar Dihk̲h̲udā, Lug̲h̲at-nāma , Tehran n.d., s.v.). In Persian, the standard term is bandar [ q.v.], in Turkish, liman . Bandar was widely used in Ottoman Turkish and, in later centuries, also in Arabic (thus Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, iv, 89, in reference to Ḳāliḳūt, has iḥdā ’l-banādir al-ʿiẓām ; Ibn Mād̲j̲id: bandar D̲j̲…

Sug̲h̲dāḳ

(1,027 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
(Sudak in Russian and Ukrainian; Σουγδαία or Σουγδία in Greek, Suroz̲h̲ in old Russian, Soldaia or Soldachia in mediaeval Italian), once a great seaport, now a small town on the coast of the Crimea (Ukraine) almost due north of the Anatolian port of Sinob [see sīnūb ], and some 40 km to the south-west of Theodosia [see kefe ]. In the 12th and 13th centuries, it was the principal port for trade between Russia and the Islamic and Mediterranean worlds, while also attracting a portion of the silk and spice trade from South Asia and the Far East. The origins of Sug̲h̲dāḳ are less well documented …

Sisām

(901 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, the Turkish name for Samos, an island in the south-eastern Aegean alongside the Turkish coast, from which only 1.8 km/1.2 miles separate it at the narrowest point of the Dar Bog̲h̲az/Stenon Samou. With an area of 468 km2, Samos is one of the larger islands in the Aegean, and today forms, with Ikaria and a few other islands, one of Greece’s 52 nomoi . The capital and main port city is situated on the north-eastern coast inside the bay of Vathy, and was known by this name until outgrown by a suburb called Samos. The nearest important port on the Turkish coast is Kuşadası [see aya solūḳ …

Raʾīs

(2,026 words)

Author(s): Havemann, A. | Bosworth, C.E. | Soucek, S.
(a.), pl. ruʾasāʾ , from raʾs , “head”, denotes the “chief, leader” of a recognisable group (political, religious, juridical, tribal, or other). The term goes back to pre-Islamic times and was used in various senses at different periods of Islamic history, either to circumscribe specific functions of the holder of the office of “leadership” ( riʾāsa ) or as a honorific title ( laḳab [ q.v.]). 1. In the sense of “mayor” in the central Arab lands. Here, the raʾīs most commonly referred to was the head of a village, a city or a city-region. He emerged as…

Selmān Reʾīs

(1,108 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
(d. 923/1527), a Turkish mariner and naval commander in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Apparently a native of Lesbos [see midilli ] and thus a countryman and contemporary of another ¶ famous seaman, K̲h̲ayr al-Dīn [ q.v.], he became active as a corsair in the Central Mediterranean (J.-L. Bacqué-Grammont and Anne Kroell, Mamlouks , Ottomans et Portugais en Mer Rouge . L’affaire de Djedda en 1517, Cairo 1988, 76). At an unspecified date (at the latest in 1514) he entered the service of the Mamlūk sultan Ḳānṣawh al-G̲h̲awrī [ q.v.] who was endeavouring to resist the recently-arrived Port…

Menemen

(636 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S.
, a town in western Anatolia (population in 1970: 17,514) and administrative centre of a district ( ilçe ) of the same name. The town lies near the left bank of the Gediz [ q.v. ], some 30 km north-north-west of Izmir [ q. v. ], at the inception of the alluvial lowlands formed by the above-mentioned river. The district flanks the Bay of Izmir on the south and that of Çandarh on the north, but it is separated from the Aegean coast on the west by the ilçe of Foça. The earliest known mention of Menemen is found in Pachymeres (d. 1315), who states that the "Tourkoi" had moved into the "Ma…

Milāḥa

(16,177 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S. | Christides, V. | Tibbetts, G.R. | G. Oman
(a.) “navigation, seamanship; seafaring”. Like its English and French counterparts, navigation , the Arabic term has both a narrower and a broader connotation. The former refers to the mariner’s art of determining the ship’s position, charting her course and assuring that her progress and ultimate arrival is performed efficiently and safely; the latter, to seafaring in general. The term is attested in its faʿʿāl form, mallāḥ , at least since the ʿAbbāsid period (Lane, vii, 2733); it appears to go back to Akkadian and ultimately Sumerian ( Chicago Akkadian dictionary, Letter M
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