Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Some interesting juxtapositions: Cyprus and the Piri Reis

The republic of Cyprus and Turkey have increased tension on the Eastern Mediterranean due to the decision of the Cyprus to use its sovereign right of allowing drilling for gas its its economic exclusion area. Turkey has responded by sending the cartographic vessel "Piri Reis" not to the North of the island which is is under occupation by its military, but to the south, dangerously close to where the explorations are taking place.

Yes not many people do not know who Piri Reis was. His name and effort to build very accurate global map indicates the ambition of the Ottoman Empire at that time, when it began to dominate the Eastern Mediterranean through the conquest of Egypt and by forcing the Christian enclaves of the region into retreat or dismemberment. Detailed maps of the New world where commissioned as the empire looked not to the conquest of the Mediterranean which was seen as inevitable(but was eventually checked in Vienna, Malta and Lepanto) but in access to the riches of the New world shared by Spain, Holland, France and Britain.

It is clear that Cyprus was also an important expansion point, as the Venetian ruled island could dominate trade between the Ottoman Empires possessions of Anatolia, Greece, Palestine and Egypt. In its history Cyprus was always considered as a threat by the greatest power of the region, but after conquest it its value declined; it was always valuable to keep it from the enemy, but not so valuable to have it yourself.

I have no way to check if indeed this drawing is by Piri Reis as the source claims; However it puts into perspective that the island, as well as the sea around it has been a strategic concern of Turkey as far back of the 16th century.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely biased and no basis to your statements. Piri Reis has nothing to do with this rubbish. You can clamber upon the bandwagon of Cyprus being mistreated by the Ottomans, or neglected and you can draw conclusions to the current day and age all you like. First of all Modern day Turkey is not Ottoman. Second of all Cyprus celebrates a multicultural ethnic group of people and a rich and diverse culture that is closer to Ottoman culture and the middle east than its Modern day Greek or Modern dayTurkish neighbors. Please do even study the Genetic make up of Cypriots to add to this point. Its just diabolical that your biased tone just separates your nation from the Muslims amongst your kind simply because of religious differences. Do you realize that its just religion that separates your Greek speaking nation from the Turks? Do you realize how religiously fanatical you sound with your undertones? You are not even white or Europeans, you are closer to a Turk in blood than any Modern Greek who are more Genetically Balkanic and North African than they are Ancient Greek. Do not turn on your own kind and foster propaganda and adopt dangerous biased tones in your wording. Demand peace, demand unity and demand a culture of change, adaptation and learning. Don't become the voice of someone who uses your emotions to take advantage of you. Someone is gaining from this situation and it certainly isn't the Greeks or Turks. This is what cyprus is about. This is what Cyprus stood for in the past. And this is what Cyprus needs now; thousands of years of multiculturalism, immigrants and a tolerance of others. Grow up and take your white supremacist ideologies away. Your not white for a starters so accept who you are and "love thy neighbor" instead of cooking up poisonous traps and slandering undertones. Cyprus is a living model for the world to see how so many cultures merged into real multiculturalism. It is not for anyone to claim. Stand up and unite and do not let the bigger powers being this game to take advantage of you or your children again.

Alexander Apostolides said...

Wow there. Lets take it step by step.
1) I said it is a juxtaposition ("the act of positioning close together") and not a policy recommendation. It is a writers trick and nothing more.
2) I never compared the old Ottoman, Turkey with the new state.
3) I would would not be able to describe the Cypriot culture in a sentence, just I would not dream of describing Turkish and Greek culture in one sentence they are far too diverse.
4) I do not believe my self to be biased.
5) I had no tones other to say that when the Piri Reis map was created there was anxiousness at the PORTE for not having access to the new lands of America.
6) Genes have nothing to do with nationality --> Attaturk would fully agree with me on that since he was the quintessential Turk and yet far from genetically "Pure". Hence you are patronising by calling Cypriots anything based on Genes --> we are who we want to be.
7)I do not think you read the article at all.