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Ottoman Age Notables -- [Self Portrait of the Pole] Nicholas Copernicus (1473  1543), the first to declare that the earth revolved around the sun.
Ottoman Age polymath
In Turkey - Türkiye'de
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Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
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In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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Sultans and Concubines and Eunuchs, oh my...!

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Term Meaning Comments
rakkase female dancers

Click following for:
The Concise Rakı (Raki) Story --
that answers all your questions...
  1. What exactly is it?
  2. Rakı etiquette
  3. What goes with rakı, and when?
  4. How is it produced in Turkey today?
World Food Guide -- Turkey140
Turkey's national alcoholic drink -- quite strong, and flavored with aniseed. Also known as 'Lion's Milk'.

'Efe' Brand Rakı-sales Skyrocket

Click for enlargement!
The Counterfeit-Rakı Disaster of 2005...
  • In the news: 7 February 2005... First exposure of overzealous religion-based taxation on rakı... Click  following  for Fatih Altayli's exposé of the AKP ruling government's sin-taxation policy. And, click following to see the crime-increasing effects of those policies..
  • In the news: 2 March 2005... First 5 deaths from poisoned counterfeit-rakı (found in genuinely labelled "Yeni Rakı" bottles) make headline news in the national press. Gözcü Gazetesi (See photo-article at left.)
  • In the news: 4 March 2005... US Embassy warning about the counterfeit-rakı danger -- 500,000 genuine "Yeni Rakı" brand labels, including the tax hologram, were stolen from a bottling facility in Izmir...
  • In the news: 5 March 2005... Erring on the side of caution, Turkish rakı-lovers have stopped buying the usually best-selling "Yeni Rakı" product altogether. And that has caused the sale of competitive rakı brands (which were untargeted by counterfeiters) to skyrocket -- resulting in chagrin among the other-brand managerial staff. Hürriyet Gazetesi (See photo-article at left.)
  • In the news: 5-6 March 2005... Increased public anger and blame directed at ruling AKP and its leader Erdoğan as death toll from counterfeit rakı reaches 23. One death from counterfeit vodka has also occurred. Click following for further details of the growing sin-tax scandal.
  • In the news: 7 March 2005... Complete stock of "Yeni Rakı" product recalled from retail outlets, restaurants, bars, etc. -- by the legal manufacturer. So, "Yeni Rakı" will be unavailable to customers until further notice. Other manufacturers of rakı (such as Efe) just watch as their sales continue to rise... (See photo-article at left-middle.)
  • Ramazan Bayramı
    (sometimes called 'Ramadan', by Westerners)
    the Muslim 'Fasting Celebration'. One of the five pillars of Muslim faith is fasting during the month of Ramazan, when all bodily needs and pleasures are forbidden between the rise and setting of the sun. Even the ingestion of one's own saliva (as a replacement for water) is prohibited to very devout Muslims. Exceptions to 'the rule' include nursing mothers, ill people, etc.
    rax an oriental dance  
    reaya The non-government population; the tax paying subjects of the Ottoman Empire -- as distinct from the ruling military class. Literally, 'the flock'.
    Reign of Women
    (also seen as
    Sultanate of Women)
    A term given to the period from c. 1550 to c. 1687 that was marked by sultanates dominated by powerful women at the Ottoman Court -- usually the wife or Valide of the 'ruling' male sultan. The period was ushered in by Hürrem Sultan in the latter years of Süleyman the Magnificent's rule and ended with Turhan Hatice Sultan at the time that Mehmed IV was deposed subsequent to Kara Mustafa Paşa's failure at Vienna in 1683. [Mahpeyker] Kösem Sultan was a prominent figure during the Reign of Women...
    reisülküttab Chief of the Scribes and Scribal Guild, 'Chief of the Clerks', Executive Secretary to the Grand Vizier
    • the head of the offices attached to the grand vizierate
    • from the eighteenth century, minister of foreign affairs
    remil geomancy, the name given to the 'science' or 'technique' of fortune telling (including especially the discovery of lost items or people) -- with lines and dots; 'remil' means 'sand' in Arabic; in olden times, 'remil' came to describe this 'science' because sand was used instead of paper in the practice of it. This is how the literary master Master Ağah Sırrı Levant described it in 1943, "Remil is the 'science' of obtaining divinations by means of some 'diagrammatic shapes' and in this way to give information about wishes and intentions."; 'Scientists' who worked at this trade were called remmal, and practically speaking, they were predecessors of our modern 'doodle' interpretation psuedo-scientists.
    remmal Practicers of the 'science' of remil.  
    [also seen as rik'a and ruk'a]

    The style is sometimes still employed in dictionaries -- as in the following sample from the Redhouse Türkçe-Ingilizce Sözlüğü (1968).

    Right click or use 'Print Preview' to 'View' image enlargement...

    A common style of cursive Arabic handwriting (used in Turkey). 
    rikabdar The sultan's stirrup holder.  
    Revan Köşkü The Pavilion of Erivan in the Fourth Court. Was used as a turban room (sarık odası). Built for Murad IV in 1635 to celebrate his Revan campaign. Architect was probably Kasım Ağa.
    Rumeli (Rumelia)
    • The Ottoman province north and west of the Bosphorus -- encompassing part of modern Bulgaria and Greece. In those most northern and western 'provinces', its inhabitants were most often Christian, originally.
    • The European portion of the Ottoman Empire.
    Rüstem Paşa
    (1500 -- 1561)
    Early, fast, and high-riser: Originally from Croatia, Rüstem was recruited in youth via the devşirme to the Ottoman Palace. His early success as the vali of Diyarbakır led to his appointment as a second-level vezir. And when he married Sultan Süleyman's only daughter Mihrimah, he was bound for glory -- which he achieved by becoming Grand Vizier (the first time) in 1544 -- succeeding Ibrahim Paşa, who fell victim to assassination after a falling-out with Süleyman.
    History buff: As a sideline to his affairs of state, Rüstem was also an amatuer historian -- whose work entitled Tarih-i Âl-i Osman (Ottoman History) was published in Germany during his lifetime.
    Plotter/Plottee: With Süleyman's son Mustafa out of the way, Rüstem became patron to Beyazid (one of the sultan's two remaining sons). In the process, he employed a tutor for Beyazid -- named Kara Mustafa Paşa, a man with his own selfish ambitions. After a time, Rüstem (assuming he could count on Kara Mustafa's loyalty) sent the tutor to Selim (the sultan's other remaining son) with orders to undermine Selim's dreams for the throne. But, Kara Mustafa betrayed Rüstem -- in hopes that a victory for Selim in the ascension race would bring the Grand Vezirate to the tutor's door.
    • Ottoman statesman --
      who served Süleyman, the Magnificent as Grand Vizier -- on two separate occasions. The first time, from 28 November 1544 to 6 October 1553; the second time, from 29 September 1555 to 15 July 1561...
    • Husband to Süleyman's only daughter, Mihrimah Sultan.
    • Plotter (along with Mihrimah Sultan and Süleyman's wife Hürrem Sultan) against the interests of Süleyman's oldest son Mustafa (by Suleyman's former favorite, Mahidevran).
      It was Rüstem's role in the plot against the popular Mustafa that so angered the Janissary Corps -- and after Mustafa was assassinated on Suleyman's orders, the Janissaries forced Rüstem's dismissal as Grand Vizer in 1553. In time, he regained Janissary support, and was reappointed GV upon the death (by assassination) of the then-Grand Vizir, Kara Ahmed Pasa -- in 1555.
    He died (of natural causes) in 1561 shortly after the great architect Mimar Sinan had completed construction of the still-famous mosque that bears the paşa's name in Tahtakale (Istanbul).
    An example of the fine tiling
    [made in İznik]
    that decorates the Rüstem Paşa Cami'i
    is seen just below...

    Right click or use 'Print Preview' to view image enlargement...

    In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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    Turkish History, Ottoman History, Ottman Age/Era Encyclopedia

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