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Waiting for Godot: The Formation of Ottoman Print Culture

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Chapter Summary

One of the hallmarks of the Ottoman eighteenth century is the Tulip Age (1718-1730). Historians called it so because of the tulip gardens cultivated in different parts of Istanbul. Their refined fragrance replaced the smell of the gunpowder that prevailed during the preceding wars. In addition, in those years there was a place in the Ottoman capital where, for the first time, one's nose could sense another kind of smell: the heavy smell of the oil-based ink, used in the first Ottoman Turkish printing press. In fact, this aroma existed even earlier, from Jewish, Armenian and Greek Orthodox printing houses that were established during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but it was during the Tulip Age that printing technology with movable type was introduced to the Ottoman Turks themselves. Unlike Godot, İbrahіm Müteferrika did appear, and made the first step in the formation of Ottoman print culture.

Keywords: İbrahіm Müteferrika; Godot; Ottoman print culture; printing press; Tulip Age



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