DISCOVERING THE OTHER: REALIA OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIREIN THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PILGRIMS’ ACCOUNTS (SIXTEENTH – EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES)

SVETLANA KIRILLINA

ÖZET

16 ve 18. yüzyıllardaki Rus hacıları kutsal topraklara artan bir ilgi gösterdiler. Onlar sadece, bu kutsal topraklarla ilgilenmediler. Kendi kişisel tecrübeleri doğrultusunda İncil’in tarihini doğrulamaya da çalışmadılar. Bunun yerine, hem yabancı ve korkutucu hem de egzotik ve cazibeli olan dünyaya bakmayı yeğlediler. Hacıların merakı; Osmanlı topraklarının tanımlanmasından insan davranışlarına, fiziksel görünüşlerinden hükumet sistemine kadar toplumsal yaşamın değişik alanlarını içermektedir. Hacıların gözlemleri, Osmanlıya dair kökleşmiş önyargılarını değiştirdi. Rus hacılar gözlemleriyle, yalnızca Hıristiyan kaynaklı kutsal toprak arayışını değil, Osmanlı dünyasının gizemini ve seyahate değer olduğunu da gösterdiler.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Rus hacıları, Osmanlı, Kutsal topraklar, Seyahat

ABSTRACT

The Russian pilgrims of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries showed a growing interest in the realia of the Holy Land itself and other visited areas of the Middle East. They looked not only ‘inward’ upon Holy Places representing them in traditional religious terms as a part of the “Land of the Old and the New Testament” and attempting to authenticate the biblical history through their personal experience but also ‘outward’ upon the surrounding world which was alien, frightening, exotic and fascinating at one and the same time. The feeling of awareness of “otherness” was increasing in the course of time due to reasons of social, political, cultural and psychological nature. The wide scope of pilgrims’ curiosity was expressed in descriptions of the Ottoman lands, observations of peoples, their physical appearance, occupations and ways of life, food, clothing, habitations, commodities, the system of government and political conduct, etc. Pilgrims’ discoveries and explorations of “otherness”, their representation of the realia of the Ottoman Empire interspersed with original judgments advanced the receding of the horizon which separated the familiar from the alien. Being guided by curiosity and fondness for traveling, the Russian pilgrims proved by their narratives that, apart from Christian-orientated outlook on the Holy Land, the Ottoman world itself remained mysterious and worth visiting.

Key words: Russian pilgrims, Holy Land, Ottoman, Travel

SVETLANA KIRILLINA

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