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Publisher: EŞREF, Mehmet
Title: [Egypt / Sudan - map with Ottoman script]
Published in: Istanbul, Şirket-i Mürettibiye ve Karacoğlu Matbaas&#
Size: 5.1 x 3.5 inches.
13.0 x 9.0 cm.

In printed colours.
Condition: Chromolithography on thick paper. Sheet size : 11 x 15 cm (4.3 x 5.9 inches). Short lower margin.
Condition Rating

Post card size map in Ottoman script of Egypt and Sudan from Mehmet Eşref’s ‘Küçük Atlas’, a rare portfolio of loose-leaf maps with text in Ottoman Turkish, published in Istanbul in 1909.
The present map depicts Egypt (then a British protectorate) and Sudan (and country jointly ruled by Egypt and Britain) in the heady period leading up the World War I. The red lines on the land show the rapidly expanding railway system, while major shipping lanes traverse the Red Sea, emanating from the Suez Canal, one on the world’s great nexuses of transport and commerce. Egypt would become a major theatre of conflict during the upcoming war, as the Ottoman-German side made concerted, but ultimately unsuccessful, efforts to capture the Suez and to take Cairo. Naturally, a map of the region would have been of great interest to Ottoman readers.

Throughout the period extending from the early 16th to until the end of the 18th Century, Egypt was the wealthiest and most populous part of the Ottoman Empire, while Sudan was a transitional area that often fell under Cairo’s purview. However, in the wake of Napoleon Bonaparte’s botched invasion and occupation of Egypt (1798-1801), Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Vali (Governor) of Egypt, consolidated his power, progressively forming a regime independent of the Sublime Porte. He rapidly modernized the country, forming a potent army, and became a rival power to the Ottomans in the Middle East (even as Muhammad Ali remained a de jure subject of the Sultan). Egypt defeated the Ottoman Empire during both the First Egyptian-Ottoman War (1831-3) and the Second Egyptian–Ottoman War (1839-41), following which Egypt became de facto independent nation. However, Egypt’s strategic geopolitical location, augmented by the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, ensured that it became a focus of European colonialism. Britain made Egypt a protectorate in 1882, even though it remained a de jure part of the Ottoman Empire (a legal distinction with no practical effect). Egypt would remain Britain’s main base of operations in the Middle East and North Africa throughout both World Wars I and II.

The present map comes from Mehmet Eşref’s Küçük Atlas (Small Atlas), an unusual work of 128 loose-leaf postcard sized maps, housed within a portfolio cover and accompanied by a 32-page brochure. Even though the period before World War I saw a great flourishing of Ottoman cartography, the Küçük Atlas was extraordinary in that it included a wide range of regional maps of Asia and Africa, as well as thematic maps, that in some cases are probably the only Ottoman maps of those subjects.

The Küçük Atlas is very rare, Worldcat lists only a single example, at the Boğaziçi University Library, Istanbul. All individual maps from the atlas are likewise rare.
The present map comes from an incomplete example of the atlas, so is offered separately.

map Thumbnail Catalogue  book Catalogue  Category:  Africa | North Africa | Egypt | Check Archive |

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EŞREF, Mehmet -  [Egypt / Sudan - map with Ottoman script]
EŞREF, Mehmet - [Egypt / Sudan - map with Ottoman script] high resolution image of old map
Click image to zoom old map image or download.

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EŞREF, Mehmet - [Egypt / Sudan - map with Ottoman script]

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