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Evliya

ImageThis year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Evliya Çelebi, the famous 17th century Turkish traveler who journeyed across the Ottoman Empire and neighboring lands over a period of four decades.
 
Evliya Çelebi, born into a wealthy family in İstanbul in 1611, received a good education and served as an accountant at the Ottoman court. He began his travels first with rounds in İstanbul, during which he is known to have taken notes on many aspects of the city, including important buildings, markets and other landmarks, as well as on traditions. Historical sources say his first journey outside the city was in 1640, after which he toured almost all the Ottoman lands -- which then stretched from Algiers in the west to Baku in the east and from Budapest in the north to Yemen in the south.

Evliya Çelebi’s collection of notes from these travels make up a 10-volume work, the “Seyahatname” (Book of Travels), which still stands as a useful guide to the cultural aspects and lifestyle during 17th century Ottoman Empire.
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