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Ottoman Age Notables... William Kempe -- 16th Century dancer, clown, Shakespearean actor
Ottoman Age Entertainer
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Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
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Sultans and Concubines and Eunuchs, oh my...!

Site visitors may navigate the encyclopedia using the
Ottoman Empire Index
or the
Encyclopedia Sources Page.
Term Meaning Comments
tabla Trays set on low stools used as tables.  

Murad III's Throne of Gold...17
Throne The illustration at left is of the gold ceremonial throne, made in 1585 by order of Grand Vizier Ibrahim (not the same vizier as for Süleyman I) for the Sultan, Murad III.
Taht Kapisi Gate of the Throne Located in the Harem at Topkapı Palace. It is the door leading from the courtyard of the Sultan Valide to the Vestibule of the Hearth (Ocaklı Sofa) -- from there to the Vestibule of the Fountain (Çeşmeli Sofa) and then to the Hünkar Sofası.

Notice the takatuka shoes in the left foreground and on the feet of the black and white slave girls.4
The highly elevated wooden shoe(s) worn in the Turkish bath -- to help avoid slipping.
Did you know there's a Turkish Tongue-twister about the 'takatuka'?
Do you wanna hear it now?
Well then, click this line then!
talikAn ornamental style of Islamic calligraphic writing more often used by Persian (Iranian) Muslims. 
Tamerlane (1336-1405)
Timur Lang ("Timur the Lame")

Bloody and unbowed...39

His Empire (in bright yellow) in 1405...
Use right click to 'View' larger image.

Turkmen Mongol conqueror who established an empire extending from India to the Mediterranean Sea. He was partially disabled (on his left side) -- which explains the origin of his name.
He claimed to be descended of Genghis Khan, which he was not -- but a wife was. By 1394 he had conquered Iran, Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Georgia. Between 1389-95, he was a major problem for the Khanate of the Golden Horde. In 1398 he invaded India, captured Delhi, and wiped out its population. After he took Syria from the Mamluks (1401), he attacked and defeated the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I at the Battle of Ankara (1402) -- which in one swoop toppled the Ottoman Empire...for a period of about 10 years (see Interregnum). After losing interest in his Ottoman conquest he returned home and, while leading an expedition against China in 1405, he died and was buried in Samarqand (Samarakand), his capital city. His mausoleum, the Gur-e Amir, is still a major tourist attraction.
Tamerlane was notorious for his cruelty in war and for the many atrocities committed by his armies, but he was also a lover of scholarship and the arts. His dynasty, the Timurids, which ruled Transoxiana and Iran until the early 16th century, was noted for its patronage of Turkish and Persian literature. One of his descendants, Babur, founded the Mughal (Mogul, Moğul) dynasty of India in 1526. He is the protagonist of Christopher Marlowe's dramatic epic, Tamurlaine the Great (1590).18
tavaşi a eunuch 
tavşan oyunu 'Rabbit dance', a popular dance in Ottoman 'society' in 17th and 18th centuries.  
tefA tamborine with cymbals.
This simple musical instrument is constructed by stretching a thin hide on one side of a circular wooden frame (tambour).
tekke A dervish lodge or monastery.  
(also, telkisci, telkhisdji)
  • Official charged with making summaries of reports for the Sultan.
  • Messenger between a pasha and the Sultan.
tellak Servants assigned to the baths.  
tennureThe wide dress worn by the Mevlevi dervishes during the sema shows.89 
Right click to 'View' or 'Zoom' image enlargement...

Terazi astrological sign --
from a 'Acaibü-I Mahlukat'
(Unusual Living Creatures)
Topkapi Saray Museum.82
The modern Turkish-name for the astrological sign -- equivalent to Libra in English.
Also means 'pair of scales' in modern Turkish...
See the Osmanlı (Ottoman) entry Mizan -- for illustration. See burçlar for complete list of Osmanlı (Ottoman), Modern Turkish, and English astrological signs.
tershane [tersane] A dockyard, a shipyard, a naval arsenal.  
tershane emini Dockyard Superintendent. 
tershane kethüdası Secretary of the Dockyard Superintendent. 
tershane zindanı Prison of the galley slaves. The Bagnio. 
terzibaşıEd 3.51 Chief Imperial Tailor for the Ottoman Court. Responsible for maintaining high standards of tailoring among trades people in İstanbul.
Tesbih (Tespih) prayer beads
What will they think of next?

Left click for image enlargement.
In a classical string of prayer beads there are 99 beads. Two differently shaped beads protrude among the normal beads at an interval of every 33 beads. These two are called durak. The two ends of the thread are passed through the holes of all the imame (the bead itself) and tied in a tassel called the kama.89
Tezkereci (1) A secretary of the imperial council (Divan), writing official decrees, letters and memoranda.
(2) A secretary of a beylerbeyi's council.
Third Gate See Üçüncü Kapı(sı).  
thlibiae Eunuchs whose testicles had been crushed.  
See also Trakya.
Territory in southeast Europe, including part of present-day Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey.
The theater of the First and Second Balkan Wars.50
In Ottoman times, the name was used for the eastern Balkan Peninsula -- bounded on the north by the Danube River, on the east by the Black Sea, on the south by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles (Hellespont), the Aegean Sea, and, on the west by Macedonia.21
Throne Room See Arz Odası.  
timar A fief with an annual value of less than twenty thousand akçes, whose revenues were held by their 'temporary owners' in return for the 'temporary owners' military service. The concept of the 'timar holder' greatly reduced the cost of recruiting an Ottoman fighting force. (1) Any kind of 'care'.
(2) A grant acquired through a sultanic diploma, consisting, as a rule, of state taxes in return for regular military service -- the amount of which conveniently was below 20,000 akça.
Timar defterdari 'Defterdar of timars', a provincial official, regulating matters concerning timars.  
tomak Game in which teams competed with a ball on a rope.  
Topçu başi 'Head-gunner', the chief of the sultan's gunners.  
Topkapı Saray (Palace)

Right click to 'View' image enlargement
Modern day map of Topkapı Palace
'Cannon Gate Palace'

Right click to 'View' image enlargement

The palace during the reign of Murad III
This map appears in the 'Hünername' --
a book by Nakkaş Osman published in 1584...It shows the first court (fully enclosed, at that time), the second court (where the long 'shadows' are seen), and the third court.
(At that time there was no 4th court).
Of note: 1) you can see the Bab-ı Hümayun (Ruler's Gate) with its two storey 'chimneys' (the outermost gate near to Haghia Sofia), the Bab-üs Selam (Gate of Salutations) with its double turrets (leading to the shadowed second courtyard), and (along the wall to the right of the shadowed second courtyard) the kitchen chimneys -- only three in number, at that time.58
Original name at conception was Saray-i Cedid-i Amire. This palace was built by Mehmed II (The Conqueror) in the more secluded spot on Seraglio Point, after he began to feel vulnerable in the Eski Saray -- the first palace he built in İstanbul after conquering the city in 1453.
Torquemada, Tomás de (1420-98) Spanish monk and grand inquisitor, known for his ruthless administration of the Inquisition. Torquemada entered the Dominican order at an early age and in 1452 became prior of the monastery of Santa Cruz in Segovia. After 1474 he was also confessor to the Castilian monarchs Isabella I and her husband, Ferdinand V, of Columbus fame. On Isabella's recommendation, Pope Sixtus IV appointed Torquemada the first inquisitor general of Castile in 1483. With the encouragement of his sovereigns, Torquemada reorganized the Inquisition established in 1478. in 1487 he was made Grand Inquisitor for all Spain by Pope Innocent VIII. A deeply religious and zealous Catholic who felt that non-Catholics and insincere converts could destroy both the church and the country, Torquemada used the Inquisition for the next 11 years to investigate and punish Marranos (insincerely converted Jews) and Moors, apostates, and others on an unprecedented scale. As it was in other European judicial systems, torture was used to gain evidence, and a wide range of offenses were prosecuted, including heresy, witchcraft, bigamy, and usury. About 2000 people were burned at the stake during Torquemada's term of office. He also supported the expulsion of the 160,000 Jews from Spain in 1492 -- which led to significant numbers of them seeking asylum in the Ottoman Empire. They were openly accepted by Sultan Beyazid II at that time and their ancestors still live in the region in and around Izmir.
Törü A code of laws in ancient Turkish or Mongol tradition.  
Trablus (Tarabulus) Tripoli (in Lebanon)  
Trablusgarb Tripoli (in Libya)  
Trablusşam (Şamtrablus) Tripoli (in Lebanon)  
Trakya Thrace (Thracia) The early Thracians were a mixed race, akin to Illyrians. The country was reduced to a Roman province in the time of Vespasian (69-79 AD); Lower Moesia formed out of its northern part. Corresponded generally to Central and S Bulgaria, Turkey in Europe, and NE Greece. At times, it was overrun by Goths, Huns, and other barbarian invaders; part of Eastern Roman Empire but part fell to Turks 1361 and all of it became Turkish after 1453. In 1878 northern part separated as Eastern Rumelia; modern Thrace is southern part of the ancient region, now divided by the Maritsa River into Western Trace and Eastern Thrace. Western Thrace constitutes an administrative region of Greece, occupying the extreme NE corner of the country; Eastern Thrace constitutes Turkey in Europe. See also Thrace.
TunaThe Danube River. 
Turban/türban Ottoman headpiece; turban, scarf wrapped around the head Also see türban on the Geopolitical page.
turşu Pickled vegetables (usually cucumbers and peppers).  

Right click to 'View' enlarged

The Tuğra of Süleyman, The Magnificent17

The Sultan's "signature".
A sultan would select his tuğra from among several samples displayed to him on the day of his accession to the throne -- and the text and design of his seal never changed throughout his reign.89
The sultan's official monogram, attached to state documents to confirm their legality.
tüccar A 'merchant', term used for large traders handling the caravan and overseas trade; known also as bazirgan.  
türbe a tomb, grave, mausoleum.  
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