The Bay of Miletus and the Latmicus Sinus

The fertile plains of the Menderes River, or the Meandros, form the northern border of Caria. For a mariner, one of the many fascinations lies in the fact that these plains have formed only relatively recently and continue to form: Their extension into the Aegean Sea increase by several metres per annum. So here we have the chance to travel over sea, or to be more precise, over what used to be the sea, by foot, on a bike or another land vehicle… MORE >>

The Hittites

Those we call the Hittites was a thin social strata which had arrived to Anatolia from somewhere else. They came in around 1600 BC and dominated Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia. They dominated, because they brought under their domination the Hattis, the indigenous Anatolians of that time. The Hittites spoke an Indo-European language. They called water “voda” and the wheel “ratha”. They had an advanced script. They used dictionaries… MORE >>

The Carian Language

As to the location of Caria, it is not too difficult to determine its geographic borders.According to an ancient map from an atlas dated to 1923, Caria, sticking to a simple definition, was a landscape bordered by the Meander River to the north, the Köyceğiz River to the south, the mountain of Akdağ to the east and the Aegean Sea to the west. Upon close inspection one can tell that this is map of is a landscape of ancient times – Ephesos is shown as a seaside city on the shore of Sinus Caystrius and Miletos was a commercial harbor at the mouth of what was once a bay, now the Lake of Bafa, where the boatbuilding city of Heraklea ad Latmos was… MORE >>

Nelson’s “Tcheleng” or “The Knight of the Ottoman Crescent”

The English Admiral Nelson died due to the wound he received in the Trafalgar Naval Battle on October 12th, 1805. The said naval battle resulted in the total defeat of the united French and Spanish fleets and was to determine the future of Europe for more than a century. Nelson’s corpse was placed in an oak barrel filled with cognac that came as a war spoil and he was taken to England. His casket made from the mast of the French ship l’Orient [3] captured seven years ago was ready; he had kept it with him, sometimes in the hold of the ship and sometimes in his own cabin.

Nelson was buried in London in a very stately and deeply sincere ceremony. What especially interests us here is one of the titles placed on Nelson’s casket:

“Knight of the Ottoman Crescent”, that is, “Osmanlı Hilali’nin Soylusu”… MORE >>

Deception at Djerba

Dragut was superior to Barbarossa. A living chart of the Mediterranean, he combined science with audacity. There was not a creek unknown to him, not a channel that he had not sailed. Ingenious in devising ways and means, when all around him despaired, he excelled above all in escaping by unexpected methods from situations of great peril. An incomparable pilot, he had no equal in sea warfare except the Chevalier Romegas. On land he was skilful enough to be with the finest generals of Charles V and Philip II… MORE >>

the Gulet


The gulet is a cargo and fishing ship of the Mediterranean. It survives in the Eastern Med up to our days and Bodrum is certainly the centre for having a gulet built. The lines of this type of ship has always attracted many boat designers, including for example the famous British designhouse of Laurent Giles. Nevertheless none of these boats come up with the… MORE >>

Uluburun II


These days Netsel Marina in Marmaris is host to a most unusual vessel. Grantedly, if we would disregard the two side rudders in plantane timber, several stone anchors and of course a massive square sail, she is perhaps not even too different from the cargo vessels of the Med, which have served as late as the second half of the twentieth century. But still, who… MORE >>

Turkish Waters & Cyprus Pilot Rod Heikell’s Comments on the dilemma
Skylax versus Pseudo-Skylax

Next to being the author of the most accurate coastal handbook of Turkish Waters, Rod Heikell has a solid background and ongoing interest in epistemology, the philosopy of scientific progress. As expressed in my brief article about Skylax, this ancient voyager seems to be a milestone in the history of “handling science” and Rod had noticed my pages. At a wonderful evening in Gumusluk Rod, Lou and myself had the opportunity to let our phantasies go around Skylax, Piri Reis and others, who bothered to write down geographic observations several… MORE >>

Skylax: A “Rooster” from Gölköy Mercenary, Commander and Discoverer in the service of Emperor Dareios of Persia


44: Of the greater part of Asia Dareios was the discoverer. Wishing to know where the Indus, which is the only river save one that produces crocodiles, emptied itself into the sea, he sent a number of men, on whose truthfulness he could rely, and among them Scylax of Caryanda, to sail down the river. They started from the city of Kaspatyros, in the region called Paktyia, and sailed down the stream in an easterly… MORE >>

Ottoman Sailing Ships (A remarkable book)

Mr. Ahmet Güleryüz, the distinguished artist and author of several maritime books including the well known study THE OTTOMAN STEAM NAVY has just come up with a very remarkable book. This is a Turkish/English study of the Eastern Mediterranean ships starting with the galleys of the 13. – 14. century, and includes furthermore a transliteration of Diyarbakirli Abdülhamit’s Particulars of Ships and Their Equipment, a navy technical handbook from the beginnings of the 19. century, including sizes, weights, equipment details of Ottoman Navy Sailing Ships, sail plans, center of forces, conversion tables to European units and much more… MORE >>

Gökova and its Backwaters

The Gulf of Gökova (Gökova Körfezi) or the Ceramic Golf (or Sinus Ceramicus or Colpos Ceramicos) is perhaps the most rewarding cruising area in Turkish waters. Roughly about 40 miles long and about 18 miles wide at its western “mouth,” it narrows down to about 1- 2 miles at its easternmost end. The bottom of the golf has some not much reported qualities and in the following article I will try to pay special attention to them… MORE >>

From the Baburnamah (the events of the year 935):

Below a passage from the letter of Babur Khan [3] to his son Humayun Khan, 20, and at that time in Kabul. It was written in Chagatay Turkish and in the Emperor’s own handwriting in Agra in India. The letter was delivered to Buyan Shah, the servant of Humayun Khan on Friday, the fourteenth of Rabi’i (27 November 1528)… MORE >>

Piri Reis in Bahriyye “The Ceramic Gulf Explained”

Piri Reis, the Turkish Admiral, Cartographer and Scholar, author of several Mappa Mundi surviving into our centuries, describes Gökova in following words (Tercüman, 1001 Temel Eser) Let us start from the mouth of the Ceramic Gulf. At the start is the fortress Ispot (todays Aspat). It is situated on a steep hill. There are ruins in front of the fortress and here a stream flows into the sea. However, nobody drinks this water. Water requirements are… MORE >>

Mustafa Paşa

Just beyond Bodrum marina, above the “ancient” boatyard, at the foot of the “Tiger Castle” is a sea people’s cemetery. The most remarkable grave is the Mausoleum of Captain Cafer Pasha, the Grand Admiral of the Ottoman navy. He was a seaman “who knew every creek of the mediterranean, fathom by fathom” although very close to the marina few seapeople visit this really well kept place nowadays… MORE >>