The Banknotes of The Ottoman Empire
Ever since I became collector, I was seeing the Ottoman Banknotes on display windows, in trader"s bags and at auctions.. I was saddened of seeing that the people could not sell them as there were few collectors and although the value of these banknotes once were 100 banknotes of kuruş equal to one golden lira, the people were not interested in to have them.. Forcing myself about the issue, I liquidated all other collections that I had, in order to transform these banknotes into respetable collection materials. I decided to collect all banknotes that I find regardless their quantity and condition..
I feel that I made significant progress on the way. However, my ambition to get all the banknotes that I find; drove others angry or made them to loose their ethusiasm to collect the Ottoman Banknotes and they started to sell their collections. In this situation that I caused unwillingly, I felt responsability for helping to train qualified collectors. The best mean to reach this purpose, could be publishing a guidebook that people were already needed as it was not published before. But I was very busy with my business; so I did not have time to deal with it.
When I had these thoughts in my mind, I met with Güçlü Kayral from İzmir. He was a hardworking, researching, smart and well-educated collector. When he told me that his target was to write articles and to publish a book about the subject;, we decided to work together to realize our common dream and we started to work..
The outstanding work that Güçlü performed, forced me to focus on the subject in my spare times. We succeeded to publish a book together by using all the material and information that I collected. I would like to congrigulate and thank him for this work and performance. I hope that we would continue our co-work and go on publishing other books about the subject. I would like to tell a piece of good news about the upcoming Project: we are planning to publish a periodical magazine which is going to contain stories and articles about values of banknotes.
I would also like to thank to my wife Isabel for her material and moral support..
I would also like to thank to Yusuf Levent, who liked the system of our book -which was a result of a hard and selfless study and aimed to create more consicious collectors- and gave me the images of unique and valuable pieces that I did not have, without any hesitation, to The Head of The Department of Ottoman Archives Dr. Önder Bayır, to Dr. Raşit Gündoğdu who helped in translation of the sources from Old Turkish, to Beşir Şen who helped me to collect to the collection I have, and I would like to thank to Dündar Açıkalın, İsa Akbaş, Jak Traves, Nasen-Hanifi Can, Cem Barlok, Mehmet Aslanoğlu, Halil Işıkoğlu, Sami Toroğlu, Samet Tekin, Emin Güngören, Vedat Duman, Sadık Demirkan, Yakup Nakri and all artisans and collectors
Getting together, keeping and collecting.. I think these are the insticts that everybody have. Some have more, some have less; some make them hidden, some make them open; some act like addicted, some are more natural.. My closest friend most times tells me: "Why do you do this?", "Why to pay that much Money for a piece of paper?"Some people treat me like I am crazy and keep distance between us. As far as I know, I am not the only person who faces all of these and there are a lot of people facing the same problem.This study, is a study that we made to share the same pleasure that we have, with the crazy people like me.
I think everything can be a subject for collecting, regardless the material, the time or the subject.. But being a real collector, is to develop a subject and transform it into a universal form. The most important contribution to the formation, is to create a work.
I always remember the words of my master, the late Bülent Coşkun who shared his extensive knowledge and support when I first became a part of the numismatic community; "You can not be a collector only by collecting; in order to become a real collector, you must create a work." Keeping this advice always in my mind, I started to develop projects. But after seeing the number of the publications made about The Numismatics, I could say that I was very late except one subject: "The Ottoman Banknotes"
When I started to collect Ottoman Banknotes with a big ethusiasm, I was having difficulties. Especially about The Abdulmecid Period Ottoman Banknotes were unknown. I noticed that there were not any reliable source about that period. All the information and affirmative sources about the banknotes printed and used between the years of 1840-1918 , were lost or shelved due to lack of archives and because of the language of book keeping of the period was inOld Turkish.
Furthermore, the banknotes of the period were burnt by people on squares because they did not like them. Considering the difficulty of finding the banknotes of the period; especially considering that the first period banknotes could not reach the present day, there were a big potential to search .
Within a short time I said myself; "this is the work I will do" and I started to work. Afterwards, I saved all my collector energy for The Ottoman Banknotes and I focused on the subject.
First I tried to obtain all the articles and the books mentioned on literature about the subject. The second step was to try to reach to bibliography of these books. I started to learn old Turkish, because all the Ottoman Empire sources were written in Old Turkish, so I had to develop myself on this subject. But I had to stop; because I had knowledge, but I had to complete it with the related material. So I had to touch the banknotes physically.
So, our paths with Mehmet Tezçakın crossed at this stage. He had enthusiasm to The Ottoman Banknotes, so as I did. He had a huge collection containing 7500 pieces and he had important projects. At this point, we decided to work together and as a result of the work, this catalogue-book is created.
We are not able to say that, the book includes all the information about The Ottoman Banknotes. This book should be considered as a beginning. We foresee that, this will lead to come of new articles, printings, undiscovered letters. Keeping this idea in our mind, we are planning to continue our studies and aiming to publish new publications. We hope that the other researchers and collectors who are interested in to this subject would make studies about the subject that we believe it has great importance in our culture. We would be glad to see, if our study would be referred at the new studies to be published and the informations to be discovered.
I would like to thank my wife Banu and my son Sarp for their understanding and support during the study process of this book, and I would also like to thank to Erdal Birleşik for sharing his ideas and experiences with me.
I would especially like to congrigulate to my friend and my brother Mehmet Tezçakın, who supported the study internally and created finance to realize it. I would like to thank him for the support, the trust and the patience he showed me during the study.
The Story /History of Banknote; From Empire to Republic..
Güçlü Kayral, Mehmet Tezçakın
Numismatics, is the science which is dealing with the identification and history of Money, medals and the materials used instead of Money like tokens and other materials. The origin of the word come from "numisma" which means "Money" in Latin.
The history of Numismatics is as old as the history of Money. It is considered that it begun in Roman time Before Christ.
Numismatics science has close relations with the sciences of archeology, paleontogrphy, religious history, mythology, chronology, metrology, geography, economics, economic history, political history, sociology.
Numismatic materials provide exact evidences to reveal the names and titles of the rulers of the states established from the antic times till medieval age by revealing their existance periods, their locations, their monuments, their lost civilizations.
Furthermore, it helps to reveal economical, sociological and historical structure of the periods of these moneys used, to determine the religious beliefs of people to the science of history. Thanks to Numismatics, the events described in written history are proven.
Without the science of Numismatics, the historical thesis can not be proven, and without the science of history; the numismatics thesis can not be proven.
The exhibition that we held, is aimed to reveal socially and historically the History of Turkey in the last two centuries by following the traces of Money.
This period is a very important milestone for the Turkish History. The Empire, which was ruled by the war economy for 500 years, was bankrupted and buried into the history as it could not adapt the new economic order in world created after the industrial revolution.
In this book, the so-called reforms made to adapt to western world, the wars, the desintegration of The Empire and the establishment of The Republic, the revolutions and changes of the new era are explained by the witnessing of the moneys. We tried to express these changes not only with an entirely numismatic perspective, but also in accordance with the sociological events that historically calendered with a humanistic approach. And the concept of the exhibition is in the same direction.
The passionate research of collectors, and the Works that they collected with big financial and personal sacrifice and afterwards serving them to our culture and to our society; helped to carry our past to present. Unfortunately, it is not understood enough the importance of collectors and Numismatics in Turkey. That"s why, if we compare us with other Numismatics of the world, we can be considered as less developed.
While the developed countries support to collectors; in Turkey, the collector rights are restricted by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Protection Act no: 2863.
The Turkish Numismatics Association which is celebrating it"s 40. anniversary this year, is the most seriously working organization about this issue by publishing 40 bulletins, 5 special editions, 2 memorial editions and organizing a symposium so far. İzmir Numismatics Association have been continuing the activities for the same propose for 12 years..
In order to reach the level of Money collecting that Turkey deserves; universities, written and visual media organizations, museums, major private and public sector organizations especially in finance and banking sectors have great responsability.
In this context, we would like to congrigulate to Yapı Kredi Bank and Yapı Kredi Sanat Yayıncılık A.Ş. (Yapı Kredi Art Publishing Corp) for their contribution to collectors and to our culture by providing opportunities to exhibit to collectors either bringing them together in exhibitions or exhibiting their Works in their collection.
We would also like to thank to collectors who let us to exhibit their unique Works, to those collectors that their names dedicated in the book and to Nahsen Can, Samet Tekin and Mert Erdumlu who helped us to provide some materials exhibited.