(Sabah Newspaper, 24 July 2013)
//today's blog takes an historical detour for a change of pace//
Heirs to Genghis Khan view his story.
On 3 September 2012, the President of Mongolia, Tsakhiagiin
Elbegdorj, had his plane make an unscheduled stop in Istanbul
so he could view a unique and priceless book that tells about his
forefathers and relates the establishment of his country. The
President rushed from the airport to Topkapi Palace where museum
chief Haluk Dursun escorted Elbegdorj and showed him the hand-
written book, 'Camiu't Tevarih'.
The book is about Mongol history and the one at the Palace Treasury
at Topkapi is the main remaining copy. The President was also given
a CD of the book. 'Camiu't Tevarih' was written in the 14th century
by Residuddin Hamedani. Immediately after viewing the work,
Elbegdorj headed back to Mongolia.
Museum chief Dursun noted that his museum is full of such special
books and he explained the Mongolian President's visit as follows:
"I got a short message from Mongolian diplomats one day, saying
that Elbegdorj was on a foreign trip and would like to stop in Istanbul
on his return to Mongolia and visit the Topkapi Museum to see the
"The other day I got a thank you note from the Mongolian Embassy,
along with a request that we make a printed copy of the book. If we
return to the day of the visit, I can say that we waited anxiously for
the visit and I personally escorted the President. He was very pleased
and very excited. Of course, he couldn't touch the book and had to
view it in its glass case. We had a state ceremony, exchange of flags
and I showed him what happens in the training areas of the interior
court of Topkapi Palace. Then we offered him some Ottoman sherbet."
Residuddin Hamedani wrote 'Camiu't Tevarih in the 14th century and
the founding legend of the Mongols is contained in the first book of
the work, 'Mujallad-i Awwal'. Today there are four miniature copies,
two of which were written in Arabic and are in England. The
two others, written between 1314-1317 in Farsi and illustrated,
are in Topkapi Palace.
Turks roamed from here to Istanbul and beyond.