türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper article by Murat Bardakçı,
22 June 2015)
According to rumors, in the 1480s Cristopher Columbus
appealed for financing for his American quest to the rulers
of Europe. Coming up empty handed, he made a request
to Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II and appeared before the Sultan
accompanied by a priest. The Sultan, however, sized Columbus
up as a dreamer and turned him down.
//ed. note: more than likely, the story is apocryphal, although
the tale of Columbus making a financing pitch to Sultan
Bayezid II has been circulated through the years. A more
reliable report regarding an Ottoman book about America
Contained within the book is a picture of the "Vakvak
Ağacı", a tree whose fruit is humans.
The book entitled "Tarih -i Hind-i Garbî el Müsemma bi
Hadis-i Nev" (The History of the Newly Discovered West
India) is a very rare hand-written work and there are only
two known copies in the world - one in the Topkapı Palace
and one in the Bayezid State Library, both in Istanbul.
The subject of the book is America, known then as "West
India", and it was the first book to put forth the views of
Turks about America. The Islamic world first heard about
the America that Christopher Columbus had discovered
in 1517, during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Yavuz Selim.
But for details about the discovery of American, its peoples,
plants and animals, the Turkish masses had to wait for the
publication of "Tarih-i Hind-i Garbî" in 1730. The author
is thought to have been Muhammed bin Hasan el-Sudî, who
perused European books written 90 years after Columbus set
foot in America. The author also discussed the matter with
seamen from east Africa who had set sail for the distant land.
The manuscript that Muhammed bin Hasan el-Sudî produced
was presented to Sultan Murad III in the late 1500s. Later, in
1730, Ibrahim Müteferrika, the founder of the printing
industry in Turkey, published the manuscript as a book.
Tarih-i Hind-i Garbî for more information on the book