Change in the school maps of the late Ottoman Empire

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the mid-1890s school maps in the Ottoman Empire underwent a simple but important change: maps that represented the empire in its entirety confronted students in the growing number of Ottoman state schools. These new maps, which showed, the empire's far-flung territory within a single frame, began to replace older maps based on European models that had depicted the Ottoman domains as marginal lands clinging to the fringes of Europe, Asia and. Africa. This shift in design should be understood, within the context of late Ottoman educational policy, which was attempting to inculcate a strong sense of loyalty to, and identification with, the empire as an historical, political and geographical construct. While this effort produced some of the intended results, the attention to geography occasioned by the new emphasis on maps also raised some awkward questions. Students so recently attuned to studying geography naturally wondered why their empire was shrinking, and why its political leadership had allowed this to happen. The change in late Ottoman educational cartography thus highlighted not only the advantages and disadvantages of using maps for socio-political purposes in general, but also the extent to which the late Ottoman state had chosen a particularly difficult moment to summon the concision and power that maps afford.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalImago Mundi
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Heinrich Kiepert
  • Hüseyin Cahid Yalçin
  • Ottoman Empire
  • School maps
  • Sultan Abdülhamid
  • Şevket Süreyya Aydemir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Change in the school maps of the late Ottoman Empire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this