Author : Alparslan Oymak
Number of pages : 71-85


The views of Western World on the East and thus on the Ottoman and Turkey within the framework of orientalism are obvious. But how did the Ottoman and then Turkey viewed India which is located in far more east? It is worth studying how India is viewed by Turkey with regards to the recent concept of “Ottoman Orientalism”. In order to answer this question, it would be wise to look at the Indian travel books from 18th century until the end of 20th century. Owners of these travel books form a group changing from statesmen to the intellectuals, from newsmen to authors. All these travelers were looking for a similar fabulous context when they first met India. While some of the travelers who had grown up with the Eastern tales such as the 1001 Nights were disappointed with what they found, some others were able to get the mystical context they were expecting to find. It is interesting that, almost all authors view India through an orientalist perspective. The architecture of the country and its developed city centres bring about the comparison between Turkey and India. Then, when one sees the life away from the city centre, the concept of “Civilization” is questioned. So it is seen that, Turkish people who are regarded to be uncivilized by the Western people, think the same for the Indians. There are prejudices against the Indian life style and beliefs. Consequently; Turkey’s view on India is similar to the view of the Western World on Turkey.


The Ottoman, Turkey, India, Travel Books, East, View.

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