24 November 2009

Constantinople 1453

I’ve been digging this great preview that reimagines the conquest of Istanbul/Constantinople with Mehmet the Conqueror and the Turkish army as the heroes. Funding to actually make the whole movie doesn’t exist yet, from what I understand, but it’s a nice proof of concept and looks awesome to boot. It's interesting to see the Ottomans as protagonists - it goes against a lot of cultural programming that Europeans and Americans get of the Turk as the sinister enemy of civilization. Personally, I think of the Ottomans as the last dynasty of the Roman Empire.*

Not to be missed is the hysterically funny nationalist flame war in the comments section, mostly revolving around off-color gay jokes and racial slurs. Check out these literary gems:
"greeks invented sex but turks introduced it to woman"

"Muslim monkeys , go home to Asia. Constantinopolis will be GREEK again, no matter you-gay turks  want this or not!"

"Just coz u got Europe on ur back does that mean u can act like a super force? Ur army contains of greek cobans, centaurs, elfs, trolls and probably other greek gay mythical creatures."
Nice that history is so relevant in the present day, right? Right?

*Fun fact: Mehmet II (the Conqueror) took the title Kaysar-i-Rum (Caesar of Rome) after the conquest, and the Ottoman Sultans used it as a title right up until 1923.


  1. Funny facts: I did a paper on Mehmet II & this siege for hahskoo. I can't remember much about the topic, but i have a tremendous feeling for it. Other high school papers i remember writing: A paper where i became sympathetic towards Cortes because i was reading a book that was written pre-Communist take over of academia. A paper on Cambodia & the Khmer Rouge which made me terrified of Cambodians. A paper on Punk where everyone dies at the end.

  2. Funny, the most scary gangsters in my high school were definitely the Cambodians. Dudes were not messing around.

    I like this idea of the 'feelings' we get for historical events: you totally forget the details but still feel attached in a deep way to a place or a historical moment. Would be interesting to learn more how that works.