Historic Ottoman globe mysteriously disappears in Istanbul
As the picture shows, the globe was no longer in its place on one of the corners of a shrine in the Çemberlitaş neighborhood in 1840. Daily Milliyet Photo.A 174-year-old marble globe in the middle of Istanbul’s historical peninsula went missing last month, daily Milliyet reported on April 22.
The globe came from a shrine, ordered to be built by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid for his father Mahmud II in the Çemberlitaş neighborhood in 1840. The Ottoman-Armenian royal architects Ohannes and Bogos Dadyan completed the shrine in empirical style, including a 2.5-meter high drinking fountain on one of its corners, which was also decorated with a 70 cm-wide marble globe.
Officials from the Directorate of Shrines cannot explain how the globe was lost.
“We bear responsibility only for the shrine’s maintanance, not the fountain's,” an official from the directorate told Milliyet.
There is still no indication that an investigation in which footage from nearby security cameras in the touristic area has been launched.
The globe was initially thought of as a symbol of the Age of Enlightenment in accordance with French architectural codes. Later, the globe was seen as a symbol of the dominance of the Ottoman Empire and then, especially during the Committee of Union and Progress’s (CUP) term in power at the beginning of the 20th century, as a reference to the nationalist myth of “the Red Apple,” a utopic Pan-Turkist symbol.
The shrine, which also houses the tombs of Ottoman sultans Abdülaziz and Abdulhamid II, is considered one of the best architectural accomplishments of the 19th century Tanzimat era, and has been restored and repaired several times over 174 years.