Turkish town revises date of Ottoman conquest after celebrating for decades on wrong day
The deputy mayor of Turkey’s Black Sea province of Trabzon has said Turkish officials will revise the date of the former Byzantine town’s conquest by the Ottomans after celebrating it on the wrong day for 58 years.
Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, known as the Conqueror, had overthrown in 1461 the Empire of Trebizond, which was the last independent remnant of the Byzantine Empire that flourished during the 13th through 15th centuries.
Although the year of the conquest is well-known and even enshrined in the name of a local Turkish club, its exact date has been a matter of debate.
Since the early 1960s, Trabzon locals officially celebrate the anniversary of Sultan Mehmed’s conquest on Oct. 26 each year.
Trabzon Deputy Mayor Seyfullah Kınalı told Demirören News Agency on Oct. 26 that the conquest was celebrated for the last time on the wrong date this year.
“From next year on, we will celebrate it on Aug. 15, which is the correct date,” he said during the official ceremonies.
Kenan İnan, a Karadeniz Technical University history professor, said a commission of historians decided that the error was sourced in a classical Ottoman history book by İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı.
“The date was written there as Oct. 26 which led to this mistake for 58 years,” he said.
Although Uzunçarşılı’s magnus opus is still accepted as one of the most authoritative sources on Ottoman history, the dating error is said to be a typo in its 1943 edition, which was taken as a reference by Turkish authorities in the early 1960s when picking the date to celebrate Trabzon’s conquest.