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Fear of the Sea (Thalassophobia) in The Ottomans According to Mustafa Âli and Evliyâ Çelebi
It is mentioned in the govermental reports, travel accounts and other pieces written by the ambassadors, travelers and statesmen who visited the Ottoman lands that the Ottomans were afraid of sea, their knowledge of seamanship was lacking and interconnectedly they were relatively immature in maritime and navigation. Modern studies which make use of such accounts also repeat very similar opinions in different ways. However, they neglect the fact that, before the modern era, thalassophobia (or fear of the sea) is not dependent on any region, state or society. Rather it is a natural and prevalent phenomenon. This article tries to study thalassophobia in the Ottomans by taking mentioned general features of the phenomenon into consideration. It evaluates the topic by analyzing Mustafa Âli’s Mevâidü’n-Nefâis Fî-Kavâidi’l-Mecâlis and Evliyâ Çelebi’s Seyahatname. This is because these writers give clear and firsthand accounts about their own fear of the sea by offering personal experiences and real stories.

Fear of the sea, Ottoman seafaring, Evliyâ Çelebi, Mustafa Âli

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