Mapping the Ottoman Cyprus through Travellers’ Eyes
Keywords: Cypriot cartography, travel accounts, Ottoman Cyprus
Abstract. Cyprus, the island that stands at the crossroads of three continents, was a customary visitation stop for many travellers. Numerous accounts by these travellers were able to capture the details of Ottoman Cyprus in their accounts as well as giving visual descriptions of the cities. During the transformation of the island as a part of the Ottoman Empire, these historical texts and images were helpful to determine the context and representation of the cities while depicting changes and adding new information throughout the 300 years of Ottoman rule. These depictions on maps, drawings, and sketches prepared by the foreign travellers who visited Cyprus during the earlier period of the Ottoman era – the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries – will be examined. The focus will be on the representations of major cities of Cyprus, namely Famagusta, Nicosia, and Larnaca, which travellers visited and wrote about frequently. In this paper, I will examine the parallels between text and depictions to see the travellers’ awareness of what they witnessed and if they were able to reflect this in their images of Ottoman Cyprus. I will discuss the outsider's point of view towards the Ottoman Cypriot cities, as well as how they presented the Ottoman Empire and Cyprus to their audiences.