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Capitals of the Ottoman Empire[edit]

Hi, guys! I'd just like to comment on the name of Constantinople as the name as the Ottoman capital.

Please see: en:Names of Istanbul and en:Talk:Constantinople! At the time of the empire's existence, the whole capital city was Konstantiniyye in Ottoman Turkish, and Constantinople in French and English. Istanbul (Ottoman Turkish)/Stamboul (French/English) referred only to the old city in the city walls, and not to suburbs like Pera (now Beyoglu) and Galata.

Also note prior to 1930s Edirne was known as Adrianople in French and English even though the city was known as Edirne in Turkish.

With the proclamation of the Turkish republic in 1923 the whole city became known as Istanbul, and by 1930 the Turkish government asked foreign companies and embassies to stop using Constantinople and Adrianople. This is why today they're known under these names. I found many scholarly sources in English published in today's time retroactively use the Turkish names Istanbul and Edirne for the Ottoman era cities even though the names weren't used in English back then, and that people in Turkey - both scholars and ordinary people - often dislike the English usage of the names Constantinople and Adrianople for the Ottoman era cities, even though it's historically accurate.

I think historical accuracy is important, which is why for English and French, Wikidata should use the historical names, though I would prefer a format showing modern names in parentheses: "Constantinople (Istanbul)" and "Adrianople (Edirne)". I would like to see if Wikidata users could explore "custom displays" of city names for this item to reflect the historical complexity. If it can display differently in Turkish: "Konstantiniyye (Istanbul)" and "Edirne" (without "Adrianople") I would like that too. WhisperToMe (talk) 09:25, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

I found trying to add "Adrianople" lists "Edirne (Adrianople)" and defaults to Edirne anyway. It would be nice to have a custom display, for languages other than Turkish, Arabic, Albanian, etc, as "Adrianople (Edirne)" and link to Edirne, while for Turkish, Arabic, Albanian, etc. use "Edirne" only. The reason for this difference is that Ottoman Turkish (which used "Edirne") was the basis of translation of documents into other languages used by Muslims while French (which used "Adrianople") was the basis of translation of documents into languages used by non-Muslims: Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, and Ladino. As French and English are/were "global" languages, other languages (like Japanese and Chinese) should use "Adrianople (Edirne)". WhisperToMe (talk) 09:27, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

@Cplakidas: Feel free to comment if you like! WhisperToMe (talk) 09:40, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

Hi [[User:WhisperToMe|WhisperToMe], given that the city is covered by a single entry, and is known in English under both names, I don't think that matters much in the context of wikidata, where the main criterion is conciseness and uniqueness of identification of the specific entry. Unlike an article, where nomenclature is governed by the context of the subject. Cplakidas (talk) 09:58, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
On Wikidata itself I can see why conciseness is a key attribute. I realized though that the infobox on the Commons page Commons:Category:Ottoman Empire is using Wikidata as its data source. I wanted the infobox on Commons to reflect the context of the subject, but the editing of such must happen here. WhisperToMe (talk) 10:04, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
I'd say that Constantinople is a better name as the Ottoman government itself used the term Constantinople (قسطنطينيه‎ - Ḳosṭanṭīnīye) which could be demonstrated by the fact that this coin uses the term "Constantinople Mint" and not "Istanbul Mint". I'm sure that examples of Ottoman maps using Istanbul existed, but Constantinople was by far the more common name, we can't call Leningrad St. Petersburg or refer to Sparta as Sparti because the contemporary names are different from the historical names. -- Donald Trung/徵國單  (討論 🀄) (方孔錢 💴) 11:29, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Remark. İstanbul is not an invented name. It was already in popular usage during the Ottoman Empire. Before 20th century, Kostantiniyye and sometimes İslambol (a version of İstanbul) were used in the official documents. Dersaadet and Asitane were other names used usually in literature. Nedim Ardoğa (talk) 19:00, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
"Istanbul" indeed was in use before 1923. The question though is whether it was in use for the entire city or just the old city in the city walls. The document I read here said that "Istanbul" (Turkish) and "Stamboul" (French/English) did not refer to all of Constantinople, but the bit within the old city walls, so Pera (Beyoglu) and Uskudar were excluded.
  • Edhem, Eldem. "Istanbul." In: Ágoston, Gábor and Bruce Alan Masters. Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing, May 21, 2010. ISBN 1438110251, 9781438110257. Start and CITED: p. 286.
  • "Originally, the name Istanbul referred only to the walled city and excluded all suburbs (including Galata, Üsküdar, Eyüp). To describe the whole city, the Ottomans continued using the Byzantine name Constantinople (Kostantiniyye),[...]"
WhisperToMe (talk) 19:07, 3 August 2019 (UTC)