Perceiving and Narrating the United States in an Ottoman Magazine

“Lady Columbia” [the personification of the US] wearing a warship labeled “world power” as a bonnet by Ehrhart and Dalrymple from (1901)
(A small reminder: I wrote this paper for “HIST 310: History of the Americas” Class at Boğaziçi University, given by Joseph Yackley. Enjoy reading!)



The end of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century witnessed prominent developments around the world in terms of socio-economic, cultural, political, and military aspects. Needless to say, these developments also affected the Ottoman State which was implementing various novelties (ıslahat) to preserve its remaining power. As a consequence of this, the Ottoman State examined and analyzed many Western countries to understand their ways of improvements. In this case, Ottoman magazines played a central role to inform people about the multi-faceted developments in Western and Eastern powerhouses. Servet-i Fünûn (Wealth of Knowledge), as one of the most important magazines at that time, pioneered its audiences regarding these developments. In this framework, the United States of America was industrializing its economic base in many ways and enlarging its political borders against the Spanish Empire. The U.S. also led to new socio-cultural advances to be modeled in many countries in the near future. Therefore, Servet’s authors engaged in the multi-dimensional developments beyond the Atlantic Ocean or in the most powerful country of “New World”. Thus, they published regarding a rich variety of topics ranging from the situation of American women to the newly-founded American universities. It can be argued that Servet carefully observed the growing power of the United States and perceived it chiefly under six categories. Understanding the soaring of its economy, the rapid industrialization like in transportation, the shifts in the social setting seen in women’s roles and education system, its cultural characteristics, the functioning of its political mechanism and military system, and the scientific innovations can be considered to be the fundamental categories Servet analyzed and narrated in the light of its own perception.


The Soaring of American Economy

An interesting map of the United States in the Ottoman Empire because it uses Greek letters alongside Turkish words (1877).


  Initially, Servet searched for how the U.S. developed its economic order probably since the Ottomans Empire was in need of economic prosperity at the turn of the twentieth century. It can be elaborated that the magazine analyzed the individual and collective responses of the U.S citizens to different economic circumstances. Served claimed that the success of Americans on an economic level lies in their “individualistic” and “competent” structure. The magazine translated French writer Paul de Rousiers’s American Life (1893) which highlights the economic rise of the U.S. The magazine quoted Rousiers’s emphasis on the formation of insurance and the company system. In this respect,

              Americans do not attempt to form a company unless there is an obligation. If they have attempted anything, whether agriculture, industry-trade, or bank affairs, they want to do it alone… And once they form a company, they almost always succeed in it. There is a reason for this…the need arises from the fact that one knows his own incompetence [and] impotence…”1


According to the magazine, accident and life insurances are well established in addition to charity companies. They guarantee both the economic lives of American employers and employees. In this context, “employees and business owners are most afraid of not being able to work. Consequently, it means becoming unable to afford and to live.”2 This competent but guaranteed system discouraged people to leave any work for an affordable life. However, Servet also found “coincidental events” behind the American wealth illustrated by “the Klondike Gold Rush” around 1896 and 1899. The discovery of gold mines around the Yukon (today in Canada) triggered nearly 100.000 Americans in San Francisco and Seattle to find the source of gold. Despite the fact that thousands of people died under the influence of freezing weather with the people’s “competence”, Ahmed İhsan asserts that


               mountains and plains that were abandoned the day before are being filled with thousands of people…and within a few years, a huge city is appearing. Here in America, the Dawson City within Klondike came into being with the wonder of such an invention.”3

after three years.


The Fast Industralization of the United States

B&O electrification.jpg
Baltimore Belt Line in 1901


The swift industrialization of the United States is also a major topic Servet underlined. The writers mainly mentioned transportation in exemplifying industrialization possibly because of the fact that transportation significantly assisted in the economic expansion. Prior to the 1890s, the First Transcontinental Railroad (or the Pacific Railroad) was able to link the western parts of the U.S. with eastern areas. The construction of railroads had an indispensable impact on the American markets in a positive sense since railroads allowed to manage a great number of goods and services between remote areas. This accelerated the circulation of resources through the continent and financed the growth of the U.S. It is important to note that the Ottoman Empire was trying to expand its railroads outside Anatolia with similar intentions under Abdulhamid II. The Ottoman State undertook to construct railways through Baghdad and Hijaz with the assistance of the German Empire. Therefore, the magazine’s emphasis on railroads such a high degree can be understandable. Ahmed İhsan notes almost every detail of an American train which performed the postal service. In 1900, the train “departed from New York at 9:15 p.m. and arrived in Chicago at 20:30 the next day.”4 The railway line until Chicago is 1575 km. Afterward, the same train (şimendifer) in Chicago “traveled 5483 kilometers to San Francisco in 98 hours, with this calculation the overall speed (including many times of coincidence) is more than 55 kilometers per hour.”5 Other than railroads, the writers suggested the spread of electric locomotives against steam power as a major American success against other power holders. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) firstly applied railroad electrification on the Baltimore Belt Line, linking the line with New York in 1895. Mahmud Sadık elaborates that “this issue was taken as an example by the whole of Europe, and the movement of trams with electricity has been accepted as the best method.”6 This is because of the speed of electricity surpasses previous methods.


             Cars, trams, locomotives are obliged to acquire the speed to be able to follow the civilization which is moving fast like the lightning. With animals, they resort to electricity when they cannot achieve it with steam power.”7


Shifts in American Society: Women’s Roles on the Front Line

Images exhibiting American women who financially and militarily helped the U.S. [Servet-i Fünûn, no. 381, June 30, 1898]


Servet’s writers also revealed the profound changes in the social setting like women’s changing roles depending on war and peace and the establishment of some of the greatest American universities which are still viewed as the best educational centers worldwide. Prior to the American Civil War, women did not normally take part in battles and sieges but this began to change with their roles as nurses to provide medical needs of soldiers on the battlefield and as workers to carry basic supplies on the home front. At that time, the U.S. banned women to enroll as soldiers despite the fact that some hundreds of women fought in several battles by disguising themselves8. Women’s assistance played a valuable role during the struggle between the North and South forces. As a direct consequence of this shift, American women’s role in military developments enhanced after the Post-Civil War Era. To illustrate, American women essentially played a key role during the Spanish-American War (1898-1901). They donated their money as financial backing and aided soldiers in the battles as nurses apart from their home-front performance. It is important to underline that the creation of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901 led to the employment of a higher number of women to serve in the Spanish-American War. As for Servet’s orientation towards the war, it can be remarked that the magazine mostly underlined American women’s altruism and patriotism in addition to publishing their images and mentioning their occupations and identities. On one occasion, it said [on the right side] that “while the ongoing battle in America increased the patriotic feelings of women, as shown above, some of them donated material sums in cash, and some even aspired to perform service physically.”9 To exemplify, the magazine published [on the right side] the picture of a well-off donor at the top of a page by narrating that “Miss Gold, one of the new rich donors, who donated 100 thousand dollars as a war aid to the American Government, approximately 25 thousand liras”10 and the images of Miss Waddington and Miss Nelly as good nurses without giving further details at the bottom.

Shifts in American Society: The Opening of the University of Chicago

“Founding University president William Rainey Harper (right foreground) heads to the 1901 Decennial Celebration with University founder John D. Rockefeller (left foreground)” taken from

Additionally, Servet recounts the development of the American education system via the foundation of universities. The establishment of the University of Chicago in Illinois can be given as a prominent example in this respect. As far as the University of Chicago is concerned, it was founded by the American Baptist Education Society and John Davison Rockefeller in 1890. As the university’s first president, William Rainey Harper assisted to establish the Divinity School, the Business School, and the Law School until he died in 1906. He also supervised the regulations of the university and occupied an incontestable role in the making of Chicago. In this case, Mahmud Sadık emphasized how the university was founded and developed with what kind of moral lessons the Ottomans would find from Chicago. Sadık contends that moral characteristics like determination and sincerity helped the university become a leading hub of education.

               There is no doubt that an undertaking will achieve a good result through full diligence and perseverance, and when this attempt is adjacent to goodwill…it will show more success than expected. At this point, the history of the founding of the University of Chicago is enough to eliminate the doubts that may arise.”11


This foundation story was so successful that a French scientist talked about Chicago’s success rather than his works on electric ovens in a conference in France. Therefore, Sadık quotes the scientist’s (Monsieur Muvasan) opinions to build his narrative and adds with an exaggeration that the conference “was listened to with amazement and careful gaze not only in France but in the entire civilized world.”12 Sadık underlines the leading role of Professor Harper in Chicago and makes sure that his success lies in his investigations of almost all American educational institutions.

                Once upon a time, there was a Hebrew language teacher named Harper at Yale University in America at the time. This person traveled to almost all the states of the USA and has visited, watched, and examined all of the universities, schools, classes, etc. He was almost in love with the school, aiming to build a bigger and more uniform university than any of the existing schools in America. He fell in love with seeing such a university complete, connecting his ideas and dreams to this point, and devoted all his works to it.”13


The magazine further details and made assumptions regarding Harper’s intentions.

              Mr. Harper is not contented with simple thoughts, since he is not only a person who feels solace by thinking of ideas and dreams and who considers his dream to be something of the truth. And he would have reasoned what kind of reasons and means would start with thoughts.”14


If he and the university were devoid of such virtues, “it would not be possible that this would achieve the astonishment and amazement of the entire civilized world and that everyone would listen to the history of this establishment like a fairy tale.”15 Given the highlighted significance of morality, it is worthy of mentioning that Servet’s moral lessons coincided with Abdülhamid II’s education policy. The sultan gave considerable importance to morality and ethics in the curriculum of Ottoman educational institutions. Necla Doğan writes that “many morality books…were written for improving students’ morals in the reign of Sultan Abdulhamit II and these textbooks were required to read in those schools”16 That is, there was an intimacy between education and morality and the magazine would have reflected this since there are other examples which linked morality with education and educational institutions on Servet’s pages.

Understanding “American Culture”

An advertisement from Coca-Cola from the 1890s, displaying a woman in ornate clothes. Even though the magazine did not mention anything about the spread of cola, cola was considered to be a defining element of American culture in the following decades.


Aside from social issues, cultural developments in the US preoccupied the magazine’s agenda. Authors involved in the analysis of American fashion, sports, entertainment, and daily routines such as eating habits or farming activities in the last years of the “Gilded Age”. By doing this, the authors also imagined several stereotypes concerning American people. To start with fashion, Servet’s admiration for American fashion can be easily observable. During the Gilded Age, American women acquired more freedom in terms of their garments. They increasingly purchased sportswear and refused to dress corsets. Tevfik Fikret, a famous poet, and writer, praises the clothing of American women under the impact of French fashion. He exalted that


             Americans again, they are again! Bring her to your eyes: A well-dressed, pin-up Parisian baby is coming towards you. A young, beautiful woman is walking towards you, walking with all her elegance, all her consciousness, her warmth, all her well-being, her feathers, her silk, her tulle, her lace”17


As for sports, even though there were no comprehensive accounts of how Americans played sports, there were slight points the magazine touched like wrestling. Especially, Yusuf İsmail or Koca Yusuf, the pioneering Turkish wrestler, and his accomplishments against foreign sportsmen in the US positively astonished the Ottoman press. However, Yusuf İsmail lost his life with SS La Bourgogne’s sinking in 1898. According to Servet-i Fünun,


              SS La Bourgogne, one of the ferryboats of France’s Trans-Atlantic company, came to Europe by moving from New York… despite the invisible fog that invaded the air around Newfoundland on the American coast. A British sailing ship fell on La Bourgogne. [The British ship] injured this huge steamer from his machine, causing it to sink in five to ten minutes.”18


This incident sadly affected Servet and the magazine lamented that after wandering and

              confirming the strength of his arm to many wrestlers who say “my arm is strong”; while returning to his hometown without finding a compatible hero there, Yusuf Pehlivan was devastated by the waves of the ocean, and his back did not fall to the ground as in his life.”19


Moreover, the magazine engaged in artistic and architectural activities that took place in the US. For instance, Servet was interested in the World’s Columbian Exposition or the Chicago World’s Fair held to celebrate Columbus’s arrival in the Americas in 1893. This fair had a positive impact on neoclassical art and architecture. Along with other states, the Ottoman Empire took part in the fair by constructing a Turkish building in the form of the fountain of Ahmed III at Sultanahmet and a Turkish village. Surprisingly, the Chicago Fair grants a medal to the magazine thanks to its close attention. In turn, the magazine published the medal’s image by saying “Two Sides of the Medal Given by the Chicago Fair on Behalf of Our Concessionaire Appreciating Servet-i Fünûn”20.

In this framework, several socio-cultural stereotypes concerning American people emerged in the magazine’s issues. These stereotypes were mainly about their daily habits from eating to agriculture. Similar to the economic life, the translation of Paul de Rousiers’s American Life was effective enough to give an idea about the magazine’s point of view. To illustrate, it is highlighted that Americans always give importance to having breakfast as much food as possible to provide sufficient energy for doing business. The magazine stresses that


              the first thing an American will do as soon as he wakes up is to wash his face but to eat his breakfast immediately and start doing business. This breakfast should not be thought of as just a cup of tea or chocolate; Americans’ breakfast is an excellent meal consisting of cutlet, steak, and eggs.”21


In addition to eating too much, Americans eat something in a hurry not to miss their business. Therefore, any meal like breakfast

              is eaten in a hurry, without paying any attention to the stomach upset. There is even this rush in restaurants. For example, if a lump of meat to be cooked is ordered, it is eaten with fruits until it arrives, ready meals are eaten, and finally, cutlet or steak is eaten and left immediately. The motive that compels you to start eating in reverse is the fear of wasting time.”22

That is, doing business fast is at the very heart of the “American Life”. It is worth mentioning that overeating and obesity are still viewed as a significant stereotype to generalize people living in the U.S. In this context, Ahmed İhsan argues that “American obesity” is far beyond overeating. In fact, whatever they produce, they prone to make each item larger, bigger, and faster. He maintains that

              these Americans are truly gluttonous people. Whatever they wonder, they do it in large quantities and enjoy most of the [quantities]. For example, they went up to the twentieth floor in house construction. They crossed Europe in the train speed.”23


Even their agricultural activities can reveal their obese appetite to do everything on a bigger basis.


             This time they [Americans] narrate the plum yields of the California continent: This continent, which once had appealed to the attention of the universe with its gold mines, increased its plum yields. They [Americans] say “soon the state comes to the point that it will supply dry or wet plum consumption of the whole world”. See, now they have grown plum saplings on 17,000 hectares of land, they have a total of 150 million cents.”24


To be brief, being enterprising, expansionist, and industrialist are other stereotypes used to define “the Americans” in the magazine.

The Functioning of Political System: Presidential Elections and Assemblies

President McKinley as the magazine’s cover: “Amerika Reis-i Hükûmeti Mak Kinley Cenabları” (May 12, 1898)

Within this outlook, analyzing political and military developments from an Ottoman magazine as a foreign eye is valuable to understand the U.S.’s orientation on a global level in the last years of “the Gilded Age” and the first years of “the Progressive Era”. Coined by Mark Twain, “the Gilded Age” refers to an era of rapid industrialization and socio-economic advances, political expansions, and cultural transformations in contrast to an epoch of discrimination and racism against several groups like immigrants and African Americans as well as the common socio-economic inequalities among people at a quite high degree. The United States intended to solve the problems that emerged with the Gilded Age at the beginning of the Progressive Era. The state implemented a variety of socio-political reforms to cease political corruption and the problems of immigration and industrialization. In these transformative periods, Servet chiefly addressed American elections with their candidates, the American parliamentary system, the Spanish-American War (1898), and the American army’s military equipment during the war. In this jungle of transitions and transformations, Servet was interested in political developments and interpreted them. Firstly, the 1896 U.S. presidential election was a primary topic for the magazine. William McKinley from the Republican Party and William Jennings Byran from the Democratic Party sought to be the 25th president. The magazine publishes the photographs of two candidates by saying that


              we collected details about McKinley and Bryan who are candidates for the presidency of the American government and [we] put a picture of McKinley in our previous issues. This time, America’s illustrated magazines put the perfect depictions of the two people who are political celebrities of the New Land, and they were even transferred to our newspaper from there.”25


From this excerpt, it can be learned that Servet used to have American magazines in its hand since point could display the intimate interest of an Ottoman magazine towards American politics. In the end, Republican candidate McKinley slightly won the election, holding 23 states out of 45. Consequently, President McKinley became even the magazine’s cover on May 12, 1898, during the Spanish-American War. It is crucial to note that Servet also used Spanish magazines to interpret political life.

The image of the Senate of New Orleans in the State of Louisiana in “La Ilustración Española y Americana”, March 8, 1896.
The same image in Servet-i Fünûn, April 30, 1896: “Amerika Cemahir-i Müttehidesi’nde Luviziyana Eyaleti Avam Kamarasının Hali” (subtitle)

For example, famous novelist Ahmed Midhat claimed to examine La Ilustración Española y Americana’s one issue to narrate how weak or strong the American parliamentary system is in terms of the decision-making process in 1896 when the Americans elected McKinley. In this way, he sarcastically interpreted an image that displayed the State House of Louisiana (currently Old Louisiana State Capitol) from the Spanish magazine. He wrote that

               this is a picture to depict the situation in the Louisiana Parliament in the USA! Consequently, we have first described the strange picture to our readers, and subsequently, we have even found it necessary to reveal what real results we can get from the appearance, examination, and evaluation of the picture…It is such a disgrace that it is more like eating and drinking at the bottlers of Apostol, rather than an advisory board gathered for the negotiation of things. Yes! An institutional dignitary man also confirms and reinforces his words from his mouth, with the movement of his arm, hand, and fingers, but no one but two people listens to him.” 26


That is, his criticism focused on the parliament’s undisciplined structure with the neglect of rules and regulations. He also astonished to observe “black residents” in the parliament by underlining that “here, about forty-fifty deputy entered this hall, since some of the local residents were from blacks, the general view of the community became more strange.”27 The 1900 presidential election and the re-election of President McKinley were also important for the magazine since it published his image after the election again without further comments on November 15, 1900. The magazine published the same portrait for the last time to announce the unexpected death of McKinley just four days after his assassination on September 18, 1901. However, there was not a considerable evaluation of his presidency within the magazine’s articles even though it published McKinley’s declarations like in the Spanish-American War.

Spanish-American War in 1898: A Turning Point

The cover of Servet regarding the Spanish-American War: “Amerika ve İspanya Muharebesinden Son Manzaralar: Santiago [San Diego] Pişgâhında Amiral Çervera [Pascual Cervera] Donanmasından Kristobal Colon’un [Cristóbal Colón] İyova [Iowa] Zırhlısı Tarafından Suret-i Garkı” (The Latest Views from the Spanish-American War: The sinking of [the ship] Cristóbal Colón from Admiral Cervera’s Navy by Battleship Iowa in front of San Diego)


In this context, the Spanish-American War in 1898 is also a major development for Servet-i Fünun. The war broke out after the unexpected explosion of the USS Maine which was an American ship sailing around Havana. The yellow press found the Spanish Empire guilty and insisted on the declaration of a new war against Spain. Despite his reluctance, President McKinley admitted to declare the war on Spain by assaulting Spanish forces in Cuba and the Philippines. The U.S forces managed to eliminate Spanish forces mainly thanks to its strong and well-equipped navy. Eventually, the Spanish side accepted its defeat by relinquishing its rights over Cuba and the Philippines in the Treaty of Paris, letting the United States took over the Philippines and became a major power-holder over the Caribbean Islands. Servet-i Fünun closely followed each development and published lots of descriptions and depictions about it28. To exemplify, the magazine published the images and photographs of several cities where any battle occurred such as Havana and San Diego in Cuba or Manila in the Philippines. The commanders of two belligerent sides are also among what the magazine published like the Battle of Manila Bay’s two generals, George Dewey and Patricio Montojo. Apart from these two leading generals, the magazine published nearly ten high-ranked generals from two sides. More importantly, the magazine emphasized to reveal the American navy and its technically strong ships in different issues during the war. However, there were not critical assessments about the war other than Mahmud Sadık’s analysis which found that giving significance to science was what made the war a clear American victory29. That is military victories are closely bound to scientific progress.

Scientific Innovations: Edison, Tesla, and Fossils

Nikola Tesla and his laboratory in Colorado around 1900

As the name of Servet-i Fünun (Wealth of Knowledge) implies, the publications of scientific developments are an inseparable part of the magazine. Prior to 1896, the magazine mostly published a significant deal of scientific information rather than literary or political topics. Even after 1896 when the magazine began to publish about a variety of topics mentioned above, Servet did not neglect scientific topics. For this reason, it also pursued the scientific developments in the US with close attention, focusing on inventions related to lightning in mentioning probably Nicola Tesla and clearly Thomas Edison. The magazine also mentioned the role of American science when it comes to the Exposition Universelle held in Paris in 1900. It would be mentioned that the magazine analyzed French magazines to grasp such developments. To start with, Mahmud Sadık informed his readers about a new lighting method in 1900. He maintained that

               an American chemist has been able to discover a lighting style that will illuminate the streets, halls, rooms at night, except for the known methods and means…. very nice results will be achieved by this method, which consists of capturing and protecting the light of the sun, thanks to some chemical surgeries, in a crystal balloon, which is completely air-drained. The lantern, discovered by the American chemist, radiates brightness that is similar to the light of the electric lamps, and it is possible to produce more or less waste depending on the volume of the balloons used”30.

Even though he did not write who “an American chemist” was, it can be interpreted that this inventor was Nikola Tesla since he greatly worked on ball lightning in his laboratory situated in Colorado in 1899 and 1900. Besides, Tesla theorized that he could abundantly transmit ball lightning after making experiments in 1900. Neglecting Tesla’s name, Servet clearly underlined Edison’s activities in an approvable light as many Western magazines did. The magazine reported in 1896 that

                the most important of the news was that the famous American, Edison, tried to take a picture of the human brain by getting help from the x-rays. The human brain, which is the origin and source of the preservation of ideas and thoughts and all the civilized marvels, scientific and industrial advances, is the most important point in the creatures or the brain alone is a great realm, and even the studies to be made on this subject are seen as the most important experts of the scientific studies. While Edison was dealing with this important investigation and had not yet reached a conclusion, he did not report his products to the public, and an American, named Dr. Simon, who was famous for his knowledge of the human brain, announced that he was able to take a picture of the brain while a person was alive.”31


Other than Edison, the magazine’s commentary on the brain is significant since it would reveal its mindset and mentality towards science. The brain is a crucial organ since it helps to obtain “civilized marvels” as well as “industrial advances” in Servet’s point of view. That is, it could be identified that the magazine considered science to be a tool that functions for civilization and industrialization. In addition to that point, the magazine underlined America’s place in scientific advances within the context of the 1900 Paris Exhibition (Exposition Universelle). Ahmed İhsan made clear that “as long as the 1900 exhibition continued, visitors to the American branch marveled at a collection of fossilized tree samples…”32 from San Francisco in Paris.  Ahmed İhsan also searched for French scientific magazines to find what American scientists were doing at that time. To exemplify, he said that “in the USA, artesian wells have been employed as a source of driver force for some time. French magazine reporting this…”33  It can be understood that the magazine used a variety of sources from different foreign languages to publish its scientific articles and commentaries.



Turkish Village from the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893)

In conclusion, as stated in the beginning, the multidimensional advancements in the United States encouraged the Ottoman world to follow and understand what was happening in “the New World”. Servet-i Fünûn played a primary role to transport the complex developments of the US into the Ottoman State. Additionally, it would be asserted that this Ottoman magazine at the crossroads of two centuries attentively watched the ascending strength of the United States in terms of giving multiple details regarding from major outbreaks to slightest events and analyzing most of the written information in various ways from the disapproval of American parliamentary system to the admiration of American fashion styles or economic models. Claiming itself as a “scientific” publication, the magazine sought the reasons for “the American miracle” in the context of science and industrialization in the way for “civilization”. For the magazine, the tipping point of the US was its devotion to science and industrialization which was the major accelerating factor to speed its power-up. The other reason the magazine found behind this rising is the personal attitudes of American people in general. These attitudes are primarily their individualist, diligent, transformative, and enterprising approaches toward the shifting balances around the world in a changing century. Yet, Servet also produced some cultural and political stereotypes in understanding the American world. On the other side of the coin, it praised the United States in terms of its swift industrialization, effective education, cultural domination, and assertive military system. Even though the magazine was inadequate at some points due to its didactic intention, the magazine enormously contributed to creating an image of what the United States is and who the Americans are in a territorially disintegrating state that nonetheless was controlling crucial lands in three continents around 1900 under Abdulhamid II. There are some missing points in the magazine like how the Ottoman State officially responded to the rise of American power. However, it must be remembered that Abdulhamid II’s reign was hard to obtain the state’s official position because of the sultan’s privacy-centered politics at Yıldız Palace in Istanbul. It could not be also learned how an ordinary “Ottoman” perceived the New World or how an “American” whether ordinary or elite saw “the Turks” in general. Furthermore, it could not be obtained much information about American travelers who made their way to the Ottoman land from the magazine’s pages. Finally, the magazine did not systematically analyze American geography and its metropolises. In finding deficiencies, several further points can be added but the magazine presents an undeniable deal of information about the United States of America under six headlines in economic, social, cultural, political, military, and scientific ways.


  1. Paul De Rousiers. “American Hayatı”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 459 (December 28, 1899): 266.
  2. De Rousiers, 266.
  3. Ahmed İhsan, “Resimlerimiz”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 527 (April 18, 1901): 10.
  4. Ahmed İhsan, “Mütenevvia”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 488 (July 19, 1900): 15.
  5. İhsan, 15.
  6. Mahmud Sadık, “Mütenevvia”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 492 (August 16, 1900): 6.
  7. Sadık, 6.
  9. “Resimlerimiz”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 381 (June 30, 1898) : 4.
  10. Ibid.,
  11. Mahmud Sadık, “Bir Darülfünunun Tarih-i Tesisi”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 352 (December 9, 1897): 7.
  12. Sadık, 7.
  13. Ibid.,
  14. Ibid.,
  15. Ibid.,
  16. Look: Necla Doğan, “Politics of Muslim Education During Sultan Abdulhamid II in Salonica”, Historical Studies Journal [Tarih Araştırmaları Dergisi], Volume 38, Number 66, (2019), 359.
  17. Tevfik Fikret, “Kaplumbağa Modası”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 358 (January 20, 1898): 6
  18. Mahmud Sadık, “Muhasebe-i Fenniye”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 384 (July 28, 1898): 15.
  19. Sadık, 15.
  20. “Resimlerimiz”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 290 (September 25, 1896): 8.
  21. Paul de Rousiers. “American Hayatı”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 458 (December 19, 1899): 10.
  22. De Rousiers, 10.
  23. Ahmed İhsan, “Musahabe-i Fenniye”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 284 (August 19, 1896): 2.
  24. İhsan, 2.
  25. “Resimlerimiz”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 299 (December 3, 1896): 14.
  26. Ahmed Mithat, “Parlamentolar”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 268 (April 30, 1896): 2.
  27. Midhat, 2.
  28. All details about published photographs or depictions can be searched from
  29. Mahmud Sadık, “Musahabe-i Fenniye”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 407 (December 29, 1898): 1-3.
  30. Mahmud Sadık, “Mütenevvia”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 495 (August 27, 1900): 10.
  31. Mahmud Sadık “Musahabe-i Fenniye”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 265 (April 9, 1896): 3.
  32. Ahmed İhsan, “Muhasebe-i Fenniye”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 528 (April 25, 1901): 9.
  33. Ahmed İhsan, “Mütenevvia”, Servet-i Fünûn, no. 464 (February 1, 1900): 11


Ahmed Mithat. “Parlamentolar” in Servet-i Fünun, April 30, 1896.

Tokgöz, Ahmed İhsan. “Mütenevvia” in Servet-i Fünun, July 19, 1900.

Tokgöz, Ahmed İhsan. “Resimlerimiz” in Servet-i Fünun, April 18, 1901.

Tokgöz, Ahmed İhsan. “Musahabe-i Fenniye” in Servet-i Fünun, April 25, 1901.

Tokgöz, Ahmed İhsan. “Musahabe-i Fenniye” in Servet-i Fünun, August 19, 1896.

Tokgöz, Ahmed İhsan. “Mütenevvia” in Servet-i Fünun, February 1, 1900.

Mahmud Sadık. “Mütenevvia” in Servet-i Fünun, August 16, 1900.

Mahmud Sadık. “Muhasebe-i Fenniye” in Servet-i Fünun, December 19, 1899.

Mahmud Sadık. “Muhasebe-i Fenniye” in Servet-i Fünun, July 28, 1898.

Mahmud Sadık. “Muhasebe-i Fenniye” in Servet-i Fünun, April 9, 1896.

Mahmud Sadık. “Mütenevvia” in Servet-i Fünun, August 27, 1900.

“Yüzbaşı Vetington & Miralay Neli” in Servet-i Fünun, June 30, 1898.

“Resimlerimiz” in Servet-i Fünun, December 3, 1896.

Mahmud Sadık. “Bir Darülfünunun Tarih-i Tesisi” in Servet-i Fünun, December 9, 1897.

Tevfik Fikret. “Kaplumbağa Modası” in Servet-i Fünun, January 20, 1898.

“From the Chicago [World’s] Fair” in Servet-i Fünun, September 25, 1896.

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