The Turkish Theatre

The Turkish Theatre

The Turkish Theatre

The Turkish Theatre

Excerpt

The old Turkey is gone forever. Thanks to a long series of reforms during the last decade she has lost her individuality and has entered into the family of European nations. Will she be more fortunate there? Her future history will show. But Turkey's inner life has disappeared with the outer dissolving of that poetical haze in which she was veiled and that charm which delighted European novelists and travellers. It would be desirable to preserve for future generations the memory of these lyric elements of the Old Turkey.

Educated readers are more or less acquainted with the Moslem world. Many people know something of Arabic culture and philosophy or have at least heard about the tales of the Thousand and One Nights. They are still more familiar with the Persians, especially in the field of poetry--the name of Omar Khayyam is well known in all the corners of the world. The Turks have been less fortunate. Their external, political life has been studied closely enough, though not before the 14th century--the period of the Ottoman Empire. The rôle played by Turkey in European events easily explains this. But the internal history of the Turks, their daily life in its historical development, remains unknown, though the Turkish peoples have profoundly influenced universal culture.

It is unnecessary to remind the reader of the political significance of the Turks through many centuries. In all branches of art, as well, they reached a high level of excellence. As examples of their architecture we have their buildings in Asia Minor, in the Balkan Peninsula, and in Constantinople (by the famous architect, Sinan). Of their painting, numerous miniatures have reached us, which are now dispersed among the museums and private collections of Europe and America. There are preserved brilliant samples of Turkish armour, ceramics and rugs. The literature of the Turks . . .

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