Join Date: Apr 2005
I take strong exception to the preceding response. Due perhaps to a lack of actual knowledge, it completely diverges from the discussion of a little-known type of weapon, and instead revels in the banalities of ethnic slurs-- despite disclaimers to the contrary, it is not in the slightest germane to the question, nor is it appropriate to this forum, particularly in response to the earnest query of a new member. I think Ariel owes the Forum, and its multiethnic membership, an apology.
The Black Sea yatagan is a fine piece of design work which is entirely effective for its purpose-- i.e., a close-range cutting weapon. It's popularity shows a distinctly high correlation among warlike peoples who, for a variety of reasons, tended to do battle on foot rather than horseback.
It is eminently suited to the drawcut, for which the saber was used extensively in the Iranian and Ottoman empires by mounted troops; here we have the next degree of development: a simpler weapon to produce than a saber, the compactness and curvature of which required a far shorter arc to swing. This was capable of delivering blows with devastating effect-- even on foot. This should be apparent to anyone who has had the opportunity to swing one of these swords (rather than attempting to thrust with it.) Further, its thickness allowed it to cut through even the heavy goathair cloaks worn throughout Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus.
Regarding raki: a forum member once said, de gustibus non est disputandum... a phrase which in this case is best translated as "there is no accounting for taste"-- IMHO if one hasn't tried Tekir Dag, one hasn't truly had raki.