I went out fishing a couple of days and look here what an interesting debate we have!
Thank you guys for sharing information!
Geographikal origin: I think, after reading all that opinions and after seeing all that evidences that it has to be Ottoman Black Sea region, intended for ship boarding.
Power: I'm a kendo and iaido student and I own a black sea yathagan, so I can tell you from the first hand. It is really terrbile to handle, just believe Ariel and me. Not balanced, difficult to draw from scabbard, difficult to yudge the distance, ecc. Give me a katana (or even a Wakizashi) and I'll be able to kill almost instantly the bastard who'd be so stupidly brave to challenge me. Metaforically speaking, I intend.
ORIGINS: It is really unapropried for combat either from horse or ground. I think that it originated from classic yatagan, wich from my point of view is verry unapropriate for close combat in small crowded areas like a ship would be with all that balustrades, railings, cords, masts ecc. They just added a curvature to enhance the rebounding, recoiling action of the weapon against various obsatcles. Just think of a combat in a small corridor... With an ordinary yathagan will stick to the wall and the warrior instantly killed. For fighting in areas full of obstacles a weapon has to have different point compatred to a classic yataghan, so the warrior could make stabbing actions also. Just think for a moment that you are in a middle of combat on sea and tha you have to cut a rope avoidng to hit the mast? With all other longlike weapons would be nearly impossible. All the facts supports the piracy proposal of that weapon. Another fact supporting that teory is that it is a verry rare weapon. Limited usage - limited production. Kinjals I think were to heavy and also the combat style, wich take a lot of space were inapropriate for ship boarding. The shashka being a cavalry rather long sword was also unapropriate.
Another thing: Some of them really could be north african origin. Look, being used by sailors, and beeing so apropriate for naval boardings it makes a perfect weapon for such purpose, wich was maybe copied in shape by local smiths in the ports around the whole meditteranean area. The knopesh (a verry different usage, more like a sickle) and especially the flissa (what it has rally in common???) have really nothing to do with it.
About pommel: The two horned pommel has obviously a purpose. I think that it derives from classic yataghan pommel. Thoose tho horns, from my point of view, is also an extreme close cobat solution for attacking the eyes of an enemy wich has came too close for slashing or stabbing him.
So we have here, what i think, a perfect boarding weapon in all of its aspects. (wich is obviously extremly unapropriate for all other kinds of usage)
Regarding my previous topic: I'd really wanto to buy another one with or without the scabbard. Ariel?