Thread: Long yatagan
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Old 13th February 2016, 08:58 AM   #23
estcrh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancar
I hope you allow me put some historical context to the discussion: zeybeks were mostly active at the end of 19th century-early 20th century in Western Anatolia as irregular rural militia at best, but in reality mostly as cutthroat bandits. They can be likened to "cowboys" in American wild west. So as you can see, they mostly lived in a time period where importance of a bladed weapon faded quite fastly.

In that era, zeybek or town folk gentry, most people carried those so-called "zeybek yatağan"s as part of their costume,and as a sign of prestige(like court swords-smallswords) so the blades got longer and longer, well in to the 20th century.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Fully agree.
This just strengthens my belief that this peculiar yataghan had very limited fighting ability and was neither a "long knife" nor a "sword".
Neither fish nor fowl:-)

There was very little need to improve it from the engineering point of view. Its clumsiness was of no relevance to an owner. Just " mine is longer than yours":-)


I think that some research will prove that your beliefs are just not accurate. Both modern and period accounts relate that zeibeks (zeibeck, ziebek, zeybek) were much more than what you are mentioning. Evidence shows that they were in fact employed during certain military conflicts as irregular troops.

The brutality and atrocities committed by these irregular troops (including the zeibek) is well documented. I have no doubt that the yatagan swords being discussed are weapons and not "part of their costume, and as a sign of prestige", at least during the periods of military conflicts between Turkey and its neighbors during the 1800s.

After their job as defacto soldiers came to an end they most probably assumed the role being mentioned but they were previously most certainly fighters with a vicious reputation. There is no reason to assume that zeibek weapons from their period of military employment were anything other real weapons and not some kind of prop or "sign of prestige". The long scythe type blade would work perfectly for mowing people down.


References.

The War Correspondence of the "Daily News," 1877-8, Continued from the Fall of Kars to the Signature of the Preliminaries of Peace: With a Connecting Narrative Forming a Continuous History of the War Between Russia and Turkey, Volume 1, Archibald Forbes, Januarius Aloysius MacGahan Macmillan and Company, 1878.

The Liberation of Bulgaria: War Notes in 1877, Bliss, Sands and Foster, 1894.

The Armenian Crisis in Turkey: The Massacre of 1894, Its Antecedents and Significance, with a Consideration of Some of the Factors which Enter Into the Solution of this Phase of the Eastern Question, Frederick Davis Greene G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1895 - (Armenian massacres, 1894-1896).

War in Bulgaria: A Narrative of Personal Experiences, Volume 1, Valentine Baker Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1879 - (Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878)

Crisis of the Ottoman Empire: Prelude to Collapse 1839-1878, James J. Reid Franz Steiner Verlag, 2000.

The Making of a Novelist: An Experiment in Autobiography, David Christie, Murray Chatto & Windus, 1894.

Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons, Volume 83, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons Ordered to be printed, 1878.
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