Thread: Long yatagan
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Old 13th February 2016, 08:58 AM   #23
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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.

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.


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