Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Nobody in his right mind would deny that yataghan is an inherently Ottoman weapon. You are creating a straw man and continue to beat it mercilessly.
However, the Empire was vast and included many ethnic and tribal groups that utilized their own ideas of construction and/or decoration ( see Zeibek yataghans with T-like pommel and integral bolster, North African ones with karabela-like handle, smooth round corals from Foca or Bulgarian Karakulaks). Hope you might agree with that.
Furthermore, nobody is insisting on purely Christian use of niello. The only point I have introduced here is the statement of Asia Eutykh ( a Circassian master) that this technique was introduced to the Caucasus by Greek masters. That is entirely possible, because Circassia was a semi-vassal of the Crimean Khanate with its major Greek colonies and armourers that supplied Circassia with weapons and with the abundance of Greek colonies all over the North-Eastern shore of Black Sea.
You yourself show " Greek yataghan". I would cautiously suggest that where is one, there must have been more:-)
With all due respect, few people would disagree that yataghans with slender blades, silver handle with small ears , deeply crenellated silver plates at ricasso and profuse niello decorations likely belong to Crete. Similarly, there is a strong suspicion that yataghans with thin and rounded ears were actually made ( you can call it decorated) in Greece. After all, if Greeks could develop their own style of sabers from Epirus, they must have had people proficient in (at least) making handles for their bladed weapons.
While there is no information on blade manufacture in Greece proper, the decorative workshops and individual masters were still present there. But insisting on the primacy of the blade as a defining factor would make all yataghans with Balkan-made blades (traded all over the Empire including Anatolia), Balkan, but not Turkish, weapons. And that would be just silly.
Ms. Gozde Yasar in her book about yataghans defined each and every example as " Ottoman", without any attempt to pinpoint the exact origin of each. Whereas she is correct from the geopolitical point of view, this approach negates the multiethnicity of their origins.
And, as a final point: where is the evidence that yataghan was truly invented by the Ottoman Anatolian Turks? Just do not bring Yataghan Baba as a proof, please. There are no existing examples before those of Bayazet or Suleiman,
but soon thereafter there was a sudden profusion of yataghans all over. Don't you think that this strongly suggest adoption of yataghans from somewhere else? Are yataghans truly Turkish?