The Ottoman Empire was at the center of interest for European explorers and artists since the early periods. This interest grew even further due to reasons including improvement of traveling conditions at the end of the 18th century and in the 19th century, Hellenism passion and increased archeologic research. Travels focused on Istanbul substantially during the early periods and they started to spread towards the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Southeast regions gradually by the 18th century and increased even further during the 19th century. Explorers focused on the Aegean Region especially following Istanbul. The region’s cities and architecture were described in length in their itineraries. Engravings accompanied visually these written narrations. Explorers described the cities in their itineraries and focused most on the castle structure groups which are the defense structure. The magnificence of castles, which are located at a position dominating the city in primarily Izmir and almost in all Aegean cities, was mentioned. These structures did not find reflections in engravings as much as in descriptions and they were handled in the general city appearances generally and without giving details. In some examples such as Bodrum Castle, this situation changed and more detailed description was given.

Engravings have document characteristics in terms of showing our lost cultural values. Izmir’s Kadife Castle, Sancak Castle and Liman Castle, which was used to be one of the fundamental stones of the port yet did not reach today, are among the structures drawing interest. We see the existence of this structure, which is the symbol of Izmir, in the engravings. Each of these is a document in this aspect. Similarly, Muğla-Bodrum Castle is another example drawing interest once upon a time with its detailed descriptions. The engravings describing the structure are proofs because they reflect their logos that were smuggled out of the country without permit and hence illustrate that they belong to these lands.


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