Keywords: The Fall of Uyvar,Süleyman (the janissary),narration of captivity,France,Egypt


This work covers an Ottoman Janissary's impresssions of France. An Ottoman janissary, named Süleyman, was captured by the Hungarians during the loss of the Uyvar Castle. The Hungarian noblemen gave him as a present to a French architect who was there to view the battle. Süleyman, taken to France hereby and held captive in this country, saw many places where the ordinary people could not have opportunity to enter, constantly travelling with his master, the architect. Süleyman willingly returned to his country, Egypt, eight years later. In Egypt, during an entertainment where the nobles of the time were present, he was asked questions about France. The answers given by Süleyman were in a manner that described the administrative, military and economic structure of this country. Furthermore, through these answers, abundant information was reported concerning the other important countries of that age. The Janissary compared European countries, as well as the Ottoman state to France from many aspects and favoured France every time. When conveying information, Süleyman had a style that idealized this country in every sense. By this experience of narration he introduced a "developed" country in Europe of that period, with its main characteristics. While depicting a different world, Süleyman drew a road-map in the name of the Ottoman modernization and set forth a guide for us.