Roof of 200-year-old house in Antalya reveals Ottoman record book

Monitoring Desk

ANTALYA : The roof of a house built in Türkiye’s Antalya in the 1800s belonging to the Baysarı family, a family engaged in agriculture, particularly citrus, was found to be hiding an old notebook written in Ottoman Turkish that held the trade records of agricultural products in the region.

The notebook was discovered within the scope of the restoration and improvement works on the historical buildings in the Finike district of Antalya. The historical building that features a relief of a crescent on its roof is now set to be reopened as the “Orange and Citrus Tasting Center and Museum.”

Cemil Karabayram, a conservation and restoration specialist from the Antalya Governorship Cultural Heritage Unit, who is also in charge of the restoration works, stated that they started the process in 2022. “This structure reflects an important heritage. It is also a structure that I studied within the scope of my graduate project,” he said.

The historical building revealed a notebook on trade records from the 1800s, Antalya, Türkiye, Dec. 13, 2022. (DHA Photo)
The historical building revealed a notebook on trade records from the 1800s, Antalya, Türkiye, Dec. 13, 2022. (DHA Photo)

“We discovered the notebook after the necessary permissions were taken from the family members. Then it was translated by experts. According to our determinations, the first floor was built in the early 1880s and the second floor in the early 1900s. The data we found on the rooftop is quite important for the region. It contains a lot of information, starting from the history of the orange to the production of citrus. After it was translated, we handed over the notebook to family members. The Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, our governor Ersin Yazıcı, and Antalya Deputy Atay Uslu provide great support. I hope it will be exhibited here when it turns into a museum,” he added.

Turcology expert Ramazan Özpınar, who translated the 76-page work, said: “The text has Ottoman Turkish characteristics. I came across a note about the date somewhere at work. It reads July 13, 1929, yet I think it is older because of its language style. The notebook shows the shipments in detail, all calculations included. Also, there is detailed information on the oranges, wheat, barley, rice, and other legumes.”

Mehmet Baysarı, one of the heirs of the historical structure, said: “The construction of the building was started by my grandfather Mehmet Baysarı in the 1800s. It was built inside a citrus orchard. The notebook above belongs to my grandfather Mehmet Baysarı, including all the commercial activities of that day.”

Courtesy: Dailysabah