Friday, December 01, 2006

Notes on Costak 2

“El-mecâzu kantaratü’l-hakîkah” Metaphor is the bridge of reality.

What Costak, for that matter what Petri stands for? For what? What reality we have in the film? In his real or imagined life? Criminal history?

Why I find a certain connectedness in the story 'the somewhat meaningless crime and death' of an immigrant dishwasher who worked long and silent years in a nondescript hotel kitchen in North America?

The curator? What is his achievement
if he only gets and displays the slippers without truly understanding the connections in the story? Is he just curious about the story or the object.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Notes on Costak 1

Guillermo del Toro in his notes for his latest film Pan's Labyrinth says "Fairytale logic is not linear, it's random". This idea appeals to me in constructing the movie version of Costak. There is already a linear crime story which I hope to find (microfilm archives in Ataturk Library, Taksim, Istanbul) in it's extended version as it was serialized in possibly Tercuman newspaper pre-1972. But Costak is different and involves a modern story and shifting moments from Petri's life enhanced with images, feelings and songs. The historic realities of the day will be in the background. However it will not interfere with his behavior. How interesting this randomness can be is a challange of course.

November 2006
Tyson's Corner

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Costak as Ganymede

Costak and Lefteri Kaptan as Ganymede and Zeus. The slaying of Lefteri kaptan adds another 'killing of the missing father' angle to the story

Ganymede by Mia Gibson
Ganymede is the young, beautiful boy that became one of Zeus' lovers. One source of the myth says that Zeus fell in love with Ganymede when he spotted him herding his flock on Mount Ida. Zeus then came down in the form of an eagle or sent an eagle to carry Ganymede to Mount Olympus where Ganymede became cupbearer to the gods. According to other accounts, Eos kidnapped Ganymede, to be her lover, at the same time she kidnapped Tithonus. Zeus then robbed Eos of Ganymede, in return granting Eos the wish that Tithonus be immortal. Unthinkingly, Eos forgot to ask that Tithonus remain youthful. Everyday, the faithful Eos watched over Tithonus, until one day she locked him in a room and left him to get old by himself.

Upon hearing that Ganymede was to be cup bearer as well as Zeus' lover, the infinitely jealous Hera was outraged. Therefor Zeus set Ganymede's image among the stars as the constellation Aquarius, the water carrier. Aquarius was originally the Egyptian god over the Nile. The Egyptian god poured water not wine from a flagon.

All of Zeus' scandalous liaisons have allegorical meanings. Some sources say that Zeus' affair with Ganymede was a (religious) justification for homosexuality within the Greek culture, yet others state that this is merely a reflection of Greek life at that time. Before the popularity of the Zeus and Ganymede myth spread, however, the only toleration for sodomy was an external form of goddess worship. Cybele's male devotees tried to achieve unity with her by castrating themselves and dressing like women.

Apollodorus argued that this myth emphasized the victory of patriarchy over matriarchy. This showed that men did not need women to exist, therefor they did not need the attentions of women. The philosopher Plato used this myth to justify his sexual feelings towards male pupils.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Petri lived in a ruined shack in a bostan(large garden for growing vegetables). The are known as Bostan Neighborhood is now part of the Beyoglu (Pera) District and is inhabited mostly by Romany (Gypsy) families. The pub he frequented on Kalyoncu Kulluk was nearby. During De Amicis visit in 1870's the creek that gave it's name to the area Dolapdere was dry. Since the creek required a device called "dolap" to raise water it had a week run. One of the side strets are called Dere Ustu today.

Edmondo De Amicis (October 21, 1846—March 12, 1908), is a notable Italian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer. Journeying to Constantinople by boat, Edmondo De Amicis is initially dismayed to discover that his first glimpse of this much-awaited city will be obscured by fog. Yet, as he will come to appreciate, the slow unveiling of rooftops, domes and minarets is in fact the best introduction to Constantinople he could wish for. Throughout his stay in this most cosmopolitan of cities – with Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Gypsies, Catholics and Jews sewn together in a patchwork of life – he encounters the inhabitants’ endless vitality, in a city which provides an inexhaustible source of beauty and mystery.
Costantinopoli (1878)

I had De Amicis' text ready when I came to Istanbul. For he had seen what I cannot see today' - Umberto Eco (from his foreword)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hotel de Marseille

1944 | Nomidis and Schneider [1]| Archaeological and Topographical map of Galata

Early Istanbul hotels differed from the traditional han (caravanserai) and provided a bed instead of an empty room. Mostly operated by minority Christians and some other nationalities, the Galata hotels were the first to emerge due to the proximity of the port and they used western names to increase their appeal to foreigners. Some recorded names were Hotel de Marins (Sailors’ Hotel), Hotel de Voilier (Hotel of Sailboat) and Hotel de Marseille.

In 1874 Petri the Knife slashed his protector Lefteri Kaptan to death in Hotel de Marseille. He was about 17-18 years old. The hotel was described as a two story structure with two bed and three beds with a capacity of 24 guests. On the murder night the police recorded 58 inhabitants at the hotel.

Among them:
-a volunteer fire fighter (tulumbaci) Camur Salih of Uskudar (age 30)
-a volunteer fire fighter Ablasiguzel Mustafa (age 30)
-a navy private Yunus, (age 20)
-a ship record keeper of Hamburg and a young Greek kalopedi
-two Black Sea boatmen and a street prostitute

See: Ahmed Midhat Efendi’s novella “Durdane Hanim” has a colorful section where the heroine Ulviye cross dresses as a man and ends up in a Galata hotel with a Circassian man.

[1]Schneider-Nomidis, Galata = Schneider, A.M. - Nomidis, M.I., Galata, Estambul 1944.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Abstract | Children in Byzantine Monasteries

"Children in Byzantine Monasteries"
Richard Greenfield
Many, perhaps a majority, of those involved in the world of Byzantine monasticism clearly believed that the monastery or convent was no place for children, just as it was not a place for eunuchs or members of the opposite sex. Others, however, could not so easily forget the exhortation of Jesus in the Gospel to "Let the children come to me," nor the precedent set by influential individuals in the early history of monasticism who did permit children in their foundations. As a result, despite frequent prohibitions and dire warnings of the consequences, children appear quite regularly within the fabric of Byzantine monastic life. It is evident that they were present in many communities throughout the period, albeit usually in small numbers and under carefully controlled circumstances.

In the late seventh century, the Sixth Ecumenical Council established the age of ten as the minimum at which a child might begin life in a monastery, but most later monastic founders and commentators set the bar much higher at the mid-teens to the early twenties. The temptations of sexual misconduct were always prominent in the minds of ascetics and monastic regulators, and the fear that the presence of beardless youths might prove too much for the monks clearly lies behind most attempts to exclude them. Also at work in such prohibitions, however, was evidently a desire to prevent women or eunuchs slipping undetected into monasteries, to ensure that vows were taken only by those who knew what they were doing, to forestall the ordinary distractions that might be produced by frivolous and irresponsible youths and girls, and to keep monks and nuns from the attachments of family life. The ban on children was extended in some places to cover not only those testing a vocation but also those who might be brought to an institution out of need (orphans or beggars, for example), in the course of everyday life (on errands or on feast days, perhaps), or in the course of work (such as apprentices or the offspring of manual laborers).

Such attempts to exclude children ran largely counter to the practice and sentiment evident in monastic institutions of the early Byzantine period, however, and it is clear that many individuals and communities in the later centuries, even during the period of reform, still saw no need to comply with the wishes of the rigorists. Hagiographies thus abound with saints and monastic founders who flee their families at a very early age and find a welcome in the monastic communities for which they pine, while relatives of prominent monks and nuns are adopted in their infancy and reared within the institution, often becoming ascetics and monastic administrators in their own right. At the same time orphans are cared for, prospective monastic or clerical candidates are educated and trained, young relatives are allowed to visit, youthful servants and workers are employed, and sick or possessed children are treated. Typically in the Byzantine world, behind the rhetoric of principled declarations and legal documents requiring the exclusion of children from monasteries, lies a rather different reality where children flit through the shadows of the courtyard and peep from the doorways of the outbuildings and dependencies of the monastic community.
Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC | Byzantine Studies 2006 Spring Symposium |
April 28–30, 2006 Becoming Byzantine: Children and Childhood in Byzantium

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Knife Fighting in Nineteenth-Century Greece

Petri the Knife also belonged to this knife obsessed culture.

Honor, Masculinity, and Ritual Knife Fighting in Nineteenth-Century Greece

On the sweltering night of July 26, 1830, Tonia Theodoros from the village of Agios Theodoros on the island of Kerkyra brutally slashed the face of his fellow villager Gioragachi Mokastiriotis. Theodoros then spit on his prostrate victim and left the wine shop where the incident had occurred, while five other men, including the proprietor Panos Landates, looked on. Ten days later, Constable Andreas Sallas approached Theodoros, served him with an arrest warrant, and took him into custody on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon. At his trial in police court on August 28, the various versions of Theodoros's assault on Mokastiriotis were recounted. There had been bad blood between the men for some time; no one was quite sure why. That night at the bar, both had been drinking heavily when Theodoros called Mokastiriotis a fool and a braggart. Mokastiriotis loudly replied that he would rather be a fool than "the lord of a house full of Magdalenes." Theodoros erupted from his chair, drew his pruning knife, and demanded that Mokastiriotis stand and face him like a man. None of the other men in the room intervened as the knife-fighters traded parries and thrusts. Finally, Theodoros with a flick of his wrist delivered a telling blow that cut his victim from the tip of his chin to halfway up his cheek. As the blood flowed, Mokastiriotis fell to his knees cursing his assailant. When asked by the presiding magistrate at the police magistrate's court in the town of Kerkyra why he started fighting, Theodoros sternly replied that no man would call his wife and daughters whores and get away with it. His reputation would not allow it. As a man, he would not stand for it.
Full text archive


"Costak" soundtrack uses the sounds of the area Petri lived and includes a song played by a Greek lyra. A closely related instrument of of the Black Sea kemence. Here is a nice folk belief relating to music provess and a Cretan hilted dagger.

"Whoever wants to become a good lyra - player should go to an isolated crossroads at midnight. First he should trace a circle on the ground with a black - hilted dagger, then enter it, stay there and start playing the lyra. A little later the Fairies will come and start hanging around him. Their purpose is not good, they want to do him harm, but since they cannot enter the circle, which has been traced with a black - hilted dagger, they try to lure him out in every possible way. They use blarney, they sing him nice songs, they wheedle him in a thousand and one different ways, but if he is wise, he must remain calm and continue to play the lyra without leaving the circle. If they fail, they invite him out of the circle in order to teach him how to play the lyra better. He must refuse. Then they will ask him to give them the lyra. The lyra - player should give it, cautious to let his arm or other part of his body out of the circle, because it will be amputated or he will go insane.

Then a Fairy starts playing the lyra with great virtuosity and afterwards they return the lyra to him, hoping that he will be persuaded to leave the circle and they will be able to harm him". According to the description of Nikos Politis, the continuous interchange of the instrument between the Fairies and the lyra - player, without anyone of them passing the limits of the circle traced with the black - hilted dagger, continues all night long until the first cock crows. Then they ask him to give them something of his own and they promise to teach him how to play the lyra like them in return. The lyra - player usually gives them one of his nails and they in turn teach him how to play the lyra with great virtuosity and then disappear at daybreak.

For this reason, in earlier times, if a lyra player played his instrument with outstanding virtuosity, he used to say: "What do you think? I learnt to play the lyra at the crossroads".

Source: The Cretan Dagger

A Knife for Petri

Was that boy asleep, or did he stand waiting at the foot of Slightly's tree, with his dagger in his hand?
The Adventures of Peter Pan by Barrie, James Matthew

length: 10 3/4"
blade: 6 3/8"
blade width: 1 3/16"
grip: 4 1/4"
weight: 4.8 oz

Greek knife from the Isle of Crete. The knife was made in the city of Khanya and dated 1951. Hilt has traditional "two eared" style reminiscent of Turkish yataghan, and is most likely goat or cow bone with a working-life repair to one side of the v-notch. The Cretans have been known as "the people of the dagger" since knives are worn as part of male and female folk costume, and knife making and decoration is a handicraft relatively widely practised.

Another rare greek knife, from the greek island of Crete.The greek inscription says: Chania.The embossed silvered metal scabbard with 4 silver coins attached from 1800's.
length : 81/2 inches ( 211/2 cms)
blade: 43/4 inches (12 cms)
handle: 33/4 inches (91/2 cms)

A Knife to the Heart

Part of the "Costak" preproduction involves planning the visual style of the murders. The passion or the reason involved in the murder seems more to the point than blood being spilt everywhere. "Costak" is not about gore but things that might terrify us beyond gore. What helps in this view is the method used by Petri. Most of Petri's murders are committed with a knife to the heart. A side benefit to a murder like this is less blood squirting out since heart almost immediately stops pumping blood.

A found this tidbit in a book called "Mobspeak".

Mobspeak: The Dictionary of Crime Terms (Paperback) by Carl Sifakis
352 pages Checkmark Books (September 2003) ISBN: 0816045496

1880| Petri the Knife

Petri at a Kuledibi brothel
Night of flames at Horoz Street
Petri meets two lovers that night
Aliki, young prostitute her young lover Ahilea
They take Petri to Kalikratya fishermen's village
Petri hides at Kalikratya
Petri finds a peaceful existence
Ahilea Andoni "suslu balikci"
Aliki and Ahilea live in fear since they know who Petri is
Petri learns of Canto singer Peruz from the fishermen
Trip to Casino with the fishermen | Galata Avrupa Gazinosu
She is her Peruz and in the arms of a navy sailor at the bar
Murder #14 | Ahmed
Knife ?
Someone recognises and follows Petri
Murder #15 | Hasan
Knife to the heart
A few moments later petri is on board a ship
There is no hope of going back to Kalikratya
Andon Kaptan, a night thief helps Petri's escapeto Odessa
Petri finds work as a stoker. S/s Ayvazofski, a Russian ship
Kefalonians only works in Greek boats
Petri is safe from the Avengers from Kefaloniya
at sea
Captain's wife Alexandra is after Petri
Alexanda and Petri find a night of love in a lifeboat
Next day Petri runs away in Rumanian port of Köstence
Befriends Milolis of Sile
Petri returns to Istanbul on board a Greek boat
Petri's first sight is a young prostitute Magdalena
Magdalena is Kiryakica, Lefteri Kaptan's daughter
Petri can not recognize her
They make love at Magdalena's room
Early morning…Petri leaves
Lambo, a sailor and young brother of Lefteri kaptan waits
Petri was also Lambo's zenane for four years
Early morning ambush
Last Murder | Death of Petri by Lambo 8/28/1880
Petri file closes once more

1879| Petri the Knife

Mt. Athos
Murder #11 | Zahari
Knife ?
Murder #12 | Apostolos
Knife ?
at sea
Escape with a row boat
Petri looks for Nikola, Dragoman from Raguza
Nicola is an alcholic now
Kalyoncu Kullugu bar is their old place
Nicola is half mad with their photo in hand
"Bu ben, bu da Mavri, putana'm (fahisem)./This is me, this is mavri, my prostitute"
Perti appears at the door and shoots Nicola
Murder #13 | Nicola
Gun shot to the heart

1878| Petri the Knife

Mt. Athos
Petri stays at Haci Kosta Vatakis
Petri grows beard
Vatakis has a young priest's helper (comez) called Apostolos
Apostolos (Vatakis calls him Spartakus)
Petri and Apostolos are bed mates
Avenges look for Petri for more deaths
Zahari arrives and befriends Apostolos
The two plot a plan to kill Petri

1877| Petri the Knife

Mt. Athos
Petri lives with the Mt. Athos Fishermen

1876 | Petri the Knife

1876 s/s Galicya, Austrian ship arrives in Beirut
Beirut Petri meets a young prostitute in a bordello
Prostitute tips Petri about an avenger
Beirut Murder #4 | Anesti
at sea Escape as a sailor
Italian Ship of Captain Humberto
at sea Saloniki-Istanbul run of the ship
Esther the singer on the boat
Esther to sing at Princci Casiono
Petri and Esther make love
at sea Ester becomes Petri's kept woman
Petri never stays at Esther's over the night
Dolabdere Petri finds home at a Dolabdere shack
Petri sees an avenger at Cadde-i Kebir
Pera Murder #5 | Toma
Murder night at Esther's
Pera Following night at Pirincci Casino
A Turk harasses Esther
Galata Murder #6 | Turk
Gun murder
Galata Esther's police interrogation
Galata Murder closes Pirincci Casino
Galata Esther decides to return to Saloniki
Galata Gem stone to Kaloferia
Dolabdere Rape of Peruz
Pera Peruz at the photo studio
Galata Zambo finds about the avengers
Arnavudkoy Zambo sets a trap invites Petri
Petri arrives one night
Arnavudkoy Murder #7 | Argiri Papazi
Arnavudkoy Murder #8 | Zambo
Pera Raif identifies Petri based on Esther's description
Raif hesitates between arrest and shoot to kill
Pera Petri evades arrest by Raif
Pera Petri finds refuge at Russian Embassy
Authorities request Petri's delivery to police
Pera Petri has Austrian Passport
Pera Petri sent to Austrian Embassy
Pera Police kept in the dark by the Russian Embassy
Pera Petri meets Dragoman Nicola
Dragoman is in love with Petri just like Lefteri
Safe passege arranged in two days to Trieste
Galata Nicola takes Petri to a bar
Galata Petri wants to get picture of Peruz before the voyage
Dolapdere Petri returns to Dolapdere shack
Dolabdere Raif coming out of shack
Dolabdere Ambush at the well
Dolabdere Murder #9 | Raif
Knife to the heart
Galata Nicola waits. Petri returns to bar
Sirkeci? Nicola and Petri photo at Vafiadis
Embassy officers take Petri to s/s Tirol
Esther is a deck passanger on s/s Tirol
at sea Murder #10 | Esther
Knife to the heart
Dardanelles Petri jumps to dark waters
Galata Petri assumed dead due to strong currents of the straits
Galata Police report stamped "dead' and closed
Aegean sea Petri lives by grabbing a passing row boat
Cretan Huseyin Arnabudaki Kaptan finds Petri in the boat
Arnabudaki kaptan leaves Petri in a Sisam fisherman's village
Sisam Island Petri changes name to Kiryako
Sisam Island Petri in love with prostitute Aspasya
Sisam Island Avengers at Sisam and Kiryako knows that petri is in danger
Hristodolos is one of Kiryako's "beau"s
Sisam Island Escape from Sisam with Hristodolos
at sea Hristodolos agrees to take Petri to Mt. Athos
at sea Petri becomes Hristodolos' zenane
Mt. Athos Hristodolos becomes a monk

Thursday, June 01, 2006

1854-1875 | Petri the Knife

1854 Ayamavri
Petri's mother raped
1855 Ayamavri
Petri's birth
Mother works as a prostitute
Life with Petri
Mother has a client
Petri sent to Daskalos
Daskalos rapes Petri
Petri works at sailors café
Petri's mother killed
Petri lives at Daskalos' home
Ayamavri Murder #1 | Ispiro | Knife to the heart
Villagers support Petri
Lefteri takes Petri to his ship
Petri becomes Lefteri's zenane
Lefteri is a pirate
1872 at Sea
1873 at Sea
After 4 years as a zenane
Petri and Lefteri arrives to Galata
Murder #2 | Lefteri
Petri steals Lefteri's gem and gold belt
Kalopedi, a ruffian in a sailor's den
Murder #3 | Kalopedi | Gun murder
A bum introduces Zambo, the caviar vendor
Zambo finds an escape boat
Return to Ayamavri
Avangers after Petri
A fishermen helps Petri to escape
Petri goes to Catania
Petri goes to Trieste
Changes name to Pietri Mavri
Austrian Maritime Shipping hires Petri
Petri starts work as a stoker
at sea s/s Galicya

Costumes for Costak | 6

Cargees, or Watermen of the Bosphorus

Sketch in A Coffee-House, Constantinople

Seller of Sweetmeats, Constantinople
Sketches of character and costume in Constantinople, Ionian Islands &c. from the original drawings made on the spot by Capt'n. Forbes Mac Bean, 92nd Highlanders, lithographed by J. Sutcliffe (published 1854)

Costumes for Costak | 5

Greek bride from Pera (Turkey). 1799 & earlier
Published Date: 1859-1860 From Costumes anciens et modernes : habiti antichi e moderni di tutto il mondo. (Paris : Firmin Didot, 1859-1860.) Vecellio, Cesare (ca. 1521-1601), author.

Monastir ; Thessalien. Published Date: 1913

Costumes for Costak | 4

Greek woman late 19th--20th c.

Costumes for Costak | 3

Asia Minor-Pontus

Peloponnese- Mani

Costumes for Costak | 2

Greek Priest Constantinople 1878

Costumes for Costak | 1

Printed on border: "Trachten XX. Costumes XX." Written on border: "[fig.] 1. Greek Islands. [fig.] 2. Turkey in Europe. [fig.] 3. Druses, Turkey in Asia. [fig.] 4. Turkey in Asia."
Source: From Bilderbuch für Kinder : enthaltend eine angenehme Sammlung von Thieren, Pflanzen, Blumen, Fruchten, Mineralien, Trachten und allerhand andern unterrichtenden Gegenstanden aus dem Reiche der natur, der Kunste und Wissenschaften. (Weimar, Germany : Industrie-Comptoir, 1792-1843.) Bertuch, Friedrich Justin (1747-1822), author.

Costume that once belonged to an Aid-de-Camp of Capodistria, First Governor of Greece. Museum of Popular Art, Nafplio, Greece. Special features of this costume are the long foustanella and the silk turban worn by the wealthy around their fez. Over the red silk sash men wore a gold selachi finely embroidered.

This particular costume has three jackets: the inner ghileki, second the fermeli with sleeves worn properly (not thrown over the shoulders), and the fermeloto guileki worn on top.

Bride's costume, Attica, c. 1890, Museum of Folk Art, Athens

Life of Petri 1855-1880| An Ottoman Chronolgy

1853: Start of the Crimean War with Russia, which, though won with British, French and Sardinian aid, further demonstrated how backward the Ottoman military had become.
1856: Establishment of a united Romanian autonomous state.

Abdulmecid Ottoman sultan (ruled 1839-1861)
Abdülaziz Ottoman sultan (ruled 1861–76)

Balkan discontent was fanned by nationalist agitation supported by Serbia and by émigré Slav organizations. It culminated in uprisings largely of Christian peasants against Muslim lords in Bosnia and Herzegovina (July 1875) and in Bulgaria (August 1876). Ottoman efforts to suppress the uprisings led to war with Serbia and Montenegro (July 1876) and to attempts by European powers to force Ottoman reforms.
1876 : Occupation of Cyprus by Britain. Perhaps more significant than external changes were the internal political developments that brought about the first Ottoman constitution on Dec. 23, 1876

Mehmed Murad V Ottoman sultan (ruled May 30- August 31 1876).
Abdülhamid II Ottoman sultan (ruled 1876–1909)

(clipping above) Troops from Jerusalem arriving at Stamboul, Constantinople.

1877: Another war with Russia (Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878).
1878: March 3 Treaty of San Stefano - recognition of Romanian and Serbian independence, as well as the establishment of an autonomous Bulgarian principality under nominal Ottoman protection. Austria-Hungary occupies Bosnia by default.
1881: As the Empire celebrates its 600th anniversary, Tunisia becomes a French colony. (December 1881) the Ottoman public debt was reduced from £191,000,000 to £106,000,000, certain revenues were assigned to debt service, and a European-controlled organization, the Ottoman Public Debt Administration (OPDA), was set up to collect the payments.

Palace of Venice, Constantinople

Austro Hungarian Embassy

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tatavla | The Maniots

The inhabitants of Tatavla where Petri found refuge and anonimity were mainly resettled by the Ottomans with the Greeks of Mani region. They worked mostly at the admiralty shipyards of Kasimpasa by Halic/Golden Horn. The region where they came was mountainous and inaccessible hence they historically must have developed sailing skills. Homer's "Catalogue of ships in the Iliad mentions the cities of Mani: Messi, Vitilon (Itilo), Kardamli (or Skardamoula), Enopi, Gerinia, Pefnos, Avia, Githio, Kotronas, etc.

The Maniots (or Maniates; Greek: Μανιάτες)

The Mani Peninsula, also known as Maina, is a region in Greece. The Mani is the central peninsula of the three which extend southwards from the Peloponnese in southern Greece. The name "Mani" is thought to have originally meant "dry" or "treeless." Administratively, The Mani is divided between the districts of Laconia and Messenia. Messenian Maniot surnames almost uniformly end in -eas, whereas Laconian Maniot ones in -akos.

Homer refers to a number of towns in the Mani region. The area was occupied by the Dorians in about 1200 BC, and became a dependency of Sparta. The Mani was self-governing for a time before being absorbed into the Roman Empire in the 2nd century. As the power of the Byzantine Empire declined in the 9th century AD, the fortress of Maini in the south became the area's centre. After the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade in 1204, Italian and French knights (known to the Greeks as Franks), occupied parts of the Peloponnese. In 1249 the Mani was occupied by the Venetians, who made it one of the twelve baronies of the Principality of Moreas and built the fortresses of Mystras, Passavas, Gustema (Beaufort) and Megali Maini.

In 1460 Mystras fell to the Ottomans, but the Mani was not subdued and retained its internal self-government in exchange for an annual tribute. The Maniots continued to bear arms and sporadically refused to pay levies and taxes imposed by the Ottomans. The Maniots survived by becoming pirates. Very ferocious closely-knit clans united by blood evolved. Local chieftains or beys governed Mani on behalf of the Ottomans. As Ottoman power declined, the mountains of the Mani became a stronghold of the kleftes, bandits who also fought against the Ottomans. There is evidence of a sizeable Maniot emigration to Corsica sometime during the Ottoman years. The last bey of Mani, Petros Mavromichalis was among the leaders of the Greek War of Independence. He proclaimed the revolution at Areopoli on 17 March 1821. The Maniots contributed greatly to the struggle, but once Greek independence was won they wanted to retain their local autonomy. During the reign of Ioannis Kapodistrias they violently resisted outside interference. The Mani's local autonomy was abolished in 1870, and the area gradually became a backwater as the inhabitants abandoned the land through emigration.

Etymologically, the name "Maniot" is a diminutive implying "of Mani". Geographically, the peninsula itself is an extension of the Taygetus mountain range. Throughout history, the Maniots have been known by their neighbors and their enemies as fierce warriors, proudly independent, who practice blood feuds – so fierce and savage, in fact, that they have been compared to the Nordic Berserkers. At times they were even referred to as the "super soldiers" of the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and early to mid 19th centuries. Napoleon Bonaparte addressed to them as "Spartan descendants" and Theodoros Kolokotronis (leader of the Greek War of Independence) called them "The Spartans".
Their surnames uniformly end in "-eas" in what is now the Messenian part of Mani, "-akos" in what is now the Laconian part of Mani and the occasional "-oggonas". The Maniot "-akos" is not to be confused with the Cretan "-akis", which was introduced into Mani by the first Cretan refugees who fled Crete once the Ottomans eventually fully occupied Crete in 1669. The Maniot "akos" denotes strength, power andmasculinity as opposed to the Cretan "akis" which denotes weakness, being small, and being effeminate in nature.
During the early modern period, the Maniots were renowned pirates with Oitylo having the nickname Great Algiers. For the most part, the Maniots lived in fortified villages (and "house-towers") where they defended their lands against the Ottomans and even against the armies of William II Villehardouin .Dances Two dances come from Mani: Palio Maniatiko (meaning "Old Maniot") and the Modern Maniatiko. The Palio Maniatiko is only found in Mani and is described as an ancient dance. The Modern Maniatiko is the modern version of the Palio Maniatiko dance and includes certain aspects of the Kalamatiano dance in it. Like the Palio Maniatiko, it is only performed in Mani.

"If any ship come to anchor on their coast, many arm themselves and go to the place, over against where the ship doth ride; some of them will be in priests habits, walking by the sea side, with their wallets, in which they will have some wine and bread. Their companions lye hid behind the bushes at some convenient post. When any strangers come ashore, who do not understand their language, the feigned priests make signes to them, shewing them their bread and wine, which they offer to them for money, by which the strangers being enticed from the sea side (and it may be to sit down and taste their wine) the hidden Manjotts come and make their prey. The priests will seem to be sorry, and endeavor to make the strangers to believe they were altogether ignorant of any such design. So a white flagg is put out, and a treaty held with the ship for their ransome. The priests endeavor to moderate the price, showing a great deal of respect to their companions, who are clothed in Turkish habits. Many ships have been thus served."           Bernard Randolph, Present State of the Morea. 

Part of Maniot culture involved piracy. The Maniots were famous and fearsome pirates whose ships dominated the Maniot coastline. The Maniots became pirates because Mani was not a very fertile land and the Maniots did not have many natural resources. The Maniots considered piracy a legitimate response to the fact that their land was poor, and it became their main source of income.[83] The pirate raids were not stopped by the local priests of the Eastern Orthodox Church, who in fact blessed the ships before they left and sometimes accompanied them on raids. Most of the Maniot pirates came from Messa Mani.[84] The main victims of Maniot pirates were the Ottomans, but the Maniots also targeted ships of powerful European countries. 

The Maniots are a very superstitious people. Maniots mainly believe in witches, demons, vampires, and ghosts. When Henry Herbert, 3rd Earl of Carnarvon, was touring Mani in 1839, he found a fresh egg by the side of the road and offered it to a Maniot soldier who escorted him, who declined the offer claiming that if a hag had enchanted it he would have to marry her. The Maniots thought that certain areas were haunted by demons. 

Another important aspect of Maniot culture were the vendettas which frequently plagued Mani. Usually, the decision to start a vendetta was made at a family gathering. The main aim of a vendetta was usually to wipe out the other family. The families involved locked themselves in their towers and whenever they got the chance murdered members of the opposing family.[86] The other families in the village normally locked themselves in their towers in order not to get in the way of the fighting. 

Some vendettas went on for months, sometimes years. In vendettas, the families could have a truce or treva, if one family needed to attend a religious ceremony or when it was time to harvest the crops. As soon as the treva ended, the killing could resume. Vendettas usually ended when one family was exterminated or when the defeated family left the town. Sometimes families came to terms, and vendettas stopped when the Turks invaded. The longest treva occurred when the Mavromichales declared war on the Turks in 1821. Vendettas continued after the liberation of Greece even though the Regency tried to demolish the towers.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Peruz | 2

Kalkin tayfalar
Gemi yapalar (yalpalar)
Icelim sarap
Olalim harap
Lariccom, trelelli hahahay!


Misirimi kavururken
Dumanini savururken
Ayaklarim yoruluyor
Sokak sokak dolasirken
Bugday misir kitir kitir
Bugday misir citir citir!


Ayna gibi supurgelerim var benim

Canto by Samran Hanim

Canto by Samran Hanim in Rast mode


o-dja-gi-ma in-djir-dique-di
ya-vouk-li-gim beni-ter-quith-di
dewrth-sene-lique e-meque-le-rim
ey-vah bo-chou-na-mi ghit-di

Ocagima incir dikti
Yavuklugum beni terk etti
Dort senelik emeklerim
Eyvah bosuna mi gitti

Paralarimi hep yedi
Ben seni istemem dedi
Dun ben burada yok iken
Asirdi sandigi sepeti

Samran Kelleciyan Hanim (1870 Istanbul- March 14,1955 Istanbul)

Educated at Surp Lusavorcyan. After his divorce in 1895 found herself on stage with the support of her cousin Peruz and became one of the most famous Canto singers of Istanbul (1900-1925). married to Aleksan Hagopyan (1909). She also performed at the theaters of Sevki bey and Kel Hasan Companies and with Nasit Ozcan until 1935. She composed solos, duettos and cantos.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Patriarchs of Constantinople

Patriarchs of Constantinople during the life of Petri 1855-1880

Anthimus VI (1845-1848, 1853-1855, 1871-1873)
Cyril VII (1855-1860)
Joachim II (1860-1863, 1873-1878)
Sophronius III (1863-1866)
Joachim III (1878-1884, 1901-1912)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Basil Zaharoff of Tatavla

Petri was living on the fringes of Tatavla. The early life of Zaharoff gives a good indication of the opprtunistic life style and street smarts of the time.

Sir Basil Zaharoff, originally Zacharias Basileios, (1849, Muğla, Turkey - 1936, Monte Carlo, Monaco) was a Greek-Russian arms trader and financier, the director and chairman of the Vickers-Armstrong munitions firm during the World War I. It was said that he fuelled conflicts in order to sell weapons to both sides.
Early life
Basil was from a Greek family in Constantinople. The name Zaharoff was adopted when the family was in exile in Russia as a result of the anti-Greek Easter pogroms (1)of 1821. The family returned to Turkey in the 1840s and lived in the Anatolian town of Muğla. By 1855 the family was back in Constantinople where they lived in the poor quarter of Tatavla where Basil was a street kid.

Little Basil’s first job was as a guide for the tourists to the Galata, or prostitution district of Constantinople, helping his clients to find the forbidden pleasures that went beyond the bounds of normal prostitution. He was then to become a fireman. The 19th century firemen of Constantinople were not at all effective at extinguishing fires, but were quite effective at rescuing the treasures of the rich for a healthy commission. Many also engaged in protection rackets and outright robbery.

Basil then took on the job of a money changer. In this career there is an unverified accusation that he would pass counterfeit currency to tourists who would not notice until they were safely on a boat steaming away from Constantinople

(1) A pogrom (from Russian: meaning "wreaking of havoc") is a massive violent attack on a particular ethnic or religious group with simultaneous destruction of their environment (homes, businesses, religious centers). The term has historically been used to denote massive acts of violence, either spontaneous or premated, against Jews, but has been applied to similar incidents against other minority groups. Massive violent attacks against Jews date back at least to the Crusades or earlier, but the first pogrom is often considered to be the 1821 anti-Jewish riots in Odessa after the death of the Greek patriarch in Constantinople, in which 14 Jews were killed. St Gregory V, Archbishop of Constantinople, occupied the Patriarchal throne three times (1797-1799, 1806-1808, 1819-1821 AD). On the day of Holy Pascha, April 10, 1821 AD, St Gregory was hanged before the doors of the Patriarchate. Those doors have remained shut since that day. After three days, the Saint's body was sold to a Jewish mob, who dragged his body through the streets, then threw it into the sea.

Sait Faik | A Hilly Road to Dolapdere

Petri lived in a shack in Dolapdere's Bostan Neigborhood.

"Bir tarafında randevu evlerinin, öte tarafta umumi evlerin kaynaştığı bölge...Karidesçiler, elektrik amelesi, ekmekçi, sirkeci, marangoz çırağı, garson, berber, akordeoncu, kitaracı, bar artisti, revü figüranı, terzi çırağı gibi esnafın birbiri üzerine yığıldığı yokuşta, birbirine karışmış her din ve mezhep, Türk, Rus, Ermeni, Rum,Nasturi, Arap, Çingene, Fransız,Katolik, Levanten, Hırvat, Sırp, Bulgar, Acem, Efganlı, Çinli, Tatar,Yahudi, İtalyan, Maltız, daha her türlü milletin birbirine karıştığı bu garip mahalleden sel yatağına her akşam küçük figüran kızlar iner. Onların ve terzi kızların arkasından berber çırakları yürür; berber çıraklarının arkasına da burma bıyıklı bir Arnavut takılır."

Sait Faik Abasıyanık (18 November 1906 - 11 May 1954) was one of the greatest Turkish writers of short stories and poetry.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Petri on Kathara Deftera Day

The day after Tyrofagis Sunday is Kathara Deftera (ΚΑΘΑΡΑ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ) which in Greek means "Clean Monday", and its the 1st day of Lent. End of February beginning of March. A first Monday for sure, not only the residents of Tatavla (1) but denizens of other neigborhoods (2) enjoys life at the bars like Ararat, Panoroma, Akrapolis, Paris, Lemonia. And Petri was hiding in Bostan District in a garden shack in half ruins. Did he don a mask and joined the crowds? Was Tahta Kilise/ Wood Church standing nearby? Church of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, at Tatavla foothils is not yet built in its place at the parish of the Virgin Evangelistria Propodon.

On this Shrove Monday (Kathara Deftera) He is alone and can only dream the flatbread (lagana), the kite, the olives, the fasolada and tarama salad…Picture of Peruz dimly lit by a window sill. Dragoman still waiting for him at a Kalyoncu Kulluğu dive? In love. Drunk?.. and suddenly a joyful Laterna music was heard...

Karoçeri Trava, na pame sta Tatavla
Posa Talira yirevis, ya na pas ke na mas feris!
Büyükdere ke Therapia; Tatavla ke Nihori
Afta ta tessara horia, pu stolizune tin poli

Carriage driver, take us to Tatavla
How many bills of five you need to take us there
Büyükdere and Tarabya; Tatavla and Yeniköy
Four places that make this city (İstanbul) real nice

Çek arabacı Tatavla'ya gidelim
Bizi oraya götürmek için kaç beşlik istersin
Büyükdere ve Tarabya; Tatavla ve Yeniköy
İstanbul'u güzelleştiren işte bu dört köy.

(1) Tatavla, area known in Byzantine times as the Tabula which means "horse stable" in Greek, is a cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Şişli today called Kurtulus whose population consists of Turks, Albanians, Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds, Jews and Alevis. It was originally built as a residential area reserved for Ottoman citizens of Greek descent. First settled by Greeks from the Mani who worked in the Imperial Ottoman dockyards of Kasımpaşa. To the Greek visitor it aroused similar and even stronger emotions than the Rio dei Greci in Venice and the Griechengasse in Vienna. Till the mid 18th century Tatavla was one of the most distinctly working-class neighbourhoods - a legendary neighbourhood nonetheless, known indeed as 'legendary Tatavla'. It was remarkable for its dashing young men (Bishop Pamphilos Melissinos dubbed them "spirited and mettlesome "), young men who would not hesitate to take on the gendarmes who overstepped the bounds and became excessively oppressive, and for the efficiency of their volunteer fire-fighters and renowned housewives: 'a Tatavlian housewife' was high praise for the mistress of a house.

(2) Şakakları zülüflü, beli kuşaklı, bol paçalı Tatavla, Yenişehir, Papasköprüsü palikaryaları; pabuç kaşlı, gaga burunlu, pos bıyıklı Feridiye, Elmadağı, Pangaltı ahbarları; vapur dumanı fesli, göğsü çapraz camadanlı, yumurta ökçe şıpıdıklı tulumba reisleri; fiyakalı omuzdaşlar; saltalı, poturlu esnaf; frenk gömlekli, kravatlı kalem katipleri; kürklü yakalı, altın saat köstekli mirasyedi beyler; sırma kordonlu, çifter çifter madalyalı bıçkın hünkâr yaverleri..

SERMET MUHTAR ALUS Source: (İstanbul Yazıları, İBBKİDBY, 1994 / 19 Şubat 1944)

See also:
Greek Archives, Vol. 9: Constantinople in Old Recordings
Guardians of Hellenism, Vol. 5 This album has a good mix of popular music styles from Constantinople and its environs dating to the 18th and 19th century.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Istanbul Ansiklopedisi by Resat Ekrem Kocu

This is the cover of the issue where Petri the Knife, Galata Canavari article appears

First Edition 1944 - 1951 (Larger format and better quality paper)
About 4 Volumes 1088 pages
Aba -Bahadir Sokagi
last issue Number 34
Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu

Second Edition
(issue information corrected and updated Dec 27,2006)
Volume 1
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1958
Issues 1-16 pages 1-576 Aba - Alafranga

Volume 2
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1959
Issues 17-32 pages 577-1152 Alageyik Sokagi - Asik Efendi

Volume 3
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1960
Issues 33-48 pages 1153-1732 Asiret Mektebi - Baba

Volume 4
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1960
Issues 49-64 pages 1733-2308 Baba - Bayrampasa Medresesi

Volume 5
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1961
Issues 65-80 pages 2309-2884 Bayrampasa - Bogazici

Volume 6
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1963
Issues 81-96 pages 2885-3469 (3470 blank) Bogazicinde iskele Kayik ve Sandallari - Cemil Bey

Volume 7
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1965
Issues 96-112 pages 3471-4036 Cemil Bey - Ciroz

Volume 8
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1966
Issues 113-128 pages 4037-4609 Ciroz - Dis

Volume 9
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, 1968
Issues 129-144 pages 4613-5188 Disci - Eristeci

Volume 10
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Yaylacik Matbaasi, 1968
Issues 145-160 pages 5189-5760 Eritmek - Firinlar

Volume 11
Istanbul Ansiklopedisi Ed. Resat Ekrem Kocu Tan Matbaasi, Milli Egitim Matbaasi, 1971
(begins with issue 161) pages 5771-7076 7000 -7076 pagination error Firin - Gokcinar

Reşat Ekrem KOÇU | Monster of Galata

Reşat Ekrem KOÇU serailaized the story of Petri the Knife the Monster of Galata. I have not seen this and I am trying to locate clippings or microfilms. There is an abridged version from Istanbul Ansiklopedisi that was the basis of "Costak, the Movie"

Historian, novel and storywriter (b. 1905, İstanbul - d. 7 July 1975). He was a graduate of Bursa High School (1927), İstanbul University, Faculty of Literature (1931). He taught history at İstanbul Kuleli Military High School, Pertevniyal and Vefa High Schools.

He is known for his research in the field of history. His columns and interviews about history were published in journals and reviews. He died before he completed the encyclopedia İstanbul Ansiklopedisi (İstanbul Encyclopedia, 1944-51, 1958-71, 11 volumes).

He was writing in the journal Tercüman before he died. He is buried in Sahrayı Cedit Graveyard. Doğan Publishing House started reprinting his works in 2002.


POETRY: Acı Su (Bitter Water, 1965).

HISTORICAL SHORT STORY-NOVEL: Çocuklar (Children, 1930), Forsa Halil (Forsa Halil, 1962), Haşmetli Yosmalar (Regal Pretty Women, 1963), Erkek Kızlar (Male Girls, 1962), Patrona Halil (Patrona Halil, 1963), Kabakçı Mustafa (Kabakçı Mustafa, 1968), Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Fatih Sultan Mehmet, 1975), Haydut Aşkları (Bandit Loves, 1981), Kızlar Ağası Piçi (The Bastard of The Black Chief Eunuch in the Sultan’s Harem, 2002).

RESEARCH-PAPERS: Eski İstanbul'da Meyhaneler ve Meyhane Köçekleri (Bars and the Bar Dancers in Old İstanbul, 1947), Osmanlı Padişahları (The Ottoman Sultans, 1960), Hatıralar (Memories, with some chapters from Aşçı İbrahim Dede’s periodical and M. A. Akbay, 1960), Dağ Padişahları (Mountain Sultans, rebellions in the Ottoman history, 1962), Yeniçeriler (The Janissary Corps, 1964), Türk Giyim Kuşam ve Süslenme Sözlüğü (Dictionary of Turkish Clothes, Finery and Adornment, 1969), Yangın Var (Fire! - The Firemen of the Old İstanbul, 1981), Tarihte İstanbul Esnafı (İstanbul Tradesmen in History, 2002), Aşk Yolunda İstanbul'da Neler Olmuş (What Happened for Love in İstanbul, 2002), Köşem Sultan (Köşem Sultan, 2002).

Sunday, May 21, 2006

1891 | Plan de Galata

This plan gives a good idea of the streets of Galata and its environs during Petri's times.
Plan de Galata de l'Annuaire Oriental au 1/4000ème, dessiné par l'ingénieur Godeffroy (1891)

(click on image to enlarge)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Levirentos of Galata

Petri worked as a server in similar Galata meyhane/wine pub.

Mavi Boncuk |
From left Barbo(owner), ahci (cook), tezgahdar (counter help/bar tender), saki padimu or mugbace (server) and kocek (dancer). Wine barrels at he back. Samiha Ayverdi sketch drawing.
(source: Istanbul Ansiklopedisi)

Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese: from barbo ‘barbel’ (the fish), hence a metonymic occupational name for a fisherman or possibly pub owner since fishermen opened these original pubs to begin with.

Source: Istanbul Ansiklopedisi | istanbul Encyclopedia | Kocu Publication (1972) Issue 165 Volume 11 | pages 5888-5892 | item written by Husnu Kinayli |

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

1876 | Sisam

1876 | Perti found a short period of refuge there

Samos Greek Σάμος; Turkish Sisam

Mt. Athos

Detailed map of Mt. Athos where Perti found refuge with the fishermen.
(Detail from Map)The Balkans. Entitled Turkey and Greece, this map by Edward Weller, Issued by Blackie & Son about 1875

Mt Athos/Ayranoz is an island famous with its monastery established during the period of the Ottoman Empire on cliffs near Greece. This place, which the Orthodox women cannot enter even today, represents Christianity with its a thousand-year old history. 'Mara Hatun', the mother of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, sends a message to the priest of Ayronaz when Fatih is the shahzade. She says that the shahzade is indulgent for other religions and it is good to ask for intercession in advance. Thereupon, the priest visits Fatih and asks for intercession. 'Hz Ömer used to send firmans (imperial order), by sealing the print of his own hand, to the cities he conquered when he spread Islam and make promises that their rights would not be interfered. Fatih Sultan Mehmet also sends a firman with a seal of Hz Ömer’s hand to Ayranoz after he conquered Istanbul. Today, there are many Ottoman artworks in Ayranoz, along with this firman.

Santa Maura and Cephalonia

Detailed map of Petri's home. Island of Ayamavri and Lefteri Kaptan's Kefalonya

Santa Maura/Leukadia and Cephalonia(Detail from Map)The Balkans. Entitled Turkey and Greece, includes the provinces of Roumania, Servia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Montenegro, as well as Moldavia, Roumelia and Greece. Map by Edward Weller. Issued by Blackie & Son about 1875.

formerly Levkás (both: lfkäs´)or Leucas (l´ks), mountainous island (1991 pop. 19,350), c.115 sq mi (300 sq km), W Greece, in the Ionian Sea; one of the Ionian Islands. Lefkás (1991 pop. 6,344), the chief town and the capital of Lefkás prefecture, is at the northern end of the island. Olive oil, currants, wine, and tobacco are produced. The island was colonized (7th cent. B.C.) by Corinthians, and Corinth and Lefkás were allies in the Peloponnesian War. Lefkás later was the capital of the Acarnanian League (3d cent. B.C.). The island was captured (1697) from the Ottoman Turks by Venice, which held it until 1797. There are ruins of Cyclopean walls and a temple to Apollo Leukates. Sappho is said, probably falsely, to have committed suicide by plunging into the sea from a cliff of the island. Lefkás is also known as Santa Maura.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Eight Murders of Costak

Since Costak is a fictional story based on Petri the Blade all events were re-structured, re-arranged and murders do not replicate the descriptions of real life police reports of 1880's.

Costak Basic Structure (90 min. Breakdown of events)

Opening Titles Dipsamena, Dipsamena Petri's Tavern Song (01:45)

Part I (45 min.) "I die everyday"

1880 Petri's death in a Galata cul-de-sac (05:00)
MURDER 1 Kefalonians get their man Blood Feud
Today Dishwasher kills a man and jumps to his death from the police station (08:00)
MURDER 2 hotel kitchen Innuendo
1865 A Mother's Love (01:00)
1865 Daskalos rapes Petri (07:00)
Today Curator is trying to get the slippers from the dishwashers apartment (03:00)
1870 Petri's first murder (06:00)
MURDER 3 Aya Mavri Kafeneion Escape

Part II (45 min.) "My name is Petri "
Today Curator talks to shoemaker in Istanbul (05:00)
Life at Sea With Lefteri Kaptan (15:00)
MURDER 4 LEFTERI KAPTAN at Hotel de Marseille Money
Life of Petri The Monster of Galata (28:00)
MURDER 5 Policeman on Cadde-i Kebir Rebel
MURDER 6 Dragoman in Galata Mercy "This my love will end your pain"
MURDER 7 Eshter on the ship Escape from a Lover
MURDER 8 Sailor at the Pirincci Music Hall and Gazino Jealousy
Today Curator finishes the notes (02:00)
1865 A Mother's Love (07:00) "I will live forever"
End Credits (01:15)

Ten Songs for Costak

Opening Titles Dipsamena, Dipsamena
Song 1 Petri's Tavern Song (01:45)

Part I (45 min.) I die everyday Songs 2/3/4/5
1880 Petri's death in a Galata cul-de-sac (05:00)
Song 2 Istanbul Laterna
Today Dishwasher kills a man and jumps to his death from the police station (08:00)
1865 A Mother's Love (01:00)
Song 3 Costak Theme
1865 Daskalos rapes Petri (07:00)
Song 4 Island Song from Ionian Seas 1
Today Curator is trying to get the slippers from the dishwashers apartment (03:00)
1870 Petri's first murder (06:00)
Song 5 Tavern Song 1

Part II (45 min.) My name is Petri Songs 6/7/8/9/10
Today Curator talks to shoemaker in Istanbul (05:00)
Life at Sea With Lefteri Kaptan (15:00)
Song 6 Island Song from Ionian Seas 2
Life of Petri The Monster of Galata (28:00)
Song 7 Sea Songs of Catania Trieste Beirut
Song 8 Mt. Athos | Songs of Greek Fishermen
Song 9 Black Sea | Kanto
Song 10 Tavern Song 2
Today Curator finishes the notes (02:00)
1865 A Mother's Love (07:00)
Song 3 Costak Theme
End Credits (01:15)
Song 1 Dipsamena, Dipsamena
Petri's Tavern Song (0:45)
Song 3 Costak Theme (0:30)

Costak | Basic Structure for 90 Minutes Cut

Costak Basic Structure (90 min. breakdown of events)

Opening Titles Dipsamena, Dipsamena Petri's Tavern Song (01:45) Song 1

Part I (45 min.) I die everyday Songs 2/3/4/5
1880 Petri's death in a Galata cul-de-sac (05:00)
Today Dishwasher kills a man and jumps to his death from the police station (08:00)
1865 A Mother's Love (01:00)
1865 Daskalos rapes Petri (07:00)
Today Curator is trying to get the slippers from the dishwashers apartment (03:00)
1870 Petri's first murder (06:00)

Part II (45 min.) My name is Petri Songs 6/7/8/9/10
Today Curator talks to shoemaker in Istanbul (05:00)
Life at Sea With Lefteri Kaptan (15:00)
Life of Petri The Monster of Galata (28:00)
Today Curator finishes the notes (02:00)
1865 A Mother's Love (07:00)

End Credits (01:15)

May 2006 Chantilly

A Marine Chart for Petri

These are some of the locations Petri sailed in the Mediterannean. I do not know if Lefteri Kaptan used a similar map.

Kephalas. [Nautical map of the eastern Mediterranean], in Greek. Paris: Nikolaos Kefalas, 1818. 1 map. 97 x 66,5 cm. with 2 insets: Dardanelles hydrographic maps. This is the first chart to be constructed by the sea captain and adventurer Nikolaos Kephalas.

Between the 14th and early 17th centuries, portolan (or pilot-book) charts provided the main navigational aids between the seaports of the world. The term portolan (from the Italian 'portolano') refers to written sailing directions for seafarers. By networks of lines indicating the direction of one port from another, navigators were able to set their necessary courses. From such works, accumulated over generations, the first marine charts were drawn.

Genoese World Map (1457) [a portolano, or sea-chart, with scale bar]

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sappho's Tragic End

Not only Petri but Sappho had a tragedy connected with Lefkada.

(Left) Sappho at Leucate by, Antoine-Jean Gros (b. 1771, Paris, d. 1835, Meudon) 1801 Oil on canvas, 122 x 100 cm Musée Baron Gérard, Bayeux

The young Gros moved his Salon audience in 1801, with his unearthly Sappho at Leucate, in which the poetess, in agonies of rejection, casts herself into the sea. Touched by the moonlight shimmering through her transparent veil, Sappho seems poised between two worlds; behind her on the cliffs stands a sacrificial altar.

Lefkada, or Leucas (Greek: Modern: Λευκάδα, Ancient/Katharevousa: -as) is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, connected to the mainland by a long causeway and floating bridge, as well as the island's capital city.

Sappho, an artistic notion of the Greek poet by Charles-August Mengin (1877).

The myth about Sappho's suicide at Cape Lefkatas is related to other myths linking the island to the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and to Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey. The German archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld proposed the theory that the island of Nidri off the southwest coast of Lefkada was the real historical Ithaca, home of Odysseus.

Sappho was born into an aristocratic family, which is reflected in the sophistication of her language and the sometimes rarified environments which her verses record. References to dances, festivals, religious rites, military fleets, parading armies, generals, and ladies of the ancient courts abound in her writings. She speaks of time spent in Lydia, one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries of that time. More specifically, Sappho speaks of her friends and happy times among the ladies of Sardis, capital of Lydia, once the home of Croesus and near the gold-rich lands of King Midas.

A violent coup on Lesbos, following a rebellion led by Pittacus, toppled the ruling families from power. For many years, Sappho and other members of the aristocracy, including fellow poet Alcaeus, were exiled. Her poetry speaks bitterly of the mistreatment she suffered during those years. Much of her exile was spent in Syracuse on the island of Sicily.

Got Costak?

Costak as a word and as a name has no meaning. Maybe it sounds a bit like Constantine (in Greek Kostak). We do not want you to have any concrete ideas about the film based on it's name. We want it to be as if it is an untitled work, a nameless piece. However as a feature film "untitled" did not sound right. We feel it has the right sound and musicality by itself if we called it "costak" and if you really force us to come up with anything... we think it is about a certain feeling of love and loss unique to Levantine ports and sleepless nights wasted on whatever passion one has. If you know what this state of mind is ... you have "Costak".


The film interweaves story of Petri the Knifer (Blade), with a police investigation of a murder suicide of an immigrant dishwasher in an unnamed North American city and a curator that is in preparation for an exhibit at a shoe museum. One of the items he is researching is a sipidik, a slipper style backless street shoe, that ruffians wear during Petri's times.

The byline of Costak the movie at the time of pre-production tells it all:
"Costak...10 songs, 8 murders and a pair of slippers..."

Costak, the movie is based on Petri. GALATA CANAVARI BICAKCI PETRI | PETRI THE KNIFE, GALATA MONSTER . Source: Istanbul Ansiklopedisi | istanbul Encyclopedia | Kocu Publication (1972) Issue 165 Volume 11 | pages 5888-5892 | item written by Husnu Kinayli |

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Petri as a "Zenane" of Lefteri Kaptan

Sabiha Bozcali drawing for R.E.Kocu's serialized but unpublished in book form novel "Galata Canavari Bicakci Petri / Galata Monster Petri the Knife" showing Lefteri Kaptan, his crew and Petri on the far right Petri as a "Gemi Zenanesi/male lover on boat".(Below) Dancing Köçek with a tambourine.Photograph,late 19th c. Private collection.

Zenane (from Zenne) man acting in a woman's role (in a dress or with sexual behavior). In the Ottoman tradition of zenne (boys dressed up as women who sing and dance to entertain others. The köçek phenomenon is considered to be one of the most significant symbols of Ottoman Empire culture. The köçek was typically a very handsome young male rakkas, "dancer," usually dressed in feminine attire, employed as an entertainer and sex worker. Similarly derived from the Persian kuchak, "little," "small," or "young, "The köçeks (plural köçekler in Turkish) were usually children of non-Muslim peoples living under Ottoman rule. Their ranks were filled from the ethnic groups colonized by the Turks (such as the Albanians, Circassians, Balkan Slavs, Armenians, Jews, Roma, Moldavians and Greeks) since the profession was held to be below the dignity of a Muslim and thus forbidden to Muslim boys.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Peruz Terzekyan | Kanto Singer

Peruz Terzekyan...Dates do fit. Could she be the "Little Peruz", a singer of cantos and a love interest of Petri.

1876 He fell in love with the bordello owner Kaloferiya's 12-13 year old daughter Peruz. He gave a valuable jewel from Lefteri Kaptan's belt to her mother, took the young girl to his Dolapdere shack and raped. Later he had her picture taken at a potrait studio. (unknown location, possibly a Pera Studio. The photo was lost.)

1880 Upon hearing rumors of a new singer named Peruz in Galata casinos, Petri with fishermen buddies from Kalikratya decided to check if she was his Little Peruz. indeed she was. Petri killed a sailor named Ahmet when he found the unlucky suitor in an amourous embrace with Peruz at the bar of Avrupa Tiyatrosu in Galata. Peruz escaped. So did Petri. Possibly police found a pair of slippers at the crime scene.

Peruz Terzekyan (b. Sivas 1866?- d. .....Istanbul) , the Kanto Singer

Started singing cantos in 1880 ies when she was almost 14. She composed her songs and was also the lyricist. Her stage life lasted until 1912. Her songs were published as "Nese-i dil ". Peruz was a pioneer with Şamiram, Baydzar, Büyük Amelya, Küçük Eleni, Virjin Avantiya, Mari Ferha and Agavni all non-muslim (mostly Armenian) canto singers.

Peruz was also credited as a lead in 1919 silent short " Fahri Bey Makarna Tenceresinde/Mr. Fahri in Pasta Pot" by Ismet Fahri Gulunc. Rusen Hakki and Gulunc himself were other actors. Gulunc directed another short film of the same year "Tombul Asigin Dört Sevgilisi/Four Darlings of Plump Lover" . The film was not completed de to a legel dispute and there were no credit records for Peruz. However we know that Peruz was really a plump woman at her youth and could be the women in this film also.

See also:


During the times of Petri there were no piers in Galata. Only in in 1879, the construction of modern piers began.

Throughout history, the Golden Horn has been the harbor of İstanbul. During the Byzantine period, piers constructed along the shores of the Golden Horn provided links to other commercial centers within the city. In subsequent periods, the Latin colonies constructed their own piers at Galata. When the Genoese began using these piers in the 13th century for trade, İstanbul became an international maritime port.

In the 17th century, Tophane was the primary port of call for foreign vessels from Europe. Then, every maritime agent had his own buoy and team of boatmen. Passengers and cargo were transported to and from the shore on caiques. But as maritime traffic got heavier and the number of passengers arriving at Istanbul increased, the need for modern piers grew. In order to satisfy this need, in 1879, the construction of modern piers began.

1891 saw the establishment of the Ottoman Pier, Warf and Warehousing Company of Constantinople with the financial support of Dupracy and Credit Lyonnais. In October 1895, the 785-meter long pier between Tophane and Karaköy was completed.

Pirinççi Music Hall / Gazino

1978 | After the murder (Murder #4) in Labanon, Petri left on Captain Humberto's italian ship as a sailor. On a trip from Selanik he met Esther (Star/Yildiz) a jewish singer on her way to Pirinççi Music hall in Galata. She became his lover (kept woman) in istanbul.

Pirinççi Gazinosu | KEMANÎ TATYOS EFENDİ (1858-1913) performed with musicians like Hanende Karakaş, Tanburî Ovakim and Kanunî Şemsi at Galata's Pirinççi Gazinosu. At the beginning of the twentieth century, in the waning days of the era of modern reforms in the Ottoman Empire (1808-1918), gazino customers were Turkish intellectuals and non-Muslims of the Beyoglu district of Istanbul.

See: Article by Münir Nurettin Beken "Aesthetics and Artistic Criticism at the Turkish Gazino"

The history of the word casino reveals a transformation from a cottage to a gambling palace. The source of our word, Italian casino, is a diminutive of casa, “house.” The term originally meant a small villa, summerhouse or pavilion built for pleasure, usually on the grounds of a larger Italian villa or palazzo. There are examples of such casinos at Villa Giulia and Villa Farnese. Central to the transformation is the development of the senses of casino in Italian. The word then came to be used for a social gathering place, a room or building where one could dance, listen to music, and gamble. This last pastime seems to have gained precedence over the others, at least as far as the development of the word is concerned, and casino took on the meaning “gambling establishment.” These senses of the Italian word have all been borrowed into English, the sense “social gathering place” being recorded first in the 18th century, the sense “gambling establishment” first in 1851.

Poetry by R.E. Kocu

Bitter Water / Aci Su (Kocu publications, 1965)

Aci Su

gün ışığı değmemiş denize,
altımızda çakıl, kum,
üstümüzde acı su,
omuzlarımıza kadar örten,
topuklarımıza kadar çekilen
acı su,
bizi kıskanmayan büyük acı su.

from Külhan Türküleri


gönlüm tüyleri boz, gözleri al
dağlar üstünden uçan bir kartal.
yaylalarda güheylan istiyorum:
seni istiyorum

gönlüm bir yarasa, gözleri kan
kanadı mehtap, sesi kehkeşan.
bilmem ki canım, ateş mi, kül mü istiyorum,
bilmem taranmış baş mı, perişan kakül mü istiyorum,
seni istiyorum

gönlüm yol kesen asker kaçağı,
belinde öndördünde bir ceylan bıçağı...
beni öldürecek candarma, kurşun istiyorum,
bağrıma bir bıçak da bu güzel vursun istiyorum:
seni istiyorum.


Illustrator of the Galata Canavari/Monster of Galata, article on Petri the Knifer in R. E. Kocu's Istanbul Encyclopedia

SABiHA RÜŞTÜ BOZCALI (b. istanbul 1903- d. Istanbul 1987)

Sabiha Rüştü was the daughter of Rüştü Pasha and the granddaughter of Memduh Pasha, a former Minister of the Interior. She was born in Istanbul. In those days girls never went to school, normally receiving their education from private tutors, but with the help of her uncle. Sabiha Rüştü managed to go to Italy and study to Rome, making copies of the works in the Vatican collection in order to be able to afford lessons from a famous teacher. During the Armistice period after the end of the First World War she worked in the Haiman studio in Berlin, and then studied for three year in the Munich Academy. She also worked for a year together with Namık İsmail in the Corinth studio. She contributed works to the Galatasaray exhibitions of 1922 and 1923, but these consisted entirely of sketches. She revealed herself as having a fine command of line in the style of the Western masters. “Design is the basis of all painting”.

After her return from Europe she spent the years 1926-1928 continuing to paint in her old friend Namık Ismail’s studio in the Academy of Fine Arts. At the same time she regularly contributed works to the annual exhibitions in the Galatasaray Lycee. Many years passed by in this way. As a painter she gave great importance to mirroring truth and reality in everything she painted. She visited Paris and Rome, and in 1931 she worked in Paris with the pointillist painter Paul Signac. During her three years stay in Paris she painted portraits of Signac’s wife and daughter. She was particularly successful in three types of painting: landscapes, flowers and portraits. She converted the stable of her villa at Kireçburnu into a studio and produced very large-scale paintings there. In 1 947-1949 she worked in Rome with Severini, Massimo Cam pigli, De Pisis and the founder of modern Italian painting, De Chirico.

Sabiha Bozcalı, was at the same time a highly accomplished illustrator, and for twenty-five years she contributed illustrations to the newspapers. She also illustrated works such as Nezihe Araz’s Anatolian Saints (Anadolu Evliyaları), and Yunus Emre, and made a number of designs and sketches for the Istanbul Encyclopedia edited by Reşat Ekrem Koçu.

Lloyd Austriaco /Triestino

1875 | Petri worked as a stoker for an Austrian shipping company. (Galicya Vapuru ?) there are two ships owned by Austrian Lloyd with similar names. Only one matches in date
Galatea built 1871 in service until 1908. 1,352 tons
Galicia built 1902 in 1919 transferred to Lloyd Triestino, Trieste. 2,836 tons

Lloyd Triestino was founded as Austrian Lloyd in 1836 and became one of the World's biggest shipping companies by managing most oversea trade and passenger travel of Austria-Hungary until 1918. The Austrian Lloyd was running regular services from Trieste to the Near East, India, China and the Far East, Brazil the USA and Northern Europe. It also was the first to use steam ships.

Lloyd Triestino was formed in 1919 as the successor to Lloyd Austriaco following the incorporation of Trieste into the Kingdom of Italy on January 3rd 1919. Lloyd Triestino or Triestian Lloyd is a shipping company based in Trieste, Italy.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Laterna of Istanbul

It is quite possible that laterna music will be included in Costak | Sources CD and will influence the soundtrack of the film.

Istanbul Laternasi: nostalgic music from the old times

According to author Cemal Unlu, the laterna traveled from Turkey to Greece in 1923. Some excerpts (edited and condensed):

The laterna, a mechanical instrument which repeated programmed melodies, first appeared in Istanbul at the end of the 19th century. This type consisted of the laterna and a "civili laterna" (laterna with pins). The civili laterna was a model developed by the Swiss Aristide Janivier in 1776.

A Leventine [one born in an eastern Mediterranean land] by the name of Guiseppe Turconi began to sell laternas which he imported from Italy to his shop in Istanbul. Naturally these laternas were programmed to play Italian melodies and waltzes. Most of the laterna masters were primarily Istanbulites who migrated to Greece after the population exchange of 1923. (Fearing Turkish reprisals, an estimated 50,000 Greeks fled Istanbul following the Asia Minor Campaign of 1919 and the Greek destruction of Turkish Smyrna (Izmir) in 1922. The Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 caused even more Greeks to flee, even though Istanbul was specifically exempt from the population exchange.) In taverns in the countryside and in Greek religious festivals, the laterna constituted the mainstay of musical entertainment, replacing performances by live musical ensembles.

In Pire, Istanbul-born Nikos Armaos dedicated his life to this instrument and was probably the greatest master of all time. Thus the Istanbul laterna came to life again in Athens, Greece. Nikos Armaos organized, collected and made new arrangements of many zeybek and kasap melodies. He added some "2,000 works, of which the majority were his own compositions that were not drawn from songs", by attaching pins. Nikos Armaos was recorded on two LP records in Greece; he died in Athens in May 1979 at the age of 90.

Label reads: Giuseppe Turconi Fabricante Pianoforti Ed Cilindro 1900

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Petri...a Greek Pirate

Petri pobably was a Greek Pirate on the ship of Lefteri Kaptan.The Latin term pirata -- from which the English "pirate" is derived -- derives ultimately from the Greek for "to attempt."

Pirates of Greece

The coves and small islands of Greece have long sheltered enterprising shipowners who preyed on the unwary. Sometimes, the unwary was the enemy, and the pirates became national heroes. Ship flags that once inspired fear instead inspired hope. Piracy knew no gender barriers - Spetses' Laskarina Bouboulina is a famous, and now revered, pirate turned freedom fighter. And the hopeful still search the island of Skopelos for Adrina's pirate treasure while staying at the hotel of the same name.

Often, the victim of Greek pirates was another Greek island. Paros suffered greatly from pirate attacks. Skiathos built fortresses to deter them, but still endured their depredations. On Corfu, the pirate attacks forced the inhabitants to seek Roman help, and so established the first Greek foothold for the Romans.

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Later, pirates abducted a young Pelekas bride on her wedding day. Legend says her mother cursed the pirates, who turned into stones still visible offshore. The bride turned to stone along with them, the result of some unfortunate phrasing on the part of her mother. On the mainland near Thessaloniki, the village of Pefkohori appears to have recovered nicely from being destroyed by pirates in 1805.

Some islands became known as pirate lairs. The fortress built by one Genoese pirate Pascatore still stands at Ierapetra on Crete. Saracen pirates earlier made a base out of the interesting small island of Gavdos, where the inhabitants had to cultivate their fields secretly to avoid the enemy. Monasteries chose their locations carefully, always aware that the convenient ports and bays of small islands would be equally convenient for pirates on the attack. Want to find a monastery? Look up, as at Patmos, where hillsides made defense a little easier for the religious recluses. The threat of invasion from the sea made its mark on the architecture of the islands. Narrow pathways and twisting, winding streets were a practical deterrent to attack.

Monday, May 01, 2006


CARAVEL: from the Greek karabos or Arabic qârib

The caravel (also spelled carvel) is a light sailing ship that that was developed by the Portuguese in the late 1400's, and was used for the next 300 years. The Portuguese developed this ship to help them explore the African coast.
The caravel was an improvement on older ships because it could sail very fast and also sail well into the wind (windward). Caravel planking on the hull replaced thinner, less effective planking. Caravels were broad-beamed ships that had 2 or 3 masts with square sails and a triangular sail (called a lanteen). They were up to about 65 feet long and could carry roughly 130 tons of cargo. Caravels were smaller and lighter than the later Spanish galleons (developed in the 1500's).

Two of Christopher Columbus' three ships were caravels (the Niña and the Pinta).

Source: Henry C. Murphy. The Voyage of Verrazzano: A Chapter in the Early History of Maritime Discovery in America. New York: 1875. Memorial University of Newfoundland & Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

1900 | Fire Brigade

1900 | Fire Brigade | Tulumbaci(s) | Pompiers courand a l'incendie

This picture gives a good idea to certain dress codes of the time and some members wear a certain backless street shoe "yemeni / sipidik / slipper" that Petri must have used.

At the time Istanbul had no fire brigade. What it did have were tulumbaci, who would run to the scene of the fire carrying water pumps on their backs, more of a competitive sport than a public service. Each neighbourhood had its own team of firefighters. They were young men, good-looking, fast runners, and, of course, poor. The point of the competition was not putting out the fire but getting to the scene of the fire first. The sport had its own rules. A person would think twice before asking "Where’s the fire?", for fear of insult. The first proper fire brigade was set up by the Hungarian Count Szecseny, who was made a pasha in 1874, after the famous fire of Pera in 1870 when 3,000 buildings burned down.

The last surviving tulumbaci, Kemal Güleçin at Balat in Saffet's cafe playing card games like melot, prafa or pişpirik. He gets in the mood and shouts like the tulumba crew called “Tulumbacı Narası” .“Yaman gelir, yaman gideriz, Fethiyeli aslan tulumbacılarız”... “Karada aslan, denizde kaplan, var mı bize yan bakan”!